How does the happyhotel Autopilot work?

The autopilot and its functions

Contents overview

  1. Objectives and benefits of the autopilot
  2. Setup and configuration
  3. Options for manual inputs and control


1.) Aim of the autopilot

happyhotel's AutoPilot should do one thing above all else; Enable you to save considerable time in revenue management. It considers any bookings or cancellations in order to generate the optimal price proposal at any time and process it directly. As described in our article on it, there are different ways to accept the generated price proposals. All price proposals are developed by our machine learning algorithm and the AutoPilot does nothing other than to accept the generated price proposals whenever new ones are generated and to update them directly in the PMS. This way, your revenue management achieves a dynamic response, increases reaction speed and achieves the desired results faster, because no update or optimization is ever overlooked and that for  365 days in advance!


2.) Setup and configuration

happyhotel offers various options for active revenue management, which are included in the full version. Either you decide to work with the generated price proposals yourself and perhaps also set a price manually in some places, or to use the AutoPilot. We usually only recommend starting the AutoPilot after a few weeks of running time, in order to be able to fine-tune and assess the accuracy of the model before we start with full automation. Our Customer Success Team accompanies your hotel step by step during that process.

The AutoPilot is based on a wide variety of data from your own property. For example, the price strategies of the competitors are not used, but only your own booking data. This ensures that the prices of your own hotel are not negatively influenced by completely different pricing strategies of the competitors. A classic example of this are the following scenarios:

Scenario 1:
A hotel in the neighborhood receives a confirmation for a group that will occupy 50% of the rooms there for an entire week. As a result of the solid occupancy rate, the competitor increases their prices for this week by € 10. However, there is not an unusually large number of rooms booked at your property, i.e. the demand has not changed from your own point of view.
An AutoPilot that would be directed by market demand would, however, raise the prices!
Does that make sense if demand for your own hotel is not there or there are no bookings? No, probably not. In the worst case, it even prevents potentially interested guests from making a booking.

However, happyhotel's AutoPilot only looks at your property. It analyzes that there are no bookings coming in and for example reduces the prices by € 2 when the algorithm triggers a new price suggestion. As a result, your own hotel can still achieve the desired occupancy rate despite low actual demand.
With our Rate Shopper you can of course still have the information about the competitors displayed, so that the user still has the last word in the end. As a user, you know your competition better and can judge whether you want to include price increases or discounts from competitors in your price structure. Despite our decision not to include competitor prices in the algorithm, you always have the option of controlling the AutoPilot yourself.

Scenario 2:
Hotel XY, one of your biggest competitors, decides to go for a low price over the long term. Due to the pandemic and the high number of beds, the competitor is trying to achieve an occupancy rate of 50%, "at any price" so to speak.

Your hotel is still receiving bookings however! Your guests tend to book with you more often because they value the service or the location more, for example. You expect an average of 70% occupancy despite times of crisis. This is confirmed by the bookings and the booking lead time, and the happyhotel algorithm therefore suggests a price increase which the AutoPilot implemented directly. The demand remains positive. Setting a price reduction here because the competition is setting low prices would be a mistake that ultimately only costs you revenue. For the guests who prefer your house anyway, there is no significant added value in slightly lower prices.

Hence the conclusion; Don't let your competitors take away the additional sales from your price dynamics. The hotel's own data is completely sufficient to make the best decisions for your hotel.


3.) Possibilities for manual changes and control

Each price, also for each individual category, can be changed manually and that independently of any other rate. It is important that the price is also fixed in the view of the respective day. This is possible by selecting the lock symbol in the "New price" input window.

The whole thing is also shown in the following video:

You can freely choose which prices you want to fix or not. The price proposals that have been generated are accepted by the AutoPilot when automated, but you can still make manual changes there and fix them using the displayed lock button. The AutoPilot is thus informed that it should no longer overwrite the price for the fixed day.

Here displayed below once more, because it will be your most used function, is the view of the adaptation for manual changes via the bulk price update, with the lock function for the prices:

It is important to us that, despite the automation and data-driven optimization of your prices and pricing strategy, you still have the opportunity to contribute your thoughts and inputs. Our team is always at your disposal to help out with advice or tips.

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