04Nov

6 Key Elements for a Rate Shopping Solution

Author: Daniel Wise

Are you monitoring competitive rates? Do you gather insights into market demand? Do you have visibility into channel performance? Are you quickly able to drill down to understand your position against the competition? If the answer to any of these is no, you should consider investing in a rate shopping solution.

Hotel sign on top of a building surrounded by palm trees

Below are six key elements to consider:

  • Intuitive interfaces. With all of the data you need at your fingertips to enable your decisions, it is important to consider the dashboard displays of the solution and ease of adjusting them. They should be intuitive and easy to use with little training, just like a smart phone. Look for features like hover-over, pop-up, and drill-down capabilities that provide easy access to a wealth of supporting detail without the need to consult a training manual.
  • Scalability. Are you seeking tools that can scale up effortlessly as your needs expand? Cloud-based technology is making this possible today, giving rise to highly scalable, multi-property tools that enable revenue managers responsible for a portfolio of properties to easily monitor all of their key metrics.
  • Flexibility. In selecting an effective rate shopping tool, customizable features are key. For instance, users should have the ability to instantly alter the composition of their hotel’s comp set whenever it makes sense to do so, and to rearrange the order in which that comp set appears in various displays. Also look for the ability to filter displays to dynamically isolate channels or rate types.
  • Variety of metrics. Given the ever changing technological advances today, rate shopping tools should provide instant access to a wide array of insightful metrics that can impact demand. These range from upcoming local events (negating the need to separately check the CVB) to weather forecasts – a great benefit in those markets in which weather can significantly affect demand in the near term.
  • A broad view. The best tools allow users to shop as many as double the three or four competitors typically provided in a standard subscription. You should consider the number of rates you can access in your comp set. The more strategically you can set your own rates, the better.
  • Company background. No one understands what revenue managers need better than a revenue manager. IT development teams with a background in hotel revenue have an insider’s perspective on hoteliers’ rate shopping needs and strategies. Their client-side experience also enables them to respond more quickly and accurately to requests for tool enhancements, and can often improve upon those requests because they understand first-hand the need behind them.

As the competitive landscape continues to evolve, the ability to understand the impact to your hotel is essential. An effective hotel rate shopping tool gathers data from hundreds of sites and OTAs and delivers it in user-friendly dashboards, reports and data downloads that can be easily configured.

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