Pricing has always been top of mind for guests and partners. We have our own promise to ensure customers always receive a great price and to provide them with prices that are transparent, compelling, and competitive.
But what about our partners’ pricing strategies? How can they best decide how to set prices? To offer more simplicity and clarity around pricing, we’ve created a portfolio framework of pricing solutions to help you establish a compelling strategy. It starts, as you might imagine, with a good foundation.
Pursuing an optimal rate plan
Without having the right base structure, you're not going to get your fair share of demand on our platform. This pricing foundation includes an Early Booker rate, a Non-Refundable rate, and a Fully Flexible rate. These three combined are what we call an optimal rate plan. On average, partners who have all three rate plans active receive 9% fewer cancellations and see an 11% increase in visibility, along with a 5% increase in bookings.
But then you need to position your prices for each of those different rates in an optimal way to make sure you get the most business - and generate even more demand. This is where playing with prices can help. I encourage you to examine your many options in the pricing portfolio, which you can think of as having two main branches: proactive and reactive solutions.
Proactive, always-on pricing solutions
The key detail to understand about proactive solutions is that they help you prepare for the future. They’re designed to address long-term occupancy needs and reach valuable customer segments on an ongoing basis.
Some of these proactive tools are always-on solutions that you can set up to incrementally gain more and more share of the market, like the Genius and Preferred Partner programs. These can help you reach a very wide range of bookers. For example, on average Genius partners get up to 40% more search result views, receive up to 18% more bookings, and bring in up to 17% more revenue. Preferred Partners on average receive up to 65% more page views and get up to 40% more bookings. Both come at a higher cost but can be highly effective at driving conversion and outperforming the competition.
Proactive targeting pricing solutions
This can help you structurally have more visibility for specific types of customers over a long-term period like targeting bookers from another country during their peak travel season. It’s worth noting that during the pandemic, with more travelers visiting locations that only require a short drive, you can use the same Country Rates tool to target domestic bookers and capture long-term demand.
Rounding out the proactive branch of the portfolio are Campaign Deals. These are seasonal sales campaigns we put our marketing muscle behind like the Travel Offer and Break Away Deal.
Reactive pricing solutions
Reactive solutions, on the other hand, are best to use if there is an anomaly in your normal booking pattern. These solutions may be thought of as a quick way to fix an occupancy issue or as a way to recoup revenue you may have missed out on while on the path to full-rate optimization.
For example, if a wedding party booked four of your rooms (many months ago) for next Thursday but had to cancel because of unexpected pandemic-related travel restrictions, you can use a reactive solution like a Last Minute Deal to get a search ranking boost and bring in bookers. Want to make it even more attractive? If you like, you can stack it with another reactive solution, the Visibility Booster, to increase your reach even more.
Do you have your own idea for how to solve the issue? You have the full flexibility to build a Basic Deal according to your wishes. All of these reactive solutions allow for specific stay dates and room or unit type restrictions, so you can boost occupancy when and where you need it most.
It’s worth noting that the further away an unexpected event like this is, the better you can prepare for it using your normal rate structure. But there is a tipping point where you'll potentially want to further increase your visibility - and that is what relying on reactive solutions is all about.
Should you adjust your prices?
How much should you rely on these proactive and reactive pricing solutions to push you towards full optimization? It very much depends on your specific situation and the demand you’re seeing.
At this moment in time, if you’re in Orlando, then you are likely dependent on parks like Disney World. If you’re in Rome, you may be reliant on consistent tourism to fill your rooms. In these situations that have been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), discounted pricing may help. But if you are a resort located near a mountain where people can be solitary during the pandemic, right now you may be in high demand. In that case, you may not want to give any pricing discounts. It all depends on the type of demand you’re seeing for your property.
As a general rule, before adopting either proactive or reactive solutions, you need to understand both your revenue target and your occupancy targets. Then, you can decide what revenue constraints you can impose on yourself. And with that, you will understand how much freedom you have to play with your prices.
- To simplify pricing for partners, we’ve created a portfolio framework composed of proactive and reactive solutions
- Proactive solutions like the Genius and Preferred Partner programs help you prepare for the future by addressing long-term occupancy needs
- Reactive solutions like Last Minute Deals can help you fix an occupancy issue or recoup revenue you may have missed out on
- Adjusting your pricing depends heavily on demand, particularly during the pandemic