The Mac-versus-PC debate plays out on the eCommerce floor

July 06, 2012 Written by NetSphere Category: eCommerce
The Mac-versus-PC debate plays out on the eCommerce floor

There are many who have banked on Mac users as being big spenders, and rightfully so. Certain analytics have shown that Mac users are more likely to book pricier hotel rooms than their PC counterparts. Because of that data, Orbitz, a popular travel site, shows Mac users higher-priced deals. And it all started with the Mac tax, the idea that consumers will pay more for Apple’s technology compared to other brands.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, Orbitz and other etailers, when tracking shopper’s habits, discovered the types of computers they use and subsequently, the purchases they would make.

“With the ever increasing power of computers, the availability of cloud computing resources, and the analytic muscle of third-party software, such insight is available at prices that even smaller companies can afford,” explained in a recently published article.

Despite the slew of available data, discourages companies from practicing differential pricing. If and when consumers find you out, the back peddling involved could essentially cancel out the profits earned.

But if an etailer can’t charge more to consumers who are actually willing to spend more, then what’s the point of paying attention to analytics? says that patterns from large numbers of consumers can reveal much more.

“You can get a better handle on how segments of the population actually act, think, and decide,” reports. “That lets you design or select products, structure services, and market far more intelligently. But you make a critical mistake when you take the fallacious step of assuming that because most people behave a given way, all people do. They don't.”

The challenge is delving deeper below the surface to discover, for example, that there are indeed Mac users who are looking for a bargain. And although there is sophisticated software to carry out complex analysis, the problem lies in how to link that data to valuable insight.

As it turns out, most companies don’t have an expert to properly analyze the findings. Hiring someone – even in for the short term – to tackle the underlying factors might be worth the extra cost.

“Keep these points in mind and you'll find that you can make broad analysis of customers and consumers in general work for your business without accidentally digging a commercial grave for yourself in the process,” concludes.  

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Abbe Miller is the marketing manager at NetSphere Strategies, located just outside Chicago. NetSphere Strategies is a boutique eCommerce company positioned to help businesses transform their online presence by providing a full complement of services that starts with our strategic consulting and creative design teams, then continues with building innovative solutions and providing ongoing post-project support.