June 27, 2012- Orbitz, the online booking site, has run into problems with public relations with its differentiated selling between PC users and Apple users. Analysis showed that on a basic search on Orbitz, Apple users were shown pricier hotels that cost on average over 30% more than PC users were given to browse through. Of course, some people are upset because it could be construed as being biased, but it actually makes sense business wise. Barney Harford, the CEO at Orbitz explained the situation last month in an article in the USA Today.
The company analyzed its data that showed Apple users that came to the website were 40% more apt to book at the upper end of the hotel market, with a hotel that was four or five star, consequently the website reflected that in searches made by Apple users.
Orbitz also knows that the results listed first are the most likely ones to be used because generally people are too lazy to check multiple pages. Harford said that over 90% of Orbitz customers reserved rooms in hotels that have been displayed on the first page of the search they performed. Of that total, 25% chose the first hotel. If users of Apple are known to pay more, it is good business logic to organize their searches in a way that pricier hotels will appear first.
Apple users usually spend more than other computer buyers do and on the average are wealthier. Some Apple users have complained on the Facebook page of Orbitz at having to sort through hotels by price.