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 (to avoid confusing consumers and increase conversion, for example), we developed the Price Performance Dashboard, which helps you easily catch any price differences across channels. We check websites for you and report any price differences we come across with a screenshot.

We also introduced the Price Quality Score so 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 extra info and help you identify price differences across channels.

How to spot and fix unintended price differences

Here are 5 common practices—taken from blogs and properties' feedback from across the industry—for investigating and addressing unintended price differences across channels:

  1. Price differences can be a result of incorrectly set up rates, promotions, taxes, extra charges, or restrictions. If you find unintended differences on the Extranet of any channel, your PMS (property management system), or your channel manager, make the necessary adjustments.
  2. Differences in inventory can explain price differences, since different rooms are being compared between channels on comparison websites. 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 on 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 on the source page or the conditions. Performing a test booking is also a smart way to gather information about where the rate is coming from.

Another way to find out if certain channels are reselling online is asking customers for their booking confirmation at check-in, then cross-checking 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're in breach of the agreement by reselling the rates online.