Got a Mac? You may not want to use it for making your next online hotel reservation.
When popular travel site Orbitz saw that Mac users were spending $20–30 more on hotel bookings than PC users, it got an idea: Why not dish up more expensive hotel options for these site visitors? And so began the marketing push that targets these users based on desktop preferences.
Apparently even when the same hotel is selected by PC and Mac users, says chief scientist Wai Gen Yee, the latter still stayed in more expensive rooms. Overall, bookings made on Mac computers were 30 percent more per night than their Windows counterparts.
When asked about the tactic, the company defended its approach, saying that these visitors were not being charged more for the same room. And, it pointed out, the sorting tool still allows anyone to list results by price. It’s worth noting, however, that Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity also have price filtering and sorting, and they don’t use visitor’s choice of OS to determine or rank hotel search results.
Orbitz may not be the first to use “predictive analytics,” but it definitely won’t be the last. More retailers are hopping on this bandwagon, as marketing decisions and more are already being made based on user information, like desktop vs. mobile browser/OS, times of visit, historical spending data and other details.
[via Wall Street Journal]