Keeping tabs on the competition’s public pricing has become an important part of revenue management.
This has gained increased importance because market development, driven by the wider competition during recovery is unpredictable and revenue management systems (RMS) which use historical data to adjust pricing will be harder to rely on in the short term.
That means the best way to stay in line with the increasingly fluid and dynamic market is to continuously monitor public competitor rates on their website and other distribution channels.
The problem with this approach is that it’s not only time-consuming when done manually, but it also provides an incomplete picture because information may be outdated by the time it’s collected and collated. It also can be cumbersome to arrive at the same rate type to compare across different platforms and competitors.
Rather than wasting time gathering and comparing competitor data manually, let a modern business intelligence (BI) tool such as Rate Insight do the heavy lifting instead: you get live compset data and see how your property’s rates compare and evolve now and in the future at the click of a button. Making an informed rate decision gets to be easy.
With travel restrictions easing and countries coming out of lockdown, hoteliers everywhere are eager to reopen their properties.
Use your BI tool to do a quick check and see which hotels are already open and which ones remain closed. Rate Insight shows ten properties at a time, but since it’s easy to change your compset in the system by quickly toggling the selection, it’s possible to verify more than ten hotels with ease.
During a time of such low demand, it is safe to conclude that when several days in a row are labelled as ‘SOLD OUT’ a hotel is not selling rooms (i.e. it is closed rather than truly sold out in the current environment). In the example below, this applies to five compset properties, with Competitor 10 appearing to open again on June 22 and competitor 0 on June 25, as rates are available from these days onwards.
Knowing how many hotels are open or closed nearby allows revenue managers to plan and set rates accordingly, based on the actual supply of room inventory in the market for each day across the open competitors relative to current demand.
Be aware that although a competitor may be closed now that they are likely accepting reservations for dates further into the future, where you should be considering them as part of your comp set even though their doors are closed today.
As occupancy starts to recover, it’s important to get back to pre-crisis rates. Lockdown has likely thrown revenue management strategies overboard, so now it’s time to review market data to shape new ones.
Use Rate Insight to identify weekly revenue trends including the percentage of hotels actively increasing or decreasing rates in the short term and to what degree, monitor how more hotels re-opening affects total market inventory and track rate changes across multiple markets to be familiar with any trends and patterns that may affect you.
To get a clear picture of a hotel’s immediate surroundings, analyse comp set-specific data to provide a benchmark comparison of similar properties. Then, drill down and compare individual competitor rate offerings to ensure prices are competitive across a variety of different rate types.
For an extra edge, check compset rates on desktop vs. mobile channels using the compare functionality in Rate Insight to identify competitor rate strategies. Following these steps allows revenue managers to make well-informed pricing decisions quickly and ensure their ability to stay nimble with optimal positioning.
Rate Insight’s event calendar highlights any important dates that may require additional monitoring, so hotels can set prices for future events and peak periods like public holidays well in advance and capitalise on increased demand early on. The option to see how the compset priced rooms for a certain event in previous years can give valuable information that will help shape the strategy for the current year.
With the Compare Module, users can easily assess how rates for future dates compare with the rates for the same period one year earlier (e.g. Christmas, New Year’s Eve, etc.). While historical data may not offer the perfect reference point right now, it can still provide valuable insights into recurring trends around annual events.
Rate Insight gives users the ability to monitor future events 365 days into the future, so they can see how their compset is behaving, e.g. if and when they increase or drop rates. Especially during such uncertain times, this is crucial for leveraging high demand periods to avoid leaving money on the table and possibly make up some lost revenue instead.
Manually checking competitor availability and rate strategy across OTAs and branded sites is extremely time-consuming and risks creating an incomplete overview since rates change quickly in dynamic markets.
By using Rate Insight to monitor all aspects of the competition's public rates in real-time, revenue managers can gain essential insights into their compset’s online pricing strategies in only a few clicks. This saves valuable time and gives an accurate representation of the market and a hotel’s relative position.
The tool also makes it easy to detect rate disparity cases: ensuring you are in control of your distribution. Now, instead of manually checking individual channels, revenue managers can ensure that channel partners match the intended rate strategy straight from Rate Insight’s dashboard.
Finally, it’s no secret that changing hotel availability on OTAs can impact a property’s ranking. Knowing how one’s standing was affected by temporary closure on top of the usual criteria and seeing how it compares to the compset is important when revisiting online distribution strategies. Rate Insight’s OTA Ranking tab provides a quick overview of current positions, review scores for your hotel and competitors and recent changes, which saves time on manual checks.
The better hoteliers understand details of behaviour in their market and know how performance compares to their compset’s, the easier it becomes to make strategic decisions. To help revenue managers integrate competitive performance intelligence relative to their strategies, OTA Insight now offers access to hotel benchmark data right from Rate Insight’s dashboard as part of every subscription.
Hotels can use this to monitor occupancy, ADR and RevPAR vs. their compset. This offers a one-stop-shops to relate back to rate insights gained and draw data-based conclusions about their strategy’s success and possibilities for improvement.
It will take time to form new pricing strategies and to adapt to new demand patterns. Having a BI tool with access to live competitor pricing information during the recovery period is a competitive edge, not only because it saves time and energy, but also because it enables the data-driven pricing decisions with ease that make the difference between success and failure.