Seeing one price to then being presented with another one.
- I start my booking journey on Google Hotel Ads;
- I click the result from Expedia: $100 per night;
- Let’s check the hotel website, who knows, maybe I’ll get better deals over there
- Best rate: $100 per night, same price as Expedia
- A price comparison widget tells me that the hotel website is the best, as Expedia and Booking offer $110 (Eh? I just came from Expedia at $100)
- Price ambiguity hits: let’s check Booking.com too. Ultimately, the hotel has already lied to me, why should I refrain from double checking?
- In fact, $94 resulting from a 10% Genius discount (seriously, who’s not Genius on BO?) plus some margin cut applied by the OTA, thanks to the virtual card the hotel accepted to get paid from.
Point being, even when you saying the truth, you’re lying, because too many external factors impact the final price prospects are presented with.
Best case scenario: I end up booking on Booking.com (for many people ambiguity is not an issue and they’ll just go with the best option they can get).
Worst case scenario: I don’t trust this hotel, let’s choose another one.
Altogether the value array and its attributes frame the #hotel offer to the guest, who then subjectively evaluates it against other options.
The value array and its attributes are the measuring stick delineating YES, I want this hotel, or NO, I’ll look elsewhere. You never know which attribute is the lynchpin that causes someone to book or not to book your rooms.
Among these attributes there are price, conditions, restrictions, payment policy, cancellation policy, room features and… price integrity.
See it this way: if price comparison widgets (PCWs) were useful we would see shorter booking journeys, which is the exact opposite of what we’ve been seeing in recent years, especially after covid.
Skeptical? Food for thoughts:
- Have you ever wondered why no OTA has ever lift a finger against PCWs?
- Where do you think these PCWs get OTA rates from? From the OTAs: put another way, do you think the OTAs would feed these PCWs knowing they could harm their business?