Rule #3 : fine tune rental duration and day-of-week
There is no efficient rate shop without a proper configuration of rental duration and a smart choice of day-of-week. To select them, you must analyze precisely your volume of business by departure day and rental duration both split by season (low, medium and high season) and by period (business or leisure). Do not forget to split the seasons with a gradient. In practice, in a low season, some period may be with a high utilization (ie : Christmas vacations departure during Winter) and some other may face a low utilization in a high season (ie : the 15-day of gap following the end of New-Year eve and before mid-January boost in Carribean islands).
Regarding the duration, a rental station strongly impacted by mid-week business-type of rental must be configured with a rate shop on 2 or 3-day duration departing on Tuesday or Wednesday around 8 or 9am. If the mix of clients is concentrated on the week-end like for leisure-type of station, you must configure the competitive rate shop for a 3-day rental departing on Friday around 3 or 4pm (to be sure to retrieve week-end rates) or for a 2-day rental departing on Saturday morning.
On the other hand, if you are operating a pure leisure destination (like Morocco, Spain, Carribean islands, Croatia, etc), a 7-day rental must be configured. However, this may not be enough. The analytics available on the web application CocktailRM provided by WeYield light up the key rental duration to be set. It may be useful also to analyze the so called « exotic duration »: the one that are not booked that much but could generate good value anyway. For example the duration that requires to add a package with some extra-days to build a 10-day rental (7 package + 3 extra days) or a 19-day rental (14 package + 5 extra days). This process will enable you to check your pricing positionning on all the market components and will avoid your brand not to be booked on these high-value duration.
Keep an eye opened on what your competitors are doing
Make sure you know precisely the pricing tactic of your major competitors. Some of them broadcast different 3-day price for a Thursday departure depending on the time of the day : at 9am, it may be a « regular » business rental while you will need to shop for a departure at 3pm to retrieve the « week-end » rental price. To get alerted on these behaviours, there is no other solution than to play and check regularly on the web with their rate engine. Do it from home to avoid an IP blockage if you are identified with too many queries over a small period of time.
In Rateshaker, the new parameter (number of rental duration) is added up on top of the number of suppliers/sites (Rule #1) and the number of station (Rule #2) to be shopped. Thus, over the previous 150 shops configured, if you want to retreive the prices for 3 rental duration (a 3-day out of Friday pm for a week-end rate, a 7-day rental out of a Saturday and a business type rental of a 2-day out of Tuesday am), the new number of queries will be 150 x 3 = 450.
Next week, the rule #4: Select a good day to run the query