Rate Shopping: The Importance of Being Nimble

By Tammy Farley Co-Founder & President, The Rainmaker Group | November 22, 2015

Co-authored by Daniel Wise, President, Revcaster

The proliferation of online travel agencies (OTAs) and other online resources gives today's consumers unprecedented access to rate information in real-time as they make their travel decisions. To compete, hotel revenue managers must constantly increase their market intelligence. They need access to what their comp set is charging across all channels quickly, easily, and often. And they need it now. But collecting and analyzing that data is a time-consuming, costly, and ineffectual process for those who take it on without the proper tools.

Rate shopping tools provide revenue managers with market-specific data that enables them to better understand their own property's position in their market rate mix, set prices more competitively, establish rate parity across OTA channels and, ultimately, help drive profits. Developers are continually introducing new technology to streamline the process, making their tools simpler and more cost effective even as they grow more sophisticated, providing ever-broader and deeper information.

The most effective rate shopping tools gather data from hundreds of branded sites and OTAs and deliver it to hoteliers in user-friendly dashboards, reports and data downloads that can be easily configured to meet a property's unique needs. Among the key features that differentiate the best of them:

  • More intuitive interfaces - Dashboards are increasingly intuitive, for ease
    of use even by those with little technical training, with a learning curve
    that compares to that of manipulating a smart phone. Look for features like
    hover-over, pop-up, and hot link drill-down capabilities that provide easy
    access to a wealth of supporting detail without the need to consult a
    training manual.

  • Scalability - Large hotel brands seek tools that can scale up effortlessly as
    they expand. Cloud-based technology is making this possible today, giving
    rise to highly scalable, multi-property tools that enable revenue managers
    responsible for a portfolio of properties to easily monitor all of their key

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