Are Apple Users Spendier Guests?

The Wall Street Journal today announced that Orbitz Worldwide has concluded that people who use Mac computers (Apple, as opposed to PC), spend up to 30% more per night on hotel rooms.  As a result, Orbitz is loading search results accordingly, showing Mac searchers different — and sometimes more expensive — travel options over those returned to PC searchers.  Orbitz denied that different users are seeing the same rooms priced differently, however, and all users still have the option to rank results by price.

The Orbitz research shows how tracking users’ online activities can assist retailers in predicting buying habits.  According to this research, Orbitz found that Mac users spend $20 to $30 more (on average) per night on hotels than PC users, and Mac users are approximately 40% more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel than PC users.  And even when Mac and PC users pick the same hotel, the research shows that Mac users tend to select more expensive rooms!

According to the article in today’s WSJ, rival sites Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity do NOT track users’ operating systems as a predictive analytic for retail purchasing — yet.  This sort of research and tracking is likely to become the standard as online retailers look for new and innovative ways to target (and maximize) online shoppers’ purchasing habits.