Orbitz is Using Customer Data to Drive Revenue and You Should Too
Orbitz, one of the world’s leading online travel retailers, has been found to be leading Mac user to higher priced hotel options than PC users. Why are they doing this, you may ask? Well, according to their CEO, internal marketing research done by the company discovered that Mac users are around 40% more likely to book 4 star and 5 star hotels.
This is interesting on a number of fronts. First, I am sure that from a psychological perspective, one could deduct that Mac users are more incline to purchase more ‘luxury items’. Also, it is probably within reason to think that Mac junkies put a higher value on perceived higher quality.
However, where the real take away from this, from a marketing point of view, is the insightful data science that Orbitz is using to lead their customers to what they ultimately want. I am sure this will be spun in a negative light by some saying that the company is somehow deceiving their clientele. That simply is not true. They are acting as a guiding light to lead them to what huge amounts of data has indicated they want.
The Apple Effect: Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts. online.wsj.com/article/SB1000…
— WSJ Business News (@WSJbusiness) June 26, 2012
This is good business and good marketing. And if one of the world’s biggest online companies is doing it, so should every business, big or small. Making purchasing decisions as ‘think-free’ as possible for users is the goal. Data knows what customers want more than the users do.
How can you use this strategy?
Is determining your customer’s actions via your web analytics going to be simple and as cut and dry as it seems like it was for Orbitz — probably not. But, by taking extra time to analyze and understand the behavior of your customers, users, or readers, you can begin to see why they act as they do and how you can target your approach around these behaviors.
Below are some metrics to get started taking an extra look at and potential ways to use them.
1) Bounce Rate of Web vs. Mobile users - If there is a large discrepancy here, this could be a indication that your site need to be better optimized for mobile. There are many options to do this, especially on WordPress. You may even want to spend some extra time and or money on a complete mobile site.
2) Time of day – Being aware of the time of day your customers are shopping online is an extremely valuable metric to keep track of. Even more so if your are running PPC campaigns. From personal experience I have found that some niches convert at a higher rate on the weekends and others do better in the evenings. Dive in and see what is working for your site.
3) Understanding what your top pages are and why - this can help to define a better-targeted, ongoing content strategy from which you can create future topics from.
4) Analyze what search engine keywords are bringing the most traffic - use this to either further capitalize on the keywords that are performing well, or optimize the poorly performing keyword — or both.
5) Look at which social media medium is yielding the best results - More visually appealing sites and niches have noted better results on Pinterest than any other social media network. Other editorial based blogs say Twitter is the best traffic referrer. Check out your data and hone in your social media approach. Start by comparing average time on your site and bounce rates.
6) OS bounce rates- Ensuring that your site is cross browser compatible is extremely important to getting the most out of your traffic. If one operating system has a significantly higher bounce rate, there may be an issue.
Obviously, for each specific niche there are going to be other metrics that are more valuable than others. Also, within other industries metrics may be more or less actionable. Nonetheless, every website has valuable data from which they can pull from to give customers exactly what they want and turn them into conversions.