According to Orbtiz’s own data, 90% of its customers book a hotel from the first page of search results (25 hotels). Furthermore, 50% of customers book from the top five properties shown, according to CEO Barney Harford, while 25% book the very first one.
These are remarkable numbers. So when Orbtiz discovered that users of Apple’s Mac desktops and laptops spend up to 30% more per night on hotels – and then discovered that Mac users are also 40% more likely to book a four or five star hotels, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal – the online booking site decided to tailor search results for these users.
Orbitz quietly started showing Mac users more expensive hotels by default. Now, they don’t show higher rates for the same rooms, to be clear. But they do show more expensive rooms and hotels overall than for PC users, who are apparently much more budget-concious.
Considering Orbitz is supposed to save users money, this move does come across as a bit of exploitation. And even though users and easily sort search results by price, the booking site is clearly aware of how users are using its site, so changing the default results seems a little shady.