A dedicated and low-maintenance assistant is a hotel channel manager. This product is essential to broaden your hotel's reach and collaborate with as many OTAs as possible. Why? Since manually managing your distribution across numerous channels may quickly become complex and daunting. A channel manager takes the burden of managing manual inventory, ensures all your booking channels are in line, and guards against unintentionally overbooking your hotel.
What is a hotel channel manager?
All types of lodging companies can effectively handle online distribution with the aid of a hotel channel manager. You can connect to as many online channels as you want using the channel management tool, including your booking website, OTAs, and global distribution systems (GDSs). You can also update inventory, close sales in bulk in real-time, and adjust rates. In other words, a channel manager is your best bet if you want to increase your hotel's internet visibility without adding much more administrative work.
What is a channel manager's process?
A channel manager establishes a two-way communication link between your online sales partners and your property management system (PMS). Live reservation data can transfer between them in this manner. This implies that the channel manager transmits information to your PMS whenever a guest makes a reservation through an OTA. The PMS logs the reservation, modifies the inventory and alerts the channel manager to change the availability on all other linked channels. In this manner, you may concurrently sell your rooms worldwide without worrying about double- or overbooking.
What advantages do channel managers offer your hotel?
As you may expect, this ongoing live data interchange via a channel manager has several advantages:
Boost the visibility of your hotel operation
Using software channel manager
, you can list your properties on various online booking channels. Given that OTAs accounted for 64% of all reservations in 2020, expanding your presence there will only be advantageous for you. Additionally, you can connect to GDSs and physical travel companies. Travellers worldwide may easily find, research, and book your hotel thanks to this vast distribution, which significantly boosts your visibility.
Increase reservations and income
Your bookings can increase dramatically if you can reach a larger audience by being active across various media. According to Hotel Tech Report and Skift, using a channel manager can increase occupancy by at least 10%. Your actual outcomes can be even higher depending on the size of your house and the number of channels you employ. However, there is still room for further potential income generation. Channel managers can also generate additional money if they integrate with upselling platforms.
The channel manager communicates details about all incoming direct and third-party bookings. This makes it possible for the upselling tool to give visitors a variety of customized upgrades and offers. Traveller’s profit from the ability to personalize their stay. Positive ratings and higher average visitor spending are the benefits for your hotel. We would be pleased to show you around if you are unsure about how this would operate at your hotel.
Boost direct reservations
More people will learn about your hotel, the more channels you appear on, and many of them will visit your website before choosing a reservation. This alleged "billboard effect" improves your chances of generating worthwhile direct reservations, mainly if your website is conversion-optimized. There is evidence in the figures; one survey indicated that 75% of visitors who made direct reservations at big chain hotels had first looked up the property on an OTA.
Increase brand identification and exposure
More people will see your property if it is on various OTAs. Eventually, this will increase brand recognition without costing you additional money from your marketing budget.
Adjust distribution using data and knowledge
The source markets, guest segments, and top distribution channels can all be learned much from channel managers. Utilize this information to optimize your online sales strategy and ROI. Create offers and campaigns aimed explicitly at the best-performing markets, for instance, to encourage bookings. To maximize the potential of slower channels, you may also experiment with sponsored listings or a revised profile.
Avert double reservations
Your inventory is instantly updated by the channel manager on all associated channels once a reservation is received. When a room category is complete, the system stops taking reservations. Your hotel follows the same rules, and sales of rooms end as soon as you reach capacity. By doing this, you can avoid accidental over- or double-booking and all the operational difficulties that come with it.
Spend less time and effort
Your team's time would be wasted manually updating prices and availability across numerous booking websites. And it's simple to miss or put off this duty, given everything else on the daily to-do list. Allow a channel manager to automate these procedures, so they are always completed on time and with minimal manual labour.
Get rid of human error
Manually updating your online channels is time-consuming, repetitious, and prone to mistakes. A hotel channel manager manages all this, and errors are less likely since data is transferred automatically between your PMS and online distribution platforms.
Assemble a reliable tech stack
The perfect integration is between your channel manager and your booking engine, revenue management (RMS), and reservation systems. You now have a centralized management system for all booking-related activities. Channel managers that connect to upselling tools and content management systems receive bonus points (CMS). This enables you to quickly update photographs of your hotel rooms, facilities, and other information across all channels to boost ancillary revenue.
Hopefully, by this point, you will have all the information you need regarding hotel channel managers. It's time to select the ideal distribution method for your hotel and take advantage of automation. Your reward will be more visibility, higher occupancy, and revenue, as well as the opportunity to encourage more direct reservations.