Should you use a Channel Manager?

11 October 2013 •  Motel Business

Channel Management

What to expect from your Channel Manager

If there was a way to increase your hotel’s occupancy and generate a higher volume of online bookings, all while saving time and resources you would want to know about it right? Well this technology does exist and it is called a channel manager, so if you want to find out a little more about channel management so that you can make the right decision to suit your business needs here is the basic information you need to know…

Due to technological advances you will probably find that most of your bookings are now coming from online booking providers or your own website, therefore it is vital that you have the right systems and tools in place to capitalise on this growing phenomenon.

A channel manager is a system that allows you to maintain your hotel’s rate and availability distribution across numerous third-party sales sites simultaneously and seamlessly. You can manage your bookings easily, change prices and inventory and easily change your inclusions for all sites with one single point of entry. The idea is to manage your calendar just once, yet update dozens of booking sites simultaneously. You could save hours and even days each month managing calendars on multiple booking sites.

With a channel manager there is no need for logging on to multiple websites, checking availability manually, trying to rearrange room availabilities and avoiding duplication as it is all done automatically by the channel manager. Sites like Wotif, Expedia, Agoda, Booking.com etc are a great way of increasing your occupancy rates, the downside is that each website needs to be updated multiple times to stop over bookings. A channel manager eliminates these problems.

The channel manager retrieves information about your hotel’s availability and then transmits this information to all online booking channels instantly. Most channel management software does not require the property to upload any software onto their computer systems as channel management software is entirely web based making it simple and easy to access. Nearly all channel managers operating throughout Australia and New Zealand have no lock in contracts and free trials, giving you flexibility and peace of mind.

Benefits of a Channel Manager:

  • • Consolidate and automates an unlimited amount of internet revenue channels into one easy to manage channel
  • • Increases your hotel’s online sales presence
  • • Seamless integration of multiple hotel properties – manage all your properties at once
  • • Updates rate and availability information by logging into each provider website individually to vary booking site rates
  • • Update your channel manager for your provider sites using your smart phone, remote computer or laptop.
  • Some Channel Managers will offer other features and services such as:

  • • Hotel Property Management System or Front Office System,
  • • Ability to have overlapped rooms so that you can sell the same room in multiple ways to maximise your bookings,
  • • Automatically manage applicable tariffs for multiple nights booking,
  • • Social media interfaces to optimise your business social media profile
  • • Website design & mobile website designs to increase your online visibility,
  • • Unlimited channels at no extra cost and with the fast growth of the market worldwide they should also be adding new channels constantly,
  • • Access to strategies to counteract negative social media reviews,
  • • PMS system integration without an interface,
  • • Search Engine Optimisation to raise your search ranking on search engines such as Google
  • • Bulk allocation and updates,
  • • Free Help Desk 365 days a year.

Booking Engines

Booking engines which are commonly known as a Book and Pay Button, Book Now or Booking Buttons are another vital aspect of maximising your online presence by consolidating and converting your web traffic into actual bookings.  When researching what channel manager best suits your needs check to see that your channel manager has the booking engine facility along with the capability to add a booking engine to Facebook or other social media sites to generate even more bookings for your Hotel.

Having a booking engine on your website gives you the opportunity to add extra services such as airport transfers, meals, tours etc. Most booking engines can be customised to meet your establishment’s requirements and are easily added to your website.

So basically what a Channel Manager will do is increase your distribution channels to maximise your revenue opportunities and eliminate over bookings and a booking engine placed on your website will convert your webtraffic into actual bookings instantly. You and your staff have more important things to tackle during your day, let a Channel Manager do it for you.

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