Know what a Channel Manager Software Does for your Hotel Business
A hotelier only ever wants to sell the greatest number of rooms, at the most lucrative price point. The obvious thing to do today would be to make a hotel’s inventory available at the most sought-after digital marketplace. Hoteliers place their rooms for rent on online platforms such as OTAs, metasearch engines, and even their own brand website to ensure that their customers are able to find them wherever they go to make their reservations. A Channel Manager system addresses this predicament.
A well-thought-out marketing and distribution strategy helps in making the most of all the online channels that are available at a hotelier’s disposal to get noticed by its audience and to ultimately receive more bookings. While inventory distribution across channels might be great for business, managing those channels manually can be extremely difficult, time-consuming, and inefficient. It is to solve this predicament that a product such as a channel manager system was launched. A hotel Channel Manager’s main feature is its ability to manage multiple online channels from a central point, striking out the need to manually update prices and room availability on different channels in the digital exchange. A Channel Manager system can therefore be defined as software that facilitates the sale of rooms on multiple channels, which, by way of being connected to them all, instantly updates availability once a booking is made or a change in inventory occurs.
With a sizable number of travelers opting for online mediums to do their research and to make their stay reservations, it has become necessary for hoteliers to make their presence known in the online world. Channel Management software helps them in effectively maneuvering the dynamics of a new marketplace, without having to pay a price by losing guests or the revenue they bring.
Channel Manager System Functions:
● Real-time update of inventory and rate: It saves you the hassle of going
from one channel to the other to update the status of room availability, every
time a booking is received. Rates can also be updated at one point, and the
change is carried out in all connected channels.
● Negates chances of overbookings and errors: It automatically updates
availability and rates in real-time, across all connected channels and avoids
any errors or chances of overbookings.
● Single dashboard for management: Its single dashboard gives access to
rates and left-over inventory on all channels, making it easy for you to
Now that you know what the basic function of a Channel Manager is, let us look at some other aspects of distribution channel management software that could bring benefits to your hotel business.
a. Increases Revenue
Channel Manager system opens a world of opportunities, quite literally, by connecting your hotel to a large number of booking channels. This distribution network works to bring in more reservations and therefore more revenue. With the room and rate updates happening as instantly as the bookings arrive, it makes it possible for you to accept bookings faster.
b. Lowers risk of overbookings and under bookings
Once a channel, tied to a Channel Manager system receives a booking, the software immediately updates the inventory across channels to show the actual number of rooms available for bookings and reduces the risk of overbookings. It’s simple –
rooms which aren’t available for bookings, cannot be booked by guests.
c. Analyses channel performance
Distributing your hotel’s inventory across multiple channels would definitely result in an increased number of bookings. But would all streams perform the same way for you? There is a possibility that they may not. A channel manager system gives you exact information about the channels that are working for you, by tracking and measuring them and also bestows you with the power to tweak your hotel’s marketing efforts, negotiate commissions with existing channels or cease partnerships with those that do not work for your business. This means that business strategies can be updated regularly as per trends in channel performance or reservations.
d. Builds brand recognition
In a competing marketplace, it may be an uphill task to make a mark as a brand. But with greater visibility, by way of being present on multiple online channels, one can hope to achieve greater recognition and also more bookings. A traveler from another part of the world, who may know nothing about your property, would have the opportunity to know you and book with you.
e. Promotes direct bookings
Direct bookings through your website, as an off-shoot of your presence on online channels, is natural. It is a tendency for people to search for details about a product or service before they give it a try. Similarly, many travelers who come across hotels on OTA or GDS platforms, navigate to a hotel’s website to learn more about it and end up making their booking there. Hotels that have a web booking engine like AxisRooms can capture their leads, without letting them get diverted elsewhere.
f. Quickens processes
When simple, repetitive, but tedious tasks are taken care of by a tool, which is built specifically for the purpose, then you have the capacity to channel your efforts towards other more important tasks and complete more tasks in less time.
g. Centralizes tech control
Because a Channel Manager system connects with multiple software, such as a property management system, a revenue management system and even a booking engine, it allows you to manage bookings, prices etc and the related operational tasks from a central point.
h. Lessens dependency on traditional booking mediums
With a steady presence on online mediums, the reservations that your hotel gets would increase, bringing in a constant flow of revenue. This takes off the reliance on traditional mediums of room bookings such as walk-ins or phone calls, though some travelers still prefer old methods.
i. Allows pre-planning
Channel Manager systems are being used by hoteliers for just managing multiple channels, but also for managing inventory at multiple properties. It is therefore a good idea to train enough staff members to use these tools. However, even in absence of a staff member who regularly manages things, nothing needs to go haywire. He/she has the authority and ability given by the tool to pre-set items such a price variation planned for an upcoming season or event.
In order to make use of the many benefits of a Channel Manager, it is important for you to carefully choose one that suits your business needs. Let us now take you through those key points which will help you make a rational decision while purchasing a Channel Manager.
What to look for in Channel Manager system?
– Does the Channel Manager system allow your business to integrate with the channels – OTAs, metasearch engines, GDSs etc. which you need?
– Is the Channel Manager system easy to use for all and does the company provide timely technical assistance whenever needed?
– Does the Channel Manager system bring you a considerable return for your investment?
Evaluate these points when it’s time for you to purchase a Channel Manager and manage your online channels effectively to bring in more revenue for your hotel business.