About Booking Basic and other relevant updates: the OTA in sheep’s clothing

At this point, we are already familiar with the Booking Basic program, wherein the OTA offers the inventory of third parties belonging to its group of companies (Agoda, Priceline, etc.) if this means they can provide a better price to the end-user. It is really nothing new.

What is new, however, and by new, we mean something that has not been put into effect for too long and that, we know, is in the trial phase, is the custom-made disguise that they have tailored for you.

Yes, we have a spy on Booking.com and it is called Price Seeker. Thanks to our price control tool, we were able to detect, in its day, the arrival of the Early Payment Benefit, and more recently, this change in Booking Basic and its possible consequences in terms of price monitoring.

Find the seven differences

In their redesigned attire, which they only wear on certain occasions (according to them,

appearing in one way or another is determined by the consumer’s buying behavior patterns), the striking combination of black and orange is replaced by a more discreet aesthetic, in soft blue tones and dark gray text over white background, accompanied by a fairly explanatory message that attributes the offer to a partner company of Booking.com. It sure does ring a bell. In addition, the user is informed of the booking conditions (this has not changed): payment in advance and not subject to modifications.

Nevertheless, we would not bother to write an article just because Booking Basic opts for a more casual look, at the expense of its corporate uniform. In fact, we found out about the news upon detecting an issue in one of Price Seeker’s periodic reports. The functionality in question goes hand in hand with a slight delay between the initial price shown on the screen and the final one, as a result of the deal offered. We are talking about one or two seconds that, while for the user are virtually imperceptible, can create quite a headache for the scrapers.

What is the reason behind the evolution of such a well-established product?

We honestly don’t know. Perhaps, because the term “basic” is not convincing enough. It seems as if the product is being devalued. Or maybe because the implicit modernity in the original chromatic aggressiveness provoked rejection. Or it is possible that they are simply testing the effectiveness of a clearer and more direct message, synonymous with transparency, in order to see how it relates to the target market.

What does seem obvious is that behind this initiative is the intention to find new formulas to seduce a certain traveler profile, in addition to minimizing the impact of price monitoring tools that detect and correct disparities for the benefit of direct sales. If it has affected us, it is more than likely that it is also disrupting the results of your technology provider. The worst part is Booking is fully aware of it. Obviously, we are already working on it and it is just a matter of days before we overcome this unexpected obstacle but we share the news anyway to keep you informed.

The latest news about online payments

With the entry into force of the new payment regulations, Booking.com has once again found the goose that lays the golden eggs, a subject that we already alluded to in March in our article “Booking.com kicks off 2021 strong”. So much so that just a month after, there were already relevant changes in their payment policies, aimed at making things even easier for the hotelier and, along the way, ensuring the management of their payment collection. In their extranet, they reveal the new conditions, unquestionably more favorable for their customers, in order to lure them in. Will you, too, take the bait?

  • Now, online payments are only made with Virtual Credit Cards: It is the solution they have come up with so that the hotelier can collect the NRF upon booking.
  • Reduction of the commission on virtual cards: They have negotiated with the banks to reduce the commission from 2-3% to 1.96%.
  • Real-time transfers as well very soon: In a few months, they will, once again, offer the option of collecting payments via bank transfer. However, by then, they will have completed an internal development that will enable them to charge the NRF through this payment method upon receiving the reservation.

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