Hotel brands will soon follow OTAs by acting more like price comparison sites, a leading provider of technology that allows this claims.
Eric Bjorndahl, co-founder chief technology officer of Clicktripz, said the firm was exploring ways to allow hotel groups to display rivals’ offers in their websites.
He said the trend is to help all online retailers derive some value from the 95% of web visitors they pay to drive, but who do not convert.
UK start-up Triptease has made headway in this area with its Pricecheck tool that hoteliers can use to provide customers with verification that their own prices are as competitive as any OTA.
But Bjorndahl said: “We have relationships with the top OTAs because of our ad network. Our role is to find a system that that works for the customer, the OTA and the hotel.
“We think we can increase conversions among those users who don’t book through price transparency.“In psychological tests if consumers think you are being transparent they are more likely to book.
“They are already so far down the funnel they will either book straight away or drive very high ROI transactions for OTAs.
“Otherwise these users disperse and come back to the hotel or OTA through a more expensive channel.
“Our whole philosophy is instead of being confrontational with the OTA we believe there is a solution that can work for everyone. We do not need to anger the OTAs or hotel brands.”
Bjorndahl said customers do like to shop around for a deal but what Clicktripz is doing is trying to prevent some of that shopping around.
He said price comparison has some way to go before it offers transparency of the true value of a room by comparing descriptions, optional or included extras or room grades within a property and between hotels in a chosen vicinity.
“The product level is the room not the hotel. What you want is not only price transparency among room type but does it include parking or wifi. It’s the true value for a hotel room,” Bjorndahl said.
Los Angeles-based Clicktripz works with the likes of lastminute.com in the UK and have been present in the European market for over two years.
It is currently looking to expand in Asia Pacific and Latin America as part of its international expansion plans.
“We know the core business model works. It’s proven in the US. In Europe there was hesitancy but we are getting there now. We are fighting the same battles now in Asia and Latin America.”