Contributed by Estella Hale, V.P. of Product, SHR

    What Are Curated Rates?

    To understand curated rates, we first need to understand what curating means. To curate, means to organize and display content in a meaningful way for a particular result. For our purposes here, “content” will be defined as the booking availability response from your hotel to your guests.This request and response interaction is what happens to your guests when they come into your internet booking experience; they give you information about their travel search, and you respond with relevant content.

    So, the concept of “curating” rates revolves around being able—from all of the booking information that is available to show or “present” to the guest at that moment—to curate from that information that which is most relevant to the guest.

    A Common Situation

    Imagine that you have multiple offers for your guests as they search, depending on your revenue strategy, and these offers all have certain discounts off your best available rate (BAR). You might have an advanced purchase rate where they get 10% off. Or a discounted rate based on length of stay at a 12% discount. Or you may have an email campaign promotion aimed at previous guests for a 15% discount.

    But what happens when someone, for whom ALL these criteria apply, is browsing on your site? Traditionally, they end up having to wade through often long lists of available rates, deciding on their own what their most relevant rate (content) might be. This puts the burden squarely on the guest, which can prove to be a frustrating experience at best, and one that leads to increased booking abandonment at worst.

    A Unique Solution

    In contrast, the concept of curated rates is to remove this burden from your guest by using your technology to “loop” through all these lists and sort out and present to your guest the most relevant offer. This looping and sorting should be something you chose, such as by rate, sort order, or price. Your revenue strategy will determine your best choice.

    But whatever way you set it up, the point of curating rates is this: We have a short amount of time spent at our websites, equaling a small window of opportunity from each guest, and we’re competing with a LOT of other sites. So, being able to use technology to more quickly and more accurately loop through what is the best offer for your guest can only work to your advantage because it works to your guests’ advantage—resulting in a better booking experience for them and a fuller booking experience for your hotel.

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