Basic pricing setup guidelines

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There’s lots to think about when you’re setting your rates and deciding on a pricing strategy to help you maximise occupancy and achieve success. This guide covers all the essential information you need to get started: from setting up a base rate to using more tailored pricing products and proactive solutions to generate extra bookings. We’ve also included answers to some of the most common questions you might encounter as you work on your pricing setup.

1. Rates

Different travellers have different needs, especially during uncertain times like these. Some are early birds who prefer planning ahead and want to secure a great price far in advance. Others are willing to pay a bit more in case their travel plans need to change. There are also some who tend to book last-minute and don’t need the extra flexibility.

Establishing a strong foundation of rates can help you appeal to a variety of travellers and secure more bookings.

Here are some essentials to keep in mind when you’re deciding on your rates:

  • Keep in mind how much it costs you for each night a guest stays in one of your rooms or units, and then work out your preferred rate from there.
  • Consider adjusting your rates when public events in your area – such as carnivals, football matches, concerts or sports tournaments – create more demand.
  • Setting up more compelling rates for weekdays can help you fill rooms or units that might otherwise be empty at these times.
  • Adjust your rates according to demand during your area’s peak and off-peak seasons.
  • Use the ‘Analytics’ tab in the extranet to access business reports and real-time information. This can help you take into account the rates of other similar properties in your neighbourhood and find ways to drive more bookings.
  • If your occupancy is lower than you’d like it to be, think about adjusting your rates to make them more compelling for travellers visiting your area.
  • Regularly review your rates to check what’s working and how you can adapt to boost your property’s occupancy and revenue over time.
2. Rate Plans

One of the first steps you take as a Booking.com partner is deciding on your Rate Plans, which consist of a number of fundamental elements of a booking. We offer three Rate Plans, and our data shows that if a property has all three active on Booking.com it will experience on average a 5% increase in bookings, an 11% increase in visibility and a 9% reduction in cancellations.

What’s more, any other opportunities you activate on our platform are more effective if you already have at least two Rate Plans in place.

We offer three Rate Plans. These are Fully Flexible, Non-Refundable and Early Booker. We recommend that you use a number of these in order to optimise your Rate Plan setup and attract a wider variety of customers. Doing this can also help you get more bookings in advance, reduce cancellations and minimise the need for steep last-minute discounting to fill rooms or units.

The fundamental elements of a booking that make up all our Rate Plans include:

  • Cancellation policy
  • Price
  • Number of days between booking and check-in
  • Length of stay
  • Room or unit type
  • Meals, if available

a. Fully Flexible Rate Plan

A Fully Flexible Rate Plan offers travellers more freedom in case their plans change. Travellers are willing to pay more for extra peace of mind, so these rates tend to be the most expensive on Booking.com, as well as generating the most reservations.

To find out how to set up a Fully Flexible rate, take a look at this article.

b. Non-Refundable Rate Plan

A Non-Refundable Rate Plan helps you secure more guaranteed bookings and revenue, and it can appeal to travellers looking for the best value. That’s because these rates are generally lower than Fully Flexible rates, but they can boost overall bookings by up to 5% and reduce cancellations by an average of at least 9%.

To find out how to set up a Non-Refundable rate, take a look at this article.

c. Early Booker Rate Plan

An Early Booker Rate Plan helps you appeal to travellers who prefer planning ahead. These rates are usually the least expensive, but they can help you secure more bookings in advance. They also tend to help reduce cancellations, because travellers are more committed to their reservation. You can combine them with cancellation terms or a Non-Refundable Policy.

To find out how to set up an Early Booker rate, take a look at this article.

The opportunities described later in this article can help you further boost your bookings by appealing to an even wider variety of travellers.

d. Weekly and Monthly Rate Plans

One of the best ways to add stability to your revenue and reduce your workload is to make it more attractive to guests to stay longer at your property. You can offer discounts by setting up a Weekly Rate Plan for stays of seven nights or more and a Monthly Rate Plan for stays of 28 nights or more.

You can set up Weekly and Monthly Rate Plans by going to the ‘Rate plans’ page in the ‘Rates & Availability’ section in the extranet. If you don’t see a ‘Rates & Availability’ option, click on ‘Calendar & Pricing’ instead. To find out more about Weekly and Monthly Rate Plans, take a look at this article.

3a. Child rates

Using child rates can help you appeal to the lucrative family market. We’ve also improved the way rooms and units are configured and displayed on our platform, and together with child rates this makes it easier for you to attract both families and those who travel together as a group.

You can now set child rates by room or unit, rather than just at the property level, and even based on the age of a child. Not only does this mean you can better tailor your property information to families, but travellers also see clearer information about the total price of the stay when they’re booking. That reduces the chance of unwelcome surprises at check-in, streamlining the process for you and resulting in a better guest experience that increases the likelihood of a positive review.

To find out more about setting up child rates, take a look at this article.

Before your child rates will become active, you’ll need to set up policies, prices and rooms or units for families. To find out more about doing this, take a look at this article.

3b. Other proactive solutions

To find out how to improve your property’s performance even more, take a look at other pricing products such as Genius, Mobile Rates, Country Rates (only available in certain countries), and campaigns and deals.

 

4. Cancellation policies

The need for greater flexibility is more important now than ever. People want to continue dreaming and planning travel for the future, while feeling confident that their bookings are flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances.

