Tips for spotting and correcting unintended price differences

Applying price differences across channels can be intended or unintended.

When price differences are unintended and you’re pursuing a strategy of applying the same rates across channels (for example, to increase conversion and avoid search costs for consumers), we’ve developed the Price Performance Dashboard to help you easily spot any price differences across channels. We check websites for you and report any price differences we come across with a screenshot.

We’ve also introduced the Price Quality Score so that you can see how attractive your rates are to customers on Booking.com.

The Price Performance Dashboard and the Price Quality Score are free services that provide you with extra information and can help you spot price differences across channels.

How to spot and fix unintended price differences

Here are five common practices taken from blogs and feedback from properties across the industry for investigating and addressing unintended price differences across channels:

  1. Price differences may be a result of incorrectly set up rates, promotions, taxes, extra charges or restrictions. If you spot unintended differences in the extranet of any channel, in your PMS (property management system) or in your channel manager adjust these as necessary.
  2. Differences in inventory can explain price differences, as different rooms are being compared between channels on comparison websites. So it’s important to make sure availability is the same for all rooms across all channels if you want to avoid unintended price differences.
  3. When working with a channel manager, incorrectly mapped products or delays in rates refreshing can cause price differences. Contacting the channel manager directly might help fix the issue.
  4. If everything is correct in the extranet but the rates displayed online are still different, properties can report the issue to the account manager of whichever channel is displaying the incorrect rates for further investigation.
  5. If the lower rate is coming from a channel that properties don’t work with, properties can investigate who is reselling to this website by searching in the source page, or in the conditions. Performing a test booking is also a smart way to retrieve information on where the rate is coming from. Another way to identify if certain channels are reselling online is to ask customers for their booking confirmation at check-in and cross-check the name of the reseller with the name of the contracted provider in the hotel’s reservation system. Once this is identified, properties can contact the relevant provider to see if they are in breach of the agreement by reselling the rates online.