Metasearch engines are a topic that gets a lot of attention on the ResortsandLodges.com Business Blog because they play such an important role in the supply-and-demand principles of the hospitality industry. They enable consumers to search all the major online travel agencies (OTAs) at once through a single website simultaneously.
Metasearch channels are fantastic booking tools for the modern consumer, but they can also be a game-changer for hoteliers. What remains to be seen is whether metasearch engines will have a positive or negative effect, and this depends on an individual property’s revenue management system. Let’s take a look at a couple factors you will need to consider as your metasearch engine use progresses.
Metasearch engines expand your property’s compset exponentially.
By definition, your compset is a group of other brands offering a similar product or service to the same consumers. Your traditional (geographical) compset is typically going to be quite small. However, metasearch engines expand your compset to every hotel listed on every OTA on the internet. Even if a property is only listed on one OTA, metasearch sites will present that OTA listing to consumers as well, turning that property into a direct competitor.
This drastic increase in competition forces hoteliers and property managers to constantly offer the most competitive prices. These prices also need to be updated in real-time as the market changes.
Jean Franois Mourier, a contributor at Hospitality Net, explains that without a sophisticated revenue management technology necessary to update pricing as the market changes, and without channel management technology to manage your rates on all online channels, hotels will find it almost impossible to keep up.
If done properly, metasearch engines can drastically increase your online visibility.
Having the necessary technology mentioned above will allow your property to have a much greater online visibility without have to sign up with additional OTA channels. You may be asking yourself, how does this work? By having a presence on the major OTAs, your rates will be pulled into the metasearch engine results and will be visible to any consumer using that site to book a hotel stay.
Metasearch OTAs enable you to direct bookings through the channel of your choice.
When a consumer decides to book a room at your property, they will likely be looking for the channel charging the lowest rate. Travelers using a metasearch engine will see multiple rates, and will (almost) always book through the least expensive site.
This is where you have an opportunity to direct consumers to the booking channel of your choice. Advertising the lowest daily rates on OTAs that offer the lowest commission will allows you to maximize your revenue potential.
The modern consumer is tech-savvy, and focused on being more efficient with their search efforts. Metasearch engines create a real demand as the potential “OTA of the future”. In order to capitalize on this expanding online resource, you will need to adjust your revenue management strategy now to get the best possible results from this highly profitable channel.