Online Booking Software Prices: Part Two
By Scott Thomas
Last week we looked at a survey by BedAndBreakfast.com, apparently designed to help it determine new prices for its online booking software products. Depending on the number and kind of bookings you take, the proposals could be better, or significantly worse, for your property. This week we’ll look at other ways vendors set online booking software prices.
One thing is for sure – no matter how the survey BedAndBreakfast.com is conducting turns out, the results will be very suspect. Why? We’ve learned from more than one innkeeper that they were able to access the survey from multiple email addresses. That means that there is no control over the number of times one person can respond to the survey. No need to stack the voter rolls with cemetery occupants, multiple email addresses seems to do the trick.
Back to the topic at hand…
Note that we’ll assume a 7 room property since most products are priced differently by the number of rooms, and 7 is about the average size according to the PAII Operations Studies.
To contrast with the new pay-per-booking models BB.com seems to be considering, their current model has several components (some of which are optional, and others are only for RezOvation GT users). Here are the basics (according to their published information as of this writing – note that we know the upper limit of the BB.com online bookings is 30%, but were unable to find details of lower rates on their website, hence, that information is from memory – happy to correct it if accurate information is different):
RezOvation GT guest management software with booking engine: $90/month
BedAndBreakfast.com online bookings: 25-30% per booking depending on percentage of inventory constantly listed
Expedia and partners bookings: 25-30% per booking depending on percentage of inventory constantly listed
The RezOvation booking engine is not compatible with other guest management systems, but the BB.com and Expedia bookings can be selected by properties listing on the BedAndBreakfast.com directory.
RezOvation also offers GDS capability, priced separately. Neither GDS capability nor the Expedia commissions, is relevant to the potential price changes, so we’ll ignore them for present purposes.
As we discussed in the previous article, for properties receiving more than about 10 bookings and 17 room nights, depending on your total annual number of room nights, number of rooms, rates, etc., the new pricing could be advantageous for you. If not, then expect the cost to go up under these proposals.
How do other companies price their online booking software?
First, a bit of clarification. As mentioned above, we’re not considering GDS access (that is for another post) or the Expedia commissions, as those apparently aren’t part of the changes that appear to be coming. Consequently, even if other vendors have similar offerings, we’ll ignore them, so we can compare like items as much as possible. Of course, the table below is just a sampling – there are many other products available which time does not permit us to include in this table.
Second, some definitions. Some vendors supply only online booking software, with limited capability for true guest management. Other provide guest management software (with full guest history, detailed reports, and offline capabilities), that can be connected to a variety of online booking software products. Still other vendors provide both guest management software and online booking software, so you can use both together, or, optionally, combine the guest management software of one vendor with the online booking software of another. For our purposes, we won’t attempt to consider all possible combination – that can be an exercise left to the reader! We’ll not whether a system is a full guest management product with online booking system, or only an online booking system. Naturally, costs of more complete systems will be higher than costs of only an online booking system.
Note that in the chart below, we are not comparing the features of the different products. Consequently, a product may be listed as a “Full” type – providing both guest management and online booking – but may be very different in features and capabilities than another “full” product. We’ll be doing a more complete comparison in a future post.
Pricing is only given for versions of the product we consider to be comparable with others, so there may be other versions and prices than those shown here, and is for 7 guest rooms, as mentioned above.
<th> Type </th> <th> Monthly </th> <th> Annual </th> <th> Per Booking </th>
<td> Full </td> <td> $90.00 </td> <td> $1,026.00 </td> <td> $0.00 </td>
<td> Full </td> <td> $0.00 </td> <td> $0.00 </td> <td> $2.95 </td>
<td> Full </td> <td> $94.00 </td> <td> $940.00 </td> <td> $0.00 </td>
<td> Full </td> <td> $138.00 </td> <td> $1,380.00 </td> <td> $0.00 </td>
<td> Full </td> <td> $75.00 </td> <td> see note 1 </td> <td> </td>
<td> Full (see comments below post) </td> <td> $40.00 </td> <td> $480.00 </td> <td> </td>
<td> Full </td> <td> $20.00 </td> <td> $240.00 </td> <td> </td>
<td> Booking only </td> <td> N/A </td> <td> $175.00 </td> <td> see note 2 </td>
<td> Full </td> <td> $30.00 </td> <td> See note 3 </td> <td> </td>
Note 1: Options: 2% per booking, $5 per booking, or from $39/month for booking engine component
Note 2: Only the Premium version has adequate features for us to recommend it
Note 3: Price is 2.50 Euros per month per room, plus 5 Euros per month for online booking, which we have approximated at $30.00 per month
As we have mentioned in our previous reviews of various guest management and online booking software, one size does not fit all properties! Some of the products listed in the table above have more features than some will want or need. Others will find that less powerful products, even though listed as “full”, are nowhere near as powerful as they would like to use.
As mentioned above, there are many other products than just those listed in the above chart. The purpose of this chart is to see how other vendors price their products. The easiest way to compare them is to look at annual costs, but since some price on the basis of bookings, if you’re considering those products, you’ll need to calculate the estimated annual cost from your projected or historical number of bookings. In addition, if you use BedAndBreakfast.com’s online bookings, you’ll need to include any charges for those bookings in your calculations.