Supply Course

Lesson 1: Introduction to the supply flow

This lesson takes you through the supply flow model and how Connectivity influences it. Learn how you can measure the progress of your properties’ supply flow.

What’s a supply flow?

Accommodation partners list a certain number of rooms on our platform that travellers can discover and book. However, not all of these available rooms show up in search results. There can be multiple reasons for this, including that:

  • The partner may not have loaded all their rooms onto our platform
  • Some rooms that a partner has loaded may lack information about their Rate Plan
  • Updated inventory or rooms with Rate Plans can fail to appear in our front end because there are restrictions applied to them
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Rate Plan

The supply flow is a model that we use to represent this situation, where we include the number of rooms that are in different supply stages (see figure below). This lets us identify where the gaps occur. For example, we may be able to identify that 30% of your uploaded rooms have no Rate Plans and therefore aren’t bookable on our platform.

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Supply flow model

 

Your properties’ supply flow has four different levels:

  • Total capacity. An estimation of the total number of rooms that they have
  • Uploaded rooms. The total number of rooms that properties have loaded on our platform
  • Inventory rooms. The total number of rooms with Rate Plans and calendar information that properties have listed on our platform
  • Front end rooms. The average number of rooms that are shown on our front end when considering all possible lengths of stay
Causes for supply flow drop-offs

By analysing the number of rooms that are in the different stages of your properties’ supply flow, you can see where the biggest drop-off rate occurs.

  • If the primary drop-off point is between uploaded rooms and inventory rooms, you can increase the number of bookable rooms. You can do this by advising your properties to attach Rate Plans and update inventory and prices where they haven’t already.
  • If the primary drop-off rate is between inventory rooms and front end rooms, you can increase the number of rooms on the front end. You can do this by advising your properties to lift some of restrictions they have in place – whether that’s on rooms, Rate Plans, occupancy or promotions.

Misconfigurations can also impact your supply flow. An example is when, instead of removing a room from Booking.com’s inventory when it gets booked elsewhere, the room instead becomes unbookable because the property applies restrictions or removes prices.

In this example, the room is still in the uploaded rooms level, but it’s not in the front end level. This affects the overall quality of the flow, since ideally you’ll have a similar number of rooms in the two levels

The role of Connectivity

You, Connectivity Partners, act as intermediaries between Booking.com and our mutual connected accommodation partners. Accommodation partners use our Connectivity Partners’ interfaces to load inventory, create Rate Plans and set restrictions associated with rooms and stays – all of which contributes to setting up the accommodation partners’ supply flow.

Because of the important role that you, our Connectivity Partners, play in the supply flow of our accommodation partners, it makes sense for us to also consider what the supply flow looks like at your level.

Aggregating the supply flows of all the accommodation partners connected to a specific Connectivity Partner gives us a model of what that particular Connectivity Partner’s supply flow looks like. That in turn allows us to identify potential gaps in the supply flow, which we can use to spot opportunities to improve the supply flow and increase performance.

How to measure progress

We measure the size of your inventory on the Booking.com in terms of the number of open/bookable properties that you have. This metric helps you to measure progress in increasing the number of properties you have that are able to generate business.

To make sure your properties can generate as many bookings as possible, it’s important to make sure that all of your properties’ rooms that are loaded on our platform actually appear in the searches that our travellers make. This is part of what an optimised supply flow helps you to achieve.

A way to measure the level of optimisation of a property’s supply flow is to measure the drop-off of rooms that occurs in the flow. An optimal flow is one where all the rooms loaded on our platform can be booked by travellers, so no drop-offs occur at all.

To calculate the number of drop-offs that do occur, you’ll need to start by calculating the ratio of the front-end rooms and the uploaded rooms that a particular accommodation partner has on our platform.

Our aim is for that ratio to be as close as possible to 1:1, meaning that all the rooms uploaded by our accommodation partners are available for travellers to book on our platform.

We call this metric the upflow score. We use it as a score out of 100, and this is how we calculate it:

Front end rooms divided by uploaded rooms multiplied by 100

The closer the upflow score is to 100, the closer the supply flow is to being an optimum flow where all rooms are ready to start generating revenue.

Let’s test your knowledge

Make sure to take the test, so we can reward you with programme points.

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More lessons in this course

Rates and availability
Education

Lesson 2: Availability settings – good practices

In lesson 2, we introduce basic availability terminology, including concepts such as rates, inventory and restrictions. You’ll also learn how properly setting up these availability basics will lead to a better supply flow for you and your properties.
Advice
Education

Lesson 4: Best practices and actionable advice

The first three lessons introduced you to the supply flow, availability basics and restrictions. In lesson 4, you’ll discover actionable supply advice that can help you and your properties increase visibility and ultimately attract more bookings.