Our research shows that, while convenience and a wide selection remain important to travellers, ultimately what matters most to them now is a great price and flexibility. At the same time, you’ve told us that driving occupancy is still one of your top needs, especially during these challenging times.

You choose which cancellation policies to offer as part of the Rate Plans you set up on Booking.com. You can review your current cancellation policies by logging in to the extranet, clicking on ‘Property’ and then clicking on Policies.

The Fully Flexible Rate Plan offers the most flexibility, appealing to travellers who are willing to pay more for greater freedom. The Non-Refundable Rate Plan offers the least flexibility and, because these rates are generally lower than Fully Flexible rates, they tend to be more visible to travellers looking for the best value. And you can set up the Early Booker Rate Plan together with a range of cancellation terms or in combination with a Non-Refundable policy.

To find out more about cancellation policies, take a look at this article.

For step-by-step instructions on changing cancellation policies, take a look at this article.

5. Payment policies

You can help create a positive guest experience by letting travellers know ahead of time which payment methods you accept, including cash and credit cards. To update the payment policies that appear on your property page, log in to the extranet, click on ‘Property’ and then click on ‘Policies’.

To find out more about setting up payment methods, take a look at this article.

a. Online Payments

You may also be eligible for Online Payments. This allows you to easily secure payment from guests who can’t or don’t want to pay by credit card. We collect payment from these guests online using their preferred local payment method, and then we send you a guaranteed payout using a virtual credit card that you can charge just like any other credit card.

Online Payments not only makes it easier for travellers to pay for their booking the way they want to, but guests who pay online on Booking.com are up to four times less likely to cancel. Because they’ve paid in advance, guests are also more committed to their booking, which can help reduce no-shows.

Online Payments isn’t available everywhere yet. If you’re eligible, you’ll see an ‘Online Payments’ section in your extranet ‘Finance’ tab.

To find out more about Online Payments, take a look at this article.

b. Prepayments and damage deposits

If you’d like to set up or change a prepayment that you charge guests, take a look at this article. To find out how to set up a damage deposit, take a look at this article. Keep in mind that charging a damage deposit can reduce the number of bookings you receive and increase the chance of guests cancelling.

If you’re a new partner you may be unable to view guests’ credit card details yet, apart from for no-shows or cancelled non-refundable reservations where a fee applies. You may also be unable to set prepayment policies. During this period you’ll need to collect payment directly from guests when they check in.

To find out more about these restrictions, take a look at this article.

6. Occupancy-based pricing

Occupancy-based pricing can help you increase your bookings, ranking and visibility, by offering more flexibility in how you display the possible occupancy of each of your rooms or units.

If you only have one price set up for each room or unit, based on its maximum occupancy, you could be missing out on bookings from groups of different numbers of guests who could still fit into that room or unit. Our data shows that setting up occupancy-based pricing brings in an average of 30 bookings per year.

We understand that setting up occupancy-based pricing can be time-consuming, so we now display price recommendations for each group size. And to make things even easier, if you haven’t set up occupancy-based pricing before you can even see a walk-through of how to do it. To access this, log in to the extranet and click on ‘Rates and Availability’ or ‘Calendar & Pricing’. The walk-through should start automatically.

To find out more about occupancy-based pricing, take a look at this article.

7. Common questions about pricing and rates

We understand that there’s a lot to think about when it comes to setting your rates. These are some of our partners’ most frequently asked questions around pricing and rates.

 

How do I set up a base rate?

After you’ve created a Rate Plan, the next step is to add rates, which you can do in a number of different ways. Keep in mind that rates need to be entered per day based on the maximum occupancy of each room or unit you offer.

To get started, log in to the extranet, click on ‘Rates & Availability’ and then click on ‘Calendar’. If you don’t see the ‘Rates & Availability’ option, click on ‘Calendar & Pricing’ instead to see your monthly calendar.

To add a rate for a particular date in your calendar, just hover over the date and click on the box that appears. Type in the price you want to charge and press ‘Enter’ to add the rate.

 


 

What if I make a mistake or my rates are displayed incorrectly?

Your rates are only displayed to potential guests after you save them. Once you save them, we recommend you take a look at your Booking.com property page to make sure everything looks the way you want it to. If you spot a mistake, just go back to your calendar and change your rates.

 


 

How can I adapt my rates to attract particular types of guests?

After you’ve set up a base rate, you can use pricing products such as Genius, Mobile Rates and Country Rates to help you attract particular types of guests.

 


 

How can I set up rates for additional guests?

If you have rooms or units that can accommodate one or more extra beds, you can set the rate you charge for this service. To do this, log in to the extranet, click on ‘Property’ and then click on ‘Policies’. In the ‘Children & extra beds’ section, click on ‘Edit’ under ‘Extra bed & cot options’.


 

How do I set up Mobile Rates?

To set up Mobile Rates, log in to the extranet and click on ‘Rates & Availability’ or ‘Promotions’. If you don’t see the ‘Rates & Availability’ option, click on ‘Calendar & Pricing’ instead.  


 

How can I change my rates?

To change a price you’ve already added to your calendar, just hover over the price and click on the box that appears. Type in the new price and press ‘Enter’ to make the change.

You can also quickly update the price for a number of consecutive dates. Just click and drag the cursor over the dates you want to change, then click on the box that appears. Type in the new price and press ‘Enter’ to make the change.

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