In today’s dynamic and competitive marketplace, almost all hotels are resorting to channel management to manage room rates and availability across OTAs and maximize revenue. Numerous channel managers are mushrooming, with each one of them claiming a unique functionality and technology. This makes the selection of an efficient channel manager not only difficult but confusing too.
8 top tips to choose the most optimal channel management technology for your hotel’s distribution strategy.
1. Advanced user interface
Hotels manage huge volumes of data across multiple channels. Opt for a channel manager that can enable daily tasks – yield management, rate distribution, monitoring, reservations tracking or delivery of the reservation data into PMS – from a single interface for a streamlined administration.
2. OTA contract facilitation
A channel manager may support numerous OTAs in a hotel’s source market, however, it is of no use if the hotel does not distribute on those channels. It must act as a liaison between an OTA and the hotel for contracting purposes to widen the hotel’s reach and enhance visibility on new channels.
3. Cloud-based channel management
A cloud based channel management offers hotels to remain connected with prospective guests and access the data from anywhere, anytime. Indeed, such systems have an in-built redundancy that keeps the back-up ready and data running even during a server break down.
4. Connected channels and upgradation
A channel manager must support a wide array of channels in a hotel’s source market, but shouldn’t be restricted to online channels. Failure to track offline bookings or manage direct bookings can be detrimental for the hotel’s overall revenue strategy. Get a channel manager that can enhance control over both distributed prices and availability across distribution points. Also, ask for:
– Number of channels that can be connected
– Ease of connecting an unavailable channel
5. Customisation according to channel
No OTA works similarly; some offer rates inclusive of tax while others keep it separate. Accordingly, their extranets also accept rates in a similar fashion. A channel manager should allow a user to enter rates in a single format and be smart enough to do relevant calculations followed by passing it on apt extranets.
6. Automated Inventory Management
Managing individual inventory allocation is definitely a hassle! A smart channel manager allows allocating inventory to a common pool rather than individual OTAs, hence saving time and effort involved in managing rate parity. It also supports creation of promotions and pushing them directly to the extranets.
7. Productivity Analytics
An efficient channel manager offers hotels deep insights and analytics on channel partners’ performance to help them optimize their revenue management strategy.
8. Training & support
Your best bet will also be the one that comes along with dedicated support, offering complete guidance to how to make the most of it.