What is BACKBID and How Does it Work? BACKBID Monday, 3rd October 2011
BACKBID is a new hotel booking site that enables travelers to post their existing hotel reservation and accept bids from alternative properties to find the best value for their upcoming hotel stay.
Here's how BACKBID works: consumers are encouraged to book their hotel stay as they normally would – by phone, online, etc. But rather than stopping their search after booking, the consumer then posts their existing reservation and travel preferences on the webiste.
Hotels can then bid for the traveler’s business, offering discounts and value-added perks, like free parking, free food and drinks, free WiFi, etc.
After receiving bids from various hotels, the traveler can then decide whether any of the bids they received are a better fit for their budget and needs and if so, they can book the new BACKBID deal directly through the site.
Once the BACKBID reservation is confirmed and prepaid the traveler has to simply abandon their original reservation and they are ready to leave on their trip, knowing that they were able to secure the best rate and value for their upcoming hotel stay.
What makes BACKBID different from traditional online booking sites?
One of the biggest distinctions between BACKBID and traditional OTA sites is the emphasis that BACKBID places on securing business through offering consumers additional value, rather than discounts in order to eliminate the never-ending rate spiral to the bottom.
For example, hotels can offer a complimentary upgrade to a suite, free breakfast or other services that are meaningful to a customer but that don’t represent significant costs to the hotels. These value-added services can often be perceived as being more valuable to a consumer than straight discounts so it enables hotels to stand out and generate additional bookings, without eroding their prices.
BACKBID enables hotels to increase their online sales, without discounting and without the rate parity, page placement and LRA allotment issues associated with traditional OTA sites. The site allows hotels to see which travelers are coming to their market, how much they are willing to pay and what their travel preferences are because BACKBID travelers already have a hotel reservation, confirming their intention to travel.
With this insider knowledge, hotels are able to create personalized offers and deliver them directly to consumers, enticing them to book with their property and abandon their original reservation. Hotels have the ability to create bids for one specific customer or for an entire group or demographic depending on their needs, making BACKBID a quick and easy channel to integrate to any property’s existing channel management activities.
What is the biggest challenge that you are facing in the launch phase?
BACKBID’s biggest challenge in our initial launch phase is cutting through the noise in the crowded online marketplace to get our message out to hotels, to clarify how our model differs from traditional OTAs and how the BACKBID value-add model benefits them.
What impact do you think BACKBID will have on the hotel industry?
BACKBID’s model of providing hotels with access to travelers who already have reservations, ensuring that they are confirmed travelers, is new to the industry. As such, hotels will have to adjust their mindsets and their current channel management models to include what is essentially a new market segment: online bookers with reservations.
What made you come up with the idea for BACKBID?
We, at BACKBID, are very frequent travelers and we became very tired of the work that goes into finding the best rate for our hotel stays.
The choices were endless, the pricing confusing and the whole process was very time-consuming. Often we would cancel and rebook the same reservation several times as prices fluctuated, and at the end of it all, we weren't even sure if we'd gotten the best deal.
That's when the idea came to us: create a website that makes it simple to find the best price and value by having hotels bid on travelers’ business. So BACKBID was born.
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