In a world where those looking for accommodation are willing to scour the web for the best deals and lowest prices, a rate comparison tool is an essential addition to your hotel website booking engine
. Without a rate comparison tool, you could end up losing customers to OTAs like Booking.com or Hotels.com, which is sure to have an impact on your bottom line.
If you’re new to the world of rate comparison tools, or if you’re looking for a way to enhance usage of your new widget, here are some of the benefits of the tool, and tips on making the most of it.
The benefits of a rate comparison tool
• Your hotel will make more money by ensuring guests book with you directly, instead of OTAs.
• Your guests will save plenty of time on each booking, knowing they won’t have to scour the web for the lowest price – they can get it directly from you!
• Rate comparison tools use real-time data to ensure your guests are always getting the most accurate data on prices.
• The tools are fully responsive and suitable for use on mobile devices – which is ideal when you consider that 38% of all travel purchases will be made on mobiles by next year.
Making the most of your comparison tool
The data collected by your rate comparison tool can be used in a multitude of ways. One great way to leverage this data to your own advantage is to use it to continuously assess your pricing strategy. If your competitors and OTAs are regularly far more expensive than your own rooms, consider increasing the prices slightly. You’ll remain the cheapest option by comparison, and your profit margin will increase.
When looking at your competitors’ rates and assessing your own, make sure to factor in things like seasonality, local events, promotions and other factors which may affect price.
Make sure, when you install your rate comparison tool, that you customise it to match the look and feel of your brand and website. The last thing you want is for the tool to stick out like a sore thumb and look like it’s from an external website. Align it with your branding for the best results.
With your comparison tool up and running, you’ll be generating a huge amount of data. You should be regularly analysing this data and the frequent reports you’ll be sent, in order to review your rate performance regularly.
You should also consider offering a price match service alongside your rate comparison tool. If a customer visiting your website finds that they can book your room for less on an OTA, invite them to call you directly for a price match. This won’t happen with every single booking, so you won’t find yourself having to reduce prices for the majority of guests, but it could help you sway a handful of guests each week who may have been tempted to book with an OTA.
Need a hotel website booking engine that will boost your conversions and help you secure those direct bookings? Get in touch with the Digital Hotelier