Are you staring at the hotel across the street and wondering how it has a whole parking lot? Like all other industries, no matter how unique you believe your value proposition to be, it's crucial to keep an eye on competitors in hospitality.
When searching for a place to stay on holiday, work trip, or particular event, people look at several accommodation options in the area before making a choice. The main goal of competitor analysis is to identify and understand the potential competitors in your area to make informed decisions regarding prices, amenities, and more.
This article will cover how to perform a hotel competitor analysis with website screenshot software to devise a winning strategy and stand out from your competitors.
Before diving into the analysis, there are two essential steps you must go through.
Analyzing every hotel, hostel, and apartment area would take too much time. That is why it is essential first to define your main competitors: those properties that are similar to you and with whom you compete for business. That is popularly known as a comp set.
The ideal hotel comp set consists of 5 to 10 properties, not more, as this can lead to confusion. These should be nearby accommodation, as that's the main reason you're competing for the same audience.
The competitors you choose should be similar to you in the type of property (hostel, hotel, or apartment) and aspects like available amenities, the number of rooms, and star rating.
Next, you need to know your key value proposition: what are you offering your clients that no one else is offering?
In this stage, you can use SWOT, a strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis. That can be applied to get to know your business and that of your competitors: strengths and weaknesses apply to you, whereas external actors present opportunities and threats.
Threats could mean competitors offer certain services or amenities, but you do not. Therefore, you can use SWOT to understand why a particular hotel attracts more business than yours. Then, pay attention to what you need to improve to stay competitive.
Now that you have recognized your potential competitors and your strengths and weaknesses as a hotelier, you need to begin analyzing your competitors. We have curated the list of elements that you need to look at during this process.
Offering the right price at the right time is a game-changer. The slightest variation can keep you from getting more reservations when compared to your competitors.
That is why you need to keep an eye on competitor prices. Detecting when they are lowering or raising prices allows you to act timely.
The best way to get information regarding pricing is from OTAs like Hotels.com. You should periodically check both prices and what competitors have available. For example, suppose they're running low on available rooms. In that case, you could have the opportunity to raise prices soon, as they will no longer be an option for travelers.
Try to detect when they're cheaper: are they lowering their weekly prices so they can go up on weekends?
You may also surf metasearch engines such as TripAdvisor and Google to get an additional daily idea of competitors' pricing.
Along with the price, this is one of the most important aspects for travelers when choosing a room. Looking up a property on an OTA will most likely tell you what's close to it. For example, Booking.com will provide a list of nearby attractions with their distance in meters from the hotel.
To detect what your competitors are close to, you don't even need to take a walk in the area: you can check the property on Google Maps to see for yourself. Instead, look at their surroundings for supermarkets, hospitals, or tourist attractions.
Then contrast with your location to define how you can create new opportunities. For instance, you can devise strategies like complimentary cab services to and from the airport to attract more bookings.
In your online hotel analysis, it's also important to consider competitor amenities. These are often the deal-breaker between two accommodation options for travelers when they're both near tourist attractions and reasonably priced. People are even more willing to spend more on a place with more useful amenities.
Identify the different facilities that your competitors are offering to their guests, and you're not. However, this doesn't mean running after those amenities. For example, you're comparing yourself to another hotel with a pool. Does this mean that you have to get a pool ASAP? No, you may have other amenities and strong points that make you a great choice or even a better one, like bilingual staff or a free breakfast. As we mentioned earlier, the point is to pay attention to what you need to improve to stay competitive.
On each property's website, you will get a clear list of amenities and pictures.
We've covered the three main aspects of online hotel competition. Still, there are a few additional things you could be keeping an eye on. One of them is your competitors' online presence and their strategy to strengthen their visibility for the targeted audience.
The first place to look is, again, Google. Check out their Google My Business profile, see if it's updated, what ratings they have, and what pictures they choose to showcase there. After all, it'll be travelers' first impression of the property. With that information, you can optimize yours to compete with them.
Next, you can move on to social media. Look your competitor up and see whether they have official Facebook and Instagram profiles; if they do, scan what they post. What do they like to emphasize? For example, are they mainly posting pictures of their rooms, amenities, or guests? Or maybe they focus on sharing information about the city and what people can do in it.
It's essential to gauge their tone and content so you can design yours accordingly and also see how their audience responds: are they engaging with that content? Moreover, stay on the lookout for special offers and contests on social media; many hotels offer them!
The other element is to verify the different pages on which your potential competitor is listed. Check out Booking, Trivago, Airbnb, and more to understand the reason behind their increased business. Are they opting for traditional OTAs, or are they also listed in smaller, niche platforms?
While you can always list your business on the same pages, go a step ahead to list your hotel on the pages where your competition isn't listed.
Lastly, what guests like and don't like about your competitor is a great way to decode the business strategy. Strategically use reviews to work in hotel marketing in a better way than your competitor to attract more bookings. When you have an edge against the competition in terms of reviews from real-life guests, you will surely ace the business.
Use OTAs, metasearch engines, and even blogs to check out reviews for accommodation offered by your competitors.
Have you ever thought you could feed your competitive analysis of the hotel industry with so many variants? This process can provide many powerful insights to step up the game in your area. But we're also aware that it can take much time if done manually.
With Stillio, you can keep track of your competitors' prices, online presence, and everything we've covered before the easy way. For over ten years, Stillio has been helping companies get rid of manual tasks by automating full-length online screenshots.
For example, you can set daily screenshots of a competitor's listing on an OTA. Then, at the end of the week, look at all the captures and see their price evolution. These screenshots will be saved in your account to analyze whenever you want.
Are you an international hotel chain? Then, you can automate your analysis worldwide with customizable IP locations on every continent.
With a tool like this, you can easily ace the game as it allows you to:
You even get notified when a new screenshot comes up. Pricing starts at $29 for daily screenshots of 5 URLs.
Hotel competitor analysis has to become an everyday part of your business to become the best choice in your area. And with a partner like Stillio, keeping track of competitors has never been easier. Feel free to book a demo with us to clear all your questions.