RM Tips and Strategy
RM Tips and Strategy

Monitor your competitors’ prices with the best car rental rate analyzer

To optimize its sales, the car rental operator has every interest in setting its rates based – in part – on an overall view of the competition.

Emmanuel Scuto
March 26, 2021

Hotels, transports, or car rentals… Since shopping on the Internet is now the norm, the situation is identical across all sectors of e-commerce: the price is a decisive criterion of a customer’s decision. To optimize its sales, the car rental operator has every interest in setting its rates based – in part – on an overall view of the competition. But in a strong competitive context, the price watch becomes as indispensable as it is tedious. That’s why the intelligent automated price monitoring tool is necessary for car rental companies as the best dynamic pricing solution as part of their competitive intelligence strategy.

Why do you need a rate analyzer for your car rental company?

Today, the Internet allows the consumer to compare at a glance the prices offered by different providers and online sellers. In this context of ultra-transparency, the customer bases his purchase decision mostly on the price in a commodity environment. In order to be consistent with the market, but also to gain competitiveness and offer a valuable competitive advantage, it is essential to base your e-commerce pricing strategies on efficient pricing intelligence. Here you have the reasons you should consider getting an automated price monitoring tool.

If you watch tariffs, you can record and analyze your own tariff data. 

A monitoring tool permits to get a precise market pricing analysis and to anticipate competitive actions. From one year to another, the trader can anticipate market fluctuations based on the price changes observed and recorded over time. The implementation of history on the tool allows the operator to adjust its pricing policy by focusing on anticipation, to ensure its optimization and that it stays one step ahead. 

The tariff watch tool is not only used to monitor and analyze competition: it also records and analyzes the pricing data for the brand – and its franchisees, if any. Thanks to detailed reports, the yield manager or the marketing director is able to better understand and evaluate the results of his actions. This overview offers the opportunity to improve productivity over time, guiding decisions after exploiting its own tariff data.

Collecting and analyzing data from its own company is one step. Another step is using strategic intelligence: it’s also a key solution to easily and quickly control the prices charged by your distributors if any. Based on an effective pricing watch, the seller or online service provider can thus ensure the consistency of its prices in the market, all electronic distribution channels combined.

The tariff watch permits repricing for the car rental market fluctuations. 

Prices are likely to increase or decrease without the awareness and anticipation of the main players in the market. An operator who decides to lower its rates – in the context of an advertising campaign, for example – momentarily jeopardizes the activity of its competitors. Warned of this fall in prices thanks to a real-time pricing watch, the operator can react immediately, and knowingly choose to align with a view to bettering customer loyalty. In the absence of repricing, the company is able to redirect its marketing strategy – so as to focus on the added value of its services, for example.

The tariff watch allows you to provoke impulse buying in a stable competitive environment. 

A stable market in which prices are equal can be an opportunity to set a cheaper offer to attract new customers. The implementation of a promotional campaign, to gain competitiveness, must intervene at the right time and at the right price: the tariff watch is the best solution to collect all the necessary information. The day after observing the reactions of the competitors – repricing, alignment of their offers- is useful to better understand and anticipate the results of that campaign. To boost sales in a sluggish economic context or to differentiate itself from the competition at the peak of its seasonal activity, the price fluctuation represents a valuable tool, provided it is handled with a global vision of the market when it’s implemented.

The tariff watch increases your margins at the best moment. 

The pricing watch tool allows you to correctly control your pricing policy in order to win or establish your competitive advantage. But this competition overview is also the best solution to increase your margins without losing sales. By being alerted to a substantial price increase in its market, the car rental operator can intelligently optimize its own prices: he can thus increase them enough to impact its margin, while he remains consistent with its competitors, and does not lose customers. It’s the key to profitability.

Rate shop analyzer: how does the WeYield web app work?

Understanding your competitive price position is key to your overall strategy in 2021. WeYield works alongside the car rental operators to understand their needs and offer the best tools to help them grow and make the best decisions according to their competitive analysis. Here’s some more information about how our tool works to better understand the possibilities for your business.

How far in advance can the software watch prices?

WeYield’s tool has no limit to shop in the future. It’s a parameter that the user sets in his WeYield apps. This answer is driven mostly by the average lead time of the reservation and the intensity of the seasons. The pure corporate operator will shop mostly two weeks ahead while keeping an eye on the next holiday break or public day off if it hits a weekend. A pure leisure activity will always look forward to anticipating the next holiday season the maximum in advance.

Most of our clients mix their scrapping tool with some rolling weeks (“shop every day of the week for the upcoming 2 weeks ahead”) and/or with some fixed dates (“no matter my rolling weeks, I want to collect the price for a 3-day rental out of Holiday Friday during Easter”).

How often do you scrape prices? So how stale is the data?

This is the frequency. Again, it entirely depends on the yield manager's needs. We would recommend a minimum of once a week, a day or two before the weekly yield meeting (if any are scheduled!). Then the frequency will vary along with the season pressure. To anticipate the regular summer super peak, the yield manager will need a weekly monitoring six months in advance (during winter), it’s the usual “early bookers” time of reservation. Then, as soon as Spring starts, the frequency will increase to twice a week to control June to September prices. As of May-June, the frequency may increase to 3 to 5 times a week. 

Keep in mind that this scraping behavior is highly dependent on the capacity of the Yield manager to updates its prices locally but mostly on the franchisor system and with third parties. Some may not accept more than one or two updates per week… Sometimes even less.

How quickly can the tool scrape a new competitor's prices if asked to?

WeYield monitoring tool has about 200 sites and apps already integrated and ready to be used. It covers a wide range of operators and distributors from the main international brands to some local independent car rental companies. Also, WeYield makes available the top brokers and tour operator sites located in Europe, the US, South America, or Asia. To adapt the pricing, it’s also able to adapt the point-of-sale on some websites to retrieve the price as if the query would have been done locally.

Most of the queries today on the tool are done for a check-out (car rental departure) from the airport using normalized IATA codes. But it is also possible to shop in off-airport cities. This feature requires an additional fee and a manual set-up as no generic city codes do exist to identify each city rental operator.

As a car rental company today, tracking your competitor’s prices is nowadays a necessary requirement to better your pricing strategy: the WeYield pricing and monitoring tool is the first tool completely adapted to the final user needs (data history, overall view of competitors and distributors prices…). You can now clearly understand the benefits of a SaaS application to monitor and analyze competitive prices.

Published by
Emmanuel Scuto
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Expert in Revenue Management and Pricing in the Car Rental industry for 20 years, I aim to share my optimization experience with our customers throughout the world. I am specialized in revenue maximization, pricing strategy, yield management, reporting based on AI.

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