An interesting piece of news has sprouted up a couple of days ago. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Orbitz – one of the leading travel search engines and online booking services – presents Mac users with pricier hotels.
In plain English this means that Orbitz’s logic is this: if you have a Mac, you will pay more for a hotel.
This isn’t a speculation, Orbitz actually admits that Mac users see more four- or five-star hotels among the top search results.
Barney Harford – CEO of Orbitz – goes on to protect this practice by saying that Mac users are 40% more likely to book these expensive hotels.
Harford also mentions that Orbitz gathers terabytes of information about its users, and the type of computer they’re using is just one factor that’s then taken into account when delivering results. Orbitz’s studies show that this approach really works, so there’s no reason for them not to use it anymore.
What the Public Thinks About This?
Users are basically divided into two groups. The first group understands that Orbitz has to use every bit of information they can to come up with quality search results, while the second group is enraged that the type of computer can be one of the factors.
What Affiliates Should Do About This?
We should draw conclusions from Orbitz’s studies and make sure to remember one important detail here: Mac users are more likely to spend money on expensive things.
This shouldn’t even be a surprise … a Mac is an expensive thing itself.
One possible application of this new knowledge is to split test your PPC campaigns and target PC and Mac users separately. If Orbitz is right, Mac users should make you more money. If you, for example, have a campaign that’s barely breaking even, you may have a chance to get it to be profitable by targeting it towards Mac users only.
However, wait until you get a representative portion of data (more than 50 conversions in each campaign), or the fact that one campaign performs better than the other may just be a coincidence.
In essence, every piece of news like this one is great for affiliates because we can test it almost immediately. What’s your take on this? Are Mac users really more likely to spend money?