Hoteliers will have an advantage against online travel agents with a new price check widget recently released by Triptease. This service, called Price Check, has already shown that it can boost the number of direct bookings the hotel receives by up to 35%. This has the potential to save hotels thousands in commissions that they would have paid to online travel agents.
Many hotels lose their direct bookings to online travel agents offering cheaper prices on hotel rooms. Price Check was developed when TripTease discovered that over two thirds of travellers visited a hotel’s website during the research stage of the booking process, but very few of these travellers proceeded to booking direct. TripTease Co-Founder Charlie Osmond found that the average person visits 38 websites over a period of 45 days to plan a trip, so he wanted to create a better and more streamlined way to book a hotel.
Price Check allows hotels to price match the cheapest available online price immediately, encouraging customers to book directly through the Hotel Website. This will help the hotel to build better relationships with customers and will also make the booking process more streamlined for customers. TripTease has worked with leading hotels including Shangri-La, Trump Soho and The Mark in New York and the list of top-notch hotels continues to grow.
How Does Price Check Work?
The service was launched in January and is now running on the websites of approximately 300 hotels. When the hotel integrates the widget into its website it will display live prices from three online travel agencies (OTAs) during the booking process. When a guest makes a search for availability on a certain day, the Triptease service will scan the web for comparable prices for those particular dates. If it is able to find a cheaper price, it will allow the hotel to automatically match it.
According to Carlie Osmond, this technology is very helpful for hotel customers. It offers price transparency and due to the honest experience they are more likely to make an immediate booking. Since the price check is performed by an independent third party, it assures the customers that they are getting the best price when they book direct.
The service has gone through initial testing and this has shown an immediate increase in conversation rates from search to booking. Also, it has down reduced exit rates from the hotel’s website, which has led to a higher revenue from direct bookings. More website visitors than ever are returning to the hotel’s website and following through with their booking.
The service is very simple to install and it takes only an hour to set up for the hotel. The holiday apartment company Lateral City Apartments in Edinburgh has trialled the service and as a result they have lost fewer direct bookings to OTAs. According to Julie Grieve from Lateral City they have seen more direct bookings every month since using the service and the exit rate on the booking page has fallen by 25%.
Thanks to the initial success of the product, Triptease is now accelerating its development. Price Check is now available in Italian, Dutch, Spanish, German and French.
Roombid – A New Room Auction Site
Another new service for hoteliers has also recently launched, offering hotel owners another alternative to paying high rates to OTAs. Roombid allows hoteliers the opportunity to sell their rooms at the best rate, while only paying 5% commission. It works by allowing hotels to upload their rooms with a minimum bid.
The website works like an auction and customers will place their bids on rooms. The highest bidding users will be the final buyer for the room and they will be directed to the hotel’s website to book the hotel directly through them. Roombid offers hotels an advantage because the more rooms they have available on the website the easier they will be able to fill their rooms during the quieter periods of the year.
According to Roombid founder Roger Murphy, the website is an ideal solution for hoteliers and customers. It is a win-win, since customers will be getting great deals on rooms and hoteliers will be filling up their establishment as much as possible.
With these new developments in technology hotel customers will be able to enjoy price transparency when booking a hotel and hotel owners will benefit from an increase in direct bookings.