One of the benefits of partnering with an OTA like Expedia or Booking.com to distribute your hotel rooms is the free tools these partners offer to go along with your room distribution.
We know that comp set pricing is one of the most important factors in determining your own hotel’s rate. Until recently, both Expedia and Booking.com offered a rate-shopping tool that allowed hoteliers to see what some of the hotels in their market were charging for their similar rooms.
Recently though, Booking.com announced it would discontinue a number of BookingSuite products, including WebDirect, ChoicePro, BookingButton and RateIntelligence. Losing RateIntelligence means many hoteliers will now be without a rate-shopping tool to determine how they stack up against their competition for as far as one year out.
OTA Insight has been delivering its core rate-shopping product, Rate Insight, since 2012 and has continued to improve on the product over the years, while keeping the price point affordable. So, if you're looking for a tool to shop competitors’ rates, consider the five reasons you should make the switch to Rate Insight:
1. See rates across all channels.
The most important reason hoteliers should use a third-party rate shopping tool is for the wide variety of competitors they can include in their comp set. With Booking’s RateIntelligence, hotels can only compare themselves to competitors who were also distributing inventory through Booking.com. Similarly, with Rev+, hoteliers can only compare their position in the market against competitors who are selling rooms on Expedia.
With Rate Insight, hoteliers have access to rates across a number of channels, from brand.com, Booking.com, Expedia and Priceline. No longer are hoteliers checking different sites to see their competitors’ rates – they’re all neatly packaged into one simple, easy-to-read dashboard.
We know that the current COVID situation has travelers booking extremely late in the booking window – many hotels are seeing bookings come in within three days of arrival – and they’re staying for shorter periods of time. For example, travelers are often looking to take a weekend trip. So OTAs are responding with very aggressive length-of-stay discounting, tempting travelers to extend their trip for multiple days with much lower rates spread across multiple days.
With Rate Insight, hoteliers can unlock this LOS view by choosing how many nights they’d like to compare. This way, you’re not comparing your one-night rate with a competitor’s three-night rate, but you’re actually comparing apples to apples.
We also know that rack rate is just one of the many options that travelers have when booking your hotel. What good is comparing your flexible rate to a competitor’s non-refundable rate? Hoteliers must compare their unique rates – AAA, loyalty rates, packaged rates, etc. – to the same rate type as their competitors. Rate Insight also has you covered here. The tool even ingests and displays mobile rates, which are the newest way hotels are offering a “fenced” rate that is technically still in parity.
Rate Insight was built with the on-the-go hotelier in mind. While it’s often used by revenue managers, the user interface is clean enough that even a director of sales, marketing director or GM can understand it. Rates in line with your competitors are shown in green text, while rates that are determined to be too high or too low are highlighted in red. A calendar view shows rates for one month at a time, but users can easily toggle as far as 365 days out.
Hoteliers can enter the product and do a live rate shop at any time, or they can set email preferences to receive customized email alerts that include a chosen set of competitors and restrictions.
In addition to rates, hoteliers can also see how their hotel ranks on the various OTAs versus their competitors, and how their ranking is trending over time.
When third-party channels undercut your rates – whether through packages, “fenced” discounts, or through wholesalers – your hotel is losing profit, as you will inevitably sell rooms at lower rates through your most expensive channels. Vice-versa, when you offer lower rates than the OTAs on your own website, you’re going to find yourself in hot water, often facing fines from your partner OTAs. Rate Insight has a parity tool built in so hoteliers can easily see their own rates across all the various channels they are being sold, in real time, and make the necessary changes.
Ready to experience HotelTechReport’s #1 Rate Shopper? Try Rate Insight free today!