Competition shopping is a vitally important area when trying to maximize your property’s revenue. Being aware of your competitor price changes presents a serious challenge for manual monitoring.
These days, there are some fantastic platforms capable of dealing with this challenge head-on. They allow you to follow competition on variable lengths of stay with change notifications sent directly to multiple e-mail addresses. You can view the reports on screen or export them to Microsoft Excel for further analysis.
Key ingredients to consider when choosing the right competition shopping software:
Spend the time and identify your competitor hotels. It may be difficult, but try and compare apples with apples.
Make sure you choose a provider that has been in business for a number of years.
Insist on a FREE trial and evaluate all features and identify any system limitations.
Confirm price retrieval is accurate. Keep in mind that a standard for most competition checking tools is to retrieve the average rate per day for a check-in on that day that matches your defined length of stay.
Check system response times and avoid providers where data retrieval takes too long.
Connectivity with booking.com and Expedia are the most stable. Consider that competitor individual websites can and do change, resulting in remapping issues. Ideally you want the provider to monitor and correct URL mapping issues for you, double check to make sure!
Interactive reports are essential! Pricing data based on your criteria should be retrieved, verified and displayed on screen. You should have the ability to interact with the data on the screen, i.e. mouse hovers to see available room types, quick links to the channel location displaying the rate. These features will save you, your colleagues and your management considerable time and avoid frustration.
Parity Checker. Most providers will include a parity checker as part of your contract. This is extremely useful when auditing special offer selling prices across channels.
Price points generally vary, normally a set-up fee is charged, along with monthly service charges including support, maintenance & updates.
Run live shopping reports frequently, and perform rate spot checking to confirm accuracy.
Competition prices are a vital ingredient for any successful revenue management system. Time and effort invested in this area will shift your reactive strategies to a more forewarned strategy, yielding much better revenue results.