Travellers today are tech freaks who know how to utilize technology to make his travel cheaper, convenient and comfortable. Technology enables them to remain on the go without having to worry about itinerary, route and even accommodation. Even while being on the go, they can choose between various hotels to perfectly suit their budget and requirements without compromising on any front. The credit goes to the seamless availability of all Metasearch websites and OTAs on mobile in the form of responsive mobile websites and mobile applications. Hotels too have been proactive to sense the paradigm shift and have moulded their entire strategy to encourage and support mobile bookings. They are now using advanced rate shopping software that can analyze the pricing from entire competition and churn out the best possible rate for every single room in the hotel’s inventory. Hospitality industry thrives on the ability to charge the right rate for the right customer at the right time with an aim to drive maximum revenues.
In this age of fierce competition and constantly fluctuating demand, manual tracking of rates from the competition is next to impossible. To add to it the prices for the same hotel room can be different from one OTA to another and even on search location and type of traveller. Differential pricing is the latest trend in Hotel industry and only an advanced RateShopping tool is no less than a necessity to stay competitive and profitable in such complex market dynamics.
An efficient RateShopping tool is capable to monitor prices of thousands of competitor hotels on hundreds of different channels including OTAs to carry out detailed competitive analysis that helps a hotel in formulating the best pricing strategy among its competitors. However, in current scenario only a basic RateShopping tool is not enough to nail the correct pricing strategy. Smart hoteliers are using many tricks to get high bookings and revenue. Some of them being differential pricing, including varying hotel prices by location, i.e. Geolocation based pricing. Device-based pricing that pricing based on the device used to book. These combinations have made the task of competition rate tracking even more daunting for revenue managers. Hence, it is the time that you evaluate your existing RateShopping Tool, and see if it is proficient enough of providing you all the competition rate tracking requirements you need. If not, it is time to switch to the one that has all these features.
Here are a few key features of an advanced rate shopping tool that can provide an in-depth analysis of competitors’ pricing:
- Geo-based pricing: To tap the difference in paying capacity of guests from different countries, hotels have started differential pricing based on the location (geo-based pricing) of the customer booking the hotel. For e.g. a person in Australia and a person in Brazil are willing to book a hotel in Malaysia, then both will get different prices for the same room since they belong to different countries. A smart rate shopping tools provide in-depth analysis into what price the competitor is offering to travellers situated in different countries round the globe. This information is crucial in the sense that a hotel might be selling its inventory for the same price round the globe where the competitor must be winning by offering less prices.
- Mobile rates vs Desktop rates: With the advent of Smartphone’s, mobile devices have become the most popular device among the masses to browse destinations, hotels and even make bookings. A traveller is always on the go with no fixed itineraries and needs to make bookings several times during his entire trip as he travels from one place to another. Data reveals that around 150 million bookings were done through mobile devices last year and the number is ever increasing. Hotels are also trying to encourage travellers to book through mobile especially through mobile apps where they offer discounted prices as compared to desktop and mobile sites. This type of device specific differential pricing poses even bigger challenge for revenue managers to keep their pricing competitive. An evolved RateShopping tool would shower you with intelligence on all such differential pricing patterns existing in the competitive arena by keeping a perfect tap on the competitor mobile app rates. Such insightful information is bound to benefit hoteliers to set the best prices for their inventory to compete with the lowest prices in the market.
- Member rates vs non-member rates: A rewarding and profitable loyalty program is at the heart of any good hotel. Hotels treat their loyal customers differently by offering them prices that are not available on any OTA or even hotel’s own website. But, a smart rate shopping even penetrates into such loyalty offers and Close User Group (CUG) being offered by competition to their loyal customers giving a holistic picture of competitor’s pricing strategy. This crucial information helps a hotel to offer similar rates in one form or the other thus giving the gasping run for their money. Moreover, all the information is presented in a desired statistical and graphical format, which enables quick interpretation so that instant pricing decisions could be taken.
The right pricing strategy can be a crucial differentiator in a hotel’s performance, so it is imperative to have fair amount of knowledge of competitor’s pricing to come up with a winning price strategy every time. Deploying a smart and insightful RateShopping tool which tightly integrates with all major OTAs, Meta websites along with hotel’s own website is a job half done. This can help any hotel to boost its pricing strategy, foster rate parity and project the hotel as the best rate provider among the competition.