How SiteMinder uses Occupancy Based Pricing to help sell rooms at more attractive rates
Since it burst onto the hospitality tech market in 2006, SiteMinder has helped tens of thousands of hotels fill empty rooms. Over its 15-year span, SiteMinder has pioneered an online commerce platform for the hotel industry that gives hoteliers control over their operations while maximising their revenue and reducing the legwork involved. Today, SiteMinder is used by 32,000 hotels across 150 countries to generate more than 100 million reservations worth over US$35 billion in combined revenue – during a regular year.
SiteMinder was an early adopter of our pricing per guest solution – specifically, our Occupancy Based Pricing integration capability. We sat down with Henry Westmacott, Senior Product Manager at SiteMinder, to explore how they use Occupancy Based Pricing to add value to how their properties’ room rates are determined.
Why did you decide to offer pricing per guest to your properties?
Westmacott: Occupancy Based Pricing falls under the umbrella of the pricing per guest model, and it’s just one of many ways for properties to offer customised pricing. It allows you to set different prices for the same room or unit based on the number of guests staying in it. This allows our customers to maximise their occupancy rates by offering tailored pricing to guests. Simply put, properties have the flexibility to tailor their room or unit rates based on occupancy to appeal to more traveller segments.
How has Occupancy Based Pricing changed things for your accommodation partners?
Westmacott: Before Occupancy Based Pricing, many accommodation providers used the traditional per-room pricing model, whereby a single rate is set for a room. A few of them also manually configured different rates per occupant level, which made things very complex and tedious.
Occupancy Based Pricing makes it possible for our customers to set one room rate by applying a rate per occupant level. In essence, it has helped properties remove the complexity out of configuring their rates.
How did you go about implementing this pricing model for accommodation partners?
Westmacott: We worked together with Booking.com to simplify the complex. By brainstorming with accommodation partners and listening to our customers’ needs, we were able to deliver a platform integration that was mutually beneficial for everyone.
We informed our customers about the release of Occupancy Based Pricing in our monthly newsletter and provided additional support about this pricing model by creating an FAQ in our own knowledge base. We also have a dedicated team that's responsible for enhancing integrations for our Connectivity partners. Since its release, our support and onboarding teams have been helping our accommodation partners switch to Occupancy Based Pricing.
How do you measure the success of Occupancy Based Pricing?
Westmacott: When it comes to building a successful product, you should focus on adding real customer value that’s reliable and scalable. We invest heavily in research and design to ensure that when we develop new integration features, that we aren’t merely ticking boxes, but helping our customers run their businesses. As an industry, this is an approach we should all continue to strive for.
Since its implementation, we’ve seen a strong uptake of Occupancy Based Pricing among our accommodation partners. Many hotel groups have already completed their pilot phase and are planning a broader rollout.
What were your main learnings from this experience?
Westmacott: Just because something has always been done a certain way, it doesn’t mean it’s the best way. We should always look to evolve the traditional and deliver a product that is adaptable to future developments. Our Occupancy Based Pricing tool is an example of one way we do that.
What's one piece of advice you want to leave other Connectivity partners with?
Westmacott: As with most developments, there’s more than meets the eye. Before embarking on development, look at your entire offering and see how it fits into the larger picture. In the case of Occupancy Based Pricing, we researched how we'd support it in our platform and the tools we'd have to provide our customers so they could manage it. Also, think about what type of infrastructure you'd have to put in place when building your integration. You want to make sure that anything you create or offer is easy for your customers to manage and that you're pushing a consistent narrative about its benefits.
- Founded in 2006, SiteMinder has grown to generate more than 100 million reservations during a regular year
- The online commerce platform was an early adopter of our pricing guest solution – specifically, our Occupancy Based Pricing integration capability
- Helping to remove the complexity out of configuring rates, Occupancy Based Pricing makes it possible for their customers to set one room rate by applying a rate per occupant level