Savvy hoteliers know how to set competitive rates. They know what prices will beat their competitors’ and be the most attractive to travellers shopping around—and still be high enough to increase their revenue.
How do they know what rates to set?
By spying on the competition, of course.
Keep tabs on the competition—they’re keeping tabs on you
For as long as there have been hotels and competitive hoteliers to manage them, there’s been a constant battle of one-upmanship when it comes to services offered and prices set. All that’s changed over the years is the method of spying. Hoteliers used to have to call or visit their competitors’ establishments and pretend to be potential guests in order to find out about their rates and offerings.
But a more technologically advanced time calls for more technologically advanced espionage techniques. In fact, we don’t even call it “spying” anymore. Now we call it “rate shopping.” Not only is it far more discreet than ringing up the hotel down the street and affecting a foreign accent, it’s also much more effective, and a good deal cleverer.
When your rates are competitive, you’re competitive
Rate Insights, a highly coveted feature of trivago Hotel Manager PRO, lets hoteliers monitor their top five competitors’ rates across multiple booking channels from the privacy of their own account dashboards. They stay ahead of the competition by keeping an eye on it—and that’s just the start of how the newly enhanced feature can help hoteliers establish a smarter pricing strategy.
That’s right—the rate shopper on trivago Hotel Manager has gotten better, smarter, more revealing, and way easier to use. Here’s what else you can expect:
If a competitor’s room rate increases on a partner site, you’ll know. If it drops, you’ll know. Essentially, you’ll always know what the competition’s doing with their pricing at all times. Sounds scary, right? It is—for them. It means you’ll know exactly when and by how much to adjust your own prices to maintain your edge.
You’ll also always know what prices your partnered bookings sites are advertising for every one of your own rooms.
Track surges in search volume
Do you know about every single event in your area? Can you calculate how many more people are searching for local hotels in the days, weeks, and months leading up to those events? Surges in search volume indicate increases in demand—something you as a hotelier should definitely be monitoring.
Check the Rate Insights dashboard for information about upcoming events. You’ll be able to see how many people are searching for hotels in your area during that time and know to increase your prices. Or maybe there aren’t so many people searching for hotels at a given moment, in which case, you’ll see from the low search volume that it might make sense to lower your rates to make them more attractive.
The more search volume data you have at your disposal, the smarter and easier your pricing decisions become. And is there any better source of hotel search volume data than the world’s largest hotel metasearch? Not likely.
Set competitive prices half a year in advance
While the number of last-minute bookers may be on the rise, there will always be that core group of traditional travellers who plan their holidays months (and months) in advance. You’ll want to make sure you’re showing the most optimised rates for those guests. You’ll want to take advantage of the calendar on the dashboard, with its 360 days’ worth of data analytics available to you.
You can look back over the last 180 days and see how rates—yours and your competition’s—increased or decreased; how events impacted search volume; and how customer demand changed with the seasons.
Smart pricing is smart business
To establish a smart pricing strategy, you have to be able to anticipate changes in the market. You have to be able to react to the ebb and flow of customer demand. And yes, you have to keep close tabs on the competition, so that you can always be sure to show to the most attractive rates and see the highest return.
While you could stick with the old fashioned, less-than-subtle techniques for gathering intel on competitor hotels, it would be a smart move to upgrade your spying activities.
When you use Rate Insights as part of the full PRO solution, you not only have easy access to competitors’ pricing data, you’ll also get in-depth information about their target audiences and how they compare to yours. And because you want to stand out from the competition (and not just spy on them), the upgrade includes premium features that’ll help differentiate your profile and hotel from the rest.
You can find out more about the benefits of PRO and request a consultation about the upgrade here. And make sure to check the blog regularly for more tips on how to be more competitive online.