What Is Integrated Channel Management For Hotel Businesses?
Direct bookings are fascinating for your hotel business to secure profits without paying commissions to third-party agencies. But, the other side of the market analysis tells that, only very few top hotels rely completely on direct bookings for their reservations and sales. All of the small and medium-sized hotels need to walk on two paths at the same time. And it means that you must market to acquire bookings from your direct sales channels and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) altogether. Running and managing sales from your website or mobile application seems easy, as you can easily manage and track your inventory out of it. But, when you are opening up to OTAs, it becomes a hassle to keep updating your availability on all the partnered channels. Hence, this is where integrated channel management comes into the scene. It can make it simple for you to manage the availability of your inventory across all OTAs. Do you want to know how?
Follow the article till the end, and you will have a new software solution to manage your hotel business aspects.
What Is A Channel Manager?
Channel manager is a software solution that helps hotel businesses manage their online distribution channels. These online distribution channels are the OTAs, travel agents, Global Distribution Systems (GDS), and every other mode, which is not the direct sales channel for a hotel business.
The job of a channel manager is to help businesses access live rates and room availability across different distribution channels from a central dashboard. Hence, this will minimize the overbooking concerns of your hotel throughout the on & off seasons.
A channel manager is equipped with a plethora of features to help your business manage the essential operational components of your business. So, it is important for you to assess the available features of your shortlisted channel manager before you can integrate it into your property management system.
Some of the common features of an integrated channel management solution include:
- Multiple channel integration
- Two-way integration
- Automatic distribution of hotel inventory
- Rate management
- Inventory management
- Easy customization
- Pooled inventory system
An integrated channel management system defines a collaborative working of all the distribution channels to update information on one another and ensure a streamlined experience on all those channels.
Suppose you have listed your hotel in 5 OTAs and have the same rooms listed for bookings in all of them. When a customer books a type of room on one OTA, the same should be updated across all the other OTA channels. It will ensure that the customers don’t book with false availability expectations. Hence, this is the job of an integrated channel management solution.
The same is for the prices as well. The channel management tools will allow you to change prices for specific room types or services on the central dashboard, which will get updated across all linked OTAs and other distribution channels. You don’t have to log into individual admin accounts to make those changes. Imagine the amount of time and effort your business will save with it.
Who Is In Need Of Integrated Channel Management Software?
Not just hotels, but every business that falls under the hospitality industry will need this software solution. Whether you have a luxury boutique hotel or a small guest house, you can leverage the potential of integrated channel management to improve your business management aspects. With this, you will prevent double bookings and increase your sales with a proper management approach.
Working Of An Integrated Channel Management Software
The channel manager will integrate with your Property Management System (PMS) to serve the purpose. It works as a mediator between the PMS and distribution channels. Your hotel channel management software solution will pull the information on rooms and prices from the central inventory, make the necessary information available over various channels, and update them instantly.
Every new reservation that is booked by the name of your hotel passes through the channel manager and reaches the PMS. In this way, the channel manager updates the reservation and consumption of inventory throughout all the channels and is then updated on the PMS and the central inventory.
The dates for a reservation will be booked for a particular room type and the services bought with it. In simple words, your room listings and pricing will be consistent and accurate across all OTAs and distribution channels. It doesn’t matter how many channels you advertise on, you don’t have to put in the manual effort anymore to update the data individually on all platforms.
You will have just one calendar for managing the room bookings on specific dates. It will be easy for the reservation department to retrieve information on bookings of any selected date. The channel manager by AxisRooms supports more than 50 OTA integrations for your hotel business.
Updating the price is easy for all the distribution channels by updating it once on your channel manager. But, if you want to set different pricing policies for different channels, then you will also have the feasibility of setting individual pricing rules for each distribution channel.
Benefits Of Integrated Channel Management
If you are a new hotel business and are not aware of the practical benefits associated with a channel manager, then here are a few of its benefits to help you get a glimpse at what it has to offer:
1. Minimize Overbookings
The channel manager helps your hotel business mark the availability of rooms across all the distribution channels. As a result, every booking will be updated and will reflect across all the linked channels. So, with this consistency of information, customers will know what to expect and book before processing the payments and completing the bookings.
Overbookings can cost you your brand reputation. So, the best way to avoid it is by using a channel manager and integrating it with your PMS.
2. Time Saver
It will help your reservation team save a lot of time making changes to individual distribution channels. You just need one person on the desk to update the price and rooms on a central dashboard. And rest everything will be updated automatically, as per the bookings made across those channels.
You don’t need to manually add or remove rooms during and after the booking period. You can lead your team to utilize the saved time for something more productive, to bring in more profit for your business.
3. Increase Global Visibility
The management hassle often restricts small hotel businesses from expanding their availability across various OTAs or distribution channels. But, with the use of a quality channel manager, this problem has been solved, and you can expand your hotel availability to more channels across the internet.
Hence, this will offer you the brand visibility you need across the globe. As a result, the reservation and occupancy rate will increase.
Find the Best Channel Manager to Scale Your Hotel Business
It is time for you to adapt technology and software solutions to improve the operations of your hotel business. A PMS might be the first pick to look after all the major inventory management aspects. But, the next big integration should be of a channel manager.
Integrate the channel manager with your PMS, and you will not have to manage multiple login credentials of different distribution channels ever again. Linking the OTAs and other channels to your channel manager will help you update the details automatically for every booking and selection made by the customer.
Accurate inventory information will be updated across all channels. And that is what will help you maintain brand consistency across all channels, which will contribute to easy management operations and build a reputation.
You need to consider various factors in order to find the best channel manager that would work best for you. The first thing to consider is the features that it has to offer. And when features are concerned, there is no better channel manager than what AxisRooms has to offer. Check out the website to learn more about it!