Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Mac v. PC Shopping Guy

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Welcome to Austin, Texas, where it’s expected to reach a balmy 106 degrees today.

I would retire to the pool and use my newfangled Verizon Jetpack Internet everywhere device to let me do a few emails while sipping virgin Pina Coladas, but I’m afraid my skin might start burning and smoking like some bad horror movie. Yes, it’s going to be THAT hot outside (and it’s only June 26).

In the summer, I tend to get up really early to do all my grocery shopping and things, so that I can then come home and never leave the house until the sun goes back down.

And on the subject of shopping, while flipping through the news on my iPad this morning, I discover this whopper of a story in The Wall Street Journal online.

Travel company Orbitz recently discovered that people who use Apple’s Mac computers spend as much as 30% or more a night on hotels. So, in turn, Orbitz is starting to give them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than what Windows visitors see.

You mean, I have to go back to using Windows in order to get the best deals on Orbitz? Not necessarily, but it’s quite evident that you’ll be given different promotions, many of which will cost more because you’re part of the cool, Apple fanboy set.

Now if we could just see what Orbitz would offer up to Ubuntu Linux users…a cardboard shack out back?!

I’ve been writing about IBM’s smarter commerce initiative for several months now, and this is a perfectly good example of how companies are using all that great information they’re garnering in their web browsing and sales activities, then using that information to market differently to different folks.

Before you Mac users pull your long dormant Windows7 machine out of hibernation, first, remember you can always opt to rank all your results on Orbitz (and other travel sites) by price, and you’re obviously not limited to the promotions you are offered.

But Orbitz did find that Mac users spend an average of $20-$30 a night more on hotels than their PC counterparts, according to the WSJ story, which is a substantial difference considering that the site’s average nightly hotel booking is around $100.

I sense a whole new wave of Mac v. PC commercials coming on:

PC Guy: Dude, I stayed at the Four Seasons for $30 less than you did last night because I run Windows!

Mac Guy: Yes, but you didn’t look nearly as cool as me hanging out at the hotel bar with all the hipsters. And when I turn my computer on it just works!

The data also revealed that Mac users tend to stay in more expensive rooms than the Windows crowd.

So, this is the part where I go back outside, grab my Pina Colada and multiple cans of 60 SPS Walgreen tanning spray, and hand you off to the IBM Smarter Commerce Website so you can read more about how you can utilize such predictive analytics for business advantage.

And don’t forget about my last post, where I mentioned some recent announcements IBM made in the predictive analytics space.

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