A Word about Orbitz Supposedly Charging More to Mac Users

There’s a story in the WSJ this morning about Orbitz realizing that Mac users spend more money than PC users and how, because of that, they decided to show Mac users more expensive hotels.

That story has been picked up everywhere and the headline is changed a bit to, for example, “Mac Users May See Pricier Options on Orbitz‎.”

For clarification: Orbitz is testing showing Mac users a different set of results for a hotel search, with pricier options at the top than those shown to PC users. They are NOT showing the same room with 2 different prices, as perhaps you may have been thinking, based on some of the headlines out there.

100 years ago I wrote about companies doing just this (and it’s finally catching on, woo!). I think we’ll see LOTS more skewing of how results are shown to users, especially for hotels. Here at the clothing company, our iPad users purchase more than our PC users, for example. It may make sense to show them pricier options at the top of their pages.

We’re just at the tip of the iceberg, but never trust that a website is automatically showing you the cheapest options – unless you specifically choose “show me the lowest price options first” they’re getting much, much smarter about how results are displayed (in part because the technology to do this is now widely available through 3rd parties, and it’s pretty reasonably priced. Thanks, Monetate!)