Protea Hotels - Africa`s pre-eminent hospitality group - in partnership with e-commerce solutions company, SalesBid, has become one of the first in the industry to implement a dynamic pricing strategy. This will help the group to maximise room occupancy across 125 hotels in over ten African and Indian Ocean Island countries.
Dynamic pricing is a growing internet phenomenon in which buyers and sellers negotiate the price of products on-line until they reach a value which is fair to both parties.
Roll-out of Protea`s strategy began on June 1 when Protea unveiled its new SalesBid-developed and operated website, Roombid, where prospective guests can bid on-line for one of ten weekend getaways from selected Protea hotels around the country. All rooms have a set base price and bidders either match this price or bid above it - the highest bidder is awarded the room.
Initially limited to seven hotels, www.protearoombid.com will ultimately allow business and leisure travellers to bid for a certain portion of accommodation at all the resorts within the group, soon to include a luxury development on the Red Sea. The balance of bookings will be done via traditional avenues, such as the telephone.
“The internet is an extraordinarily powerful tool for the hotelier,” says Allan Duke, Protea Hotels` group marketing services director.
“We are utilising it initially as an on-line auction facility, but our partnership with SalesBid will soon allow us to offer fully-fledged customer relationship marketing, through which getaways will be tailored to our customers` preferences and budgets.
“This dynamic business model,” Duke continues, “is perfect when dealing with a highly `perishable` product such as a hotel room-night. This commodity, if unsold, is lost forever. However, technological advances now make it possible to allocate unsold room-nights to the web auction space and to allow the forces of supply and demand to run their course.
At present our reservations department manages the apportioning of stock to the auction site manually but, as time goes by, we foresee this being handled automatically with the help of specialised software. This will further shorten lead-times and enhance our flexibility in terms of offering customers what they want, when they want it.”
The on-line auction technology provided by SalesBid, the `clicks and mortar` subsidiary of Auction Alliance Holdings, one of the largest and most established auction businesses in South Africa, is integral to Protea`s dynamic pricing strategy, Duke reveals.
SalesBid is a dynamic commerce solution provider focused on the use of dynamic pricing mechanisms to efficiently match corporate buyers and sellers. SalesBid CEO Rael Levitt says that the company`s software uses cutting edge technology to deploy and manage dynamic commerce solutions for clients.
“Some of its key features include a fast, on-line registration process, fully secure transactions, an optional automated bidding agent, sales confirmations, account management, e-mail notification of selected product auctions, as well as a number of different auction types to choose from.
“The SalesBid solution is unique in that it allows clients to run the dynamic pricing function from their own sites, thereby maintaining their corporate image and brand and increasing traffic to the site, while still being managed and maintained by SalesBid. This is very different to other players in the marketplace where the auction actually takes place on the host`s site,” says Rael.
SalesBid is an e-commerce solution provider focused on the use of dynamic pricing mechanisms to efficiently match corporate buyers and sellers. Its vision is to provide small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with simple, yet tailored e-commerce solutions.
SalesBid uses cutting edge technology to deploy and manage e-commerce solutions for clients. The SalesBid solution is unique in that it allows clients to run dynamic pricing solutions from their own sites thereby maintaining their corporate image and brand and increasing traffic to the site, while still being managed and maintained by SalesBid.
SalesBid is a subsidiary of Auction Alliance Holdings with stakes held by Peregrine and African Harvest Capital.