Set up Email Alerts
Get email alerts about businesses listed for sale that match your buying criteria.
Receive solid buying opportunities straight to your inbox each week.Sign Up Now
What are the Advantages of a Channel Manager?
A channel manager lets you easily manage your hotel's rates and availability distribution across various third-party sites simultaneously. Its function is surprisingly simple: you manage your bookings by changing prices, inventory and inclusions without having to change settings across multiple sites. It's efficient and reduces the risk of making an error.
Why Do You Need This System?
For many hotels, a large percent of bookings come from third-party websites, as these are the sites that continuously advertise. They also have a global reach, ensuring people can find your hotel or motel no matter where they are in the world. Leverage third-party booking sites and you don’t have to worry about advertising yourself or even maintaining a website, although having one is very useful.
Of course, you pay a fee or a percentage rate, as this is how the sites make their money. However, the uptick in bookings more than makes up for this.
The disadvantage is that there are so many channels available: Wotif, Expedia, Booking.com and Agoda are just a few. Even if you opt only to use a couple of them, you still have to change settings across multiple sites every time you get a booking on one of them. If you are a particularly busy hotel or it’s peak season, you may spend hours every day making sure each site is updated, costing you time and money.
How Does a Channel Manager Work?
As soon as a booking is made on one site, the channel manager automatically updates all the other websites in real time. This reduces the likelihood of a double booking. Because the systems are entirely cloud-based, you don’t have to have a computer running, and you don’t have to download any software to access it. Instead, it functions entirely through your browser.
This is particularly useful if you have multiple properties. It lets you update rates according to demand, and you can reduce prices even if you aren't at the property. Indeed, many of these channel managers have integrated Android or iOS applications, so you can use a tablet or smartphone to make changes on the fly.
What Do Different Channel Managers Offer?
Different channel managers offer different benefits. Some provide a complete property management and front office system, whereas others are much more basic. The one that you choose depends on your own needs and your current commitments to software.
If you have dormitories, some software allows customers to purchase multiple beds across the room, so you can sell the room in different ways to maximise profit. Most automatically manage various tariffs you set for multi-night bookings, and they let you create bulk allocations and updates in the event you have group bookings phoned through to the hotel.
To save money and reduce potential hassles, look for options with a free helpdesk.
A fully comprehensive system also helps you manage your online reputation, letting you counteract negative reviews and incorporate social media interfaces to boost your profile on websites such as Twitter and Facebook.
Booking engines let you offer additional services outside of accommodation. A good booking engine can help you set up tours, airport transfers and meals in addition to straight accommodation, letting you give customers a fully comprehensive stay. Marketing these extra services sets you apart on social media and the web.
Overall, a channel manager helps to increase revenue by maximising the number of distribution channels you have and minimising customer dissatisfaction by keeping your room availability accurate across multiple websites. This ensures you can get on with the running of your hotel, motel or other accommodation business without having to worry about constantly updating websites.
For further information about this article, contact your nearest LINK Business Broking office at: