You may remember this step from the initial set up of Pace, or perhaps you have added new Rate Plans recently and know that sometimes we will ask you to confirm the exact nature of the plan.
As Pace's automatic pricing algorithms are focussed on delivering up-to-date prices for your dynamically priced rate plans, we need to ensure that we classify the algorithm's inputs (i.e. your reservations and rates) to the level of detail the system can interpret.
We do this by segmenting your business into four main guest segments. And within those guest segments, you have the ability to specify which rate plans are actually dynamically priced or fixed. These are the options available:
The four segments
Any rate plan that is publicly available to "non-qualified" guests falls into this segment. These are typically all rate plans which you offer directly to guests (website, phone, email) or via OTAs such as Booking.com or Expedia. The important factor here is that these are available to anybody online and not a selected group of guests.
Any rate plan which is used for group business (either to track groups in the PMS or to price groups) falls into this segment. This is important for us to know as group rates are typically negotiated as well as for example, carrying the possibility of slightly higher cancellation potential and traditionally being booked further in advance.
Any commercial rate plan which is not available publicly and not used for groups, falls into this segment. We would call this guest segment also "qualified" as the guests are from a known commercial entity. Typically, this would be corporate contracts (even allotments) or exclusive access rates for membership programs like AAA.
Any internal rate plan which is not used to sell to guests should be classified as Miscellaneous. This typically includes staff rates or complementary rates.
Dynamic and Fixed for the Public & Contracted segment
Within the Public and Contracted segment, we have one additional layer that helps us understand if the rate plan is either dynamically priced or has a fixed price. This is important for us to know bookings on these rate plans have different information that impacts the price optimisation. For example, a booking on a dynamically priced rate plan gives us insight into how the rate is performing in the market. Whereas a booking on fixed rate plan only impacts the availability.
How to classify new Rate Plans
To ensure that Pace has a correct understanding of your reservation data, it is important that you always ensure that rate plans are classified correctly or at all. By default, all newly imported rate plans are marked as "Unclassified". You will have to manually update these rate plans in Pace. This can be found on the Rate Plans tab from the settings on the Actions Table.
How do these classifications impact the algorithm?
By differentiating reservations between these different classifications, Pace's algorithm can determine if a reservation should be treated as a price signal for the dynamic pricing or simply as a reduction of inventory impacting your availability for the dynamic guest segments. It also allows us to build more accurate forecasting models, as usually demand for these different Guest Segments differs.
Why don't we use the existing Segmentation from the PMS
Albeit, using segments would make the exercise of classifying reservations more simple (as there are typically fewer segments than rate plans), we opted for rate plans instead. This is mainly due to the reason that Segment classifications in the PMS can change over time and therefore have different meanings. As segments are typically identified through rate plans, we are therefore circumventing segments and going directly to the source. This allows us to ensure that we always have the full picture - not just moving forward, but also from your historical data.