Profit maximization is a significant priority for hotels and motels in the competitive landscape of the hospitality sector. According to Hotels.com data, 50% of mobile bookings for rooms are done at the last minute.
This trend implies excellent potential for hotels to sell their rooms until the last minute. Also, by closely monitoring your competitors’ rates, you’ll be able to make the best pricing decisions to guarantee those last rooms are sold without loss.
The best way to do this is to optimize your channel manager to monitor your inventory in real-time. This is because a reliable, constant flow of information depends on a two-way link to your hotel’s multiple booking platforms.
Channel management is the strategic planning and implementation of numerous channels by which hotels offer guests their rooms and services. These channels can be anything like online travel agencies (OTAs), global distribution systems (GDS), direct reservations, metasearch engines, and others.
Moreover, the process involves coordinating, organizing, and optimizing these channels to maximize sales revenue and improve customer happiness. Additionally, channel management process optimization is critical since it immediately affects a property’s reach, exposure, and revenue potential.
This article discusses hotel channel management and how you can optimize it to enhance your hotel’s profits. Read along!
What is Channel Management?
Channel management is the process of building and maintaining distribution channels via which you can promote your hotel’s rooms and offer them to customers. This includes managing connections with resellers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers.
Channel management aims to ensure that the appropriate products reach the right clientele at the right time while peaking profitability for all parties involved. Effective hotel channel management requires the development of strategies for channel selection, partner recruiting, training, and support, as well as observing and analyzing channel performance.
Also, effective channel management necessitates a thorough awareness of customer demands and behavior and the ability to adjust to changing market conditions and competition activity.
How Does Channel Management Affect Prices?
In channel pricing, the value of a product or service is based on the whole customer experience, including how they deal with the distribution channel. This is different from traditional pricing, which is mainly based on how competitive the market is.
If the hotel’s channel pricing is incorrect, it will never fully pick the value of its offering. It would help if you defined price levels for distinct consumer segments, with several channels serving each piece, to achieve a successful distribution strategy in supply chain management.
Here are some more ways that hotel channel management affects prices:
Costs like shipping, storage, promotion, and sales commissions are part of all distribution channels. These costs incurred by intermediaries are reflected in product pricing.
Discounts and promotions
Distribution channels frequently provide deals and promotions to increase sales and attract customers. These discounts, like trade discounts or discounts based on sales, can ultimately change how much the product costs. For example, you may provide a trade discount to Booking.com, letting the platform sell the room at a more discounted price to customers.
Margin and Markup
Each intermediary in the distribution chain adds its markup or margin to the cost of the product. As your hotel’s room progresses through the channel, every intermediary applies their chosen profit margin, raising the total price paid by the end user.
The number of intermediaries participating in the distribution channel might affect the pricing. More extended distribution channels with many intermediaries often result in higher pricing as markups and costs accumulate throughout the chain. On the other hand, shorter distribution channels with fewer intermediaries may result in lower prices because there are fewer markups and charges to consider.
Distribution networks can influence pricing in reaction to market rivalry. To attract clients, intermediaries may compete or negotiate pricing arrangements with manufacturers based on their market strength. This competitive atmosphere inside the distribution channel can impact the ultimate price offered to customers.
5 Strategies to Optimize Pricing
Channels of distribution can significantly affect pricing tactics – exclusive or luxury rooms, for example, may be distributed through exclusive channels at higher prices to retain exclusivity and perceived value. On the other hand, products having a mass market appeal may be supplied through more extensive channels, leading to lower prices to reach a broader client base.
Here are some of the best strategies to optimize prices of your hotel bookings:
This method occurs when a corporation provides a new room at a relatively low price to capture considerable market share or consumer attention. Even unique hotels employ this strategy to establish brand awareness, with the underlying goal of aggressive marketing to drive a significant market share up the sales funnel.
Also known as a ‘manufacturer-aligned pricing strategy,’ this method sets a room’s price at the same level as competitors’ quotes. When a room has been on the market for a long time, and its pricing has reached an equilibrium, companies transition to competitive pricing. New businesses also use this method to de-risk their pricing decisions at the start of the business.
This pricing strategy is based on how consumers value a product or service rather than the cost of generating it. High-end hotels, for example, use customer-centric pricing – they price their rooms higher to give them a luxurious appeal.
Selling rooms or other services for little profit rooms allows you to sell as many units as feasible. Because strategic pricing is based on the volume of products sold, it is used to achieve a big market share. However, significant financial backing is required to cover the losses caused by this pricing and distribution strategy.
This approach is used when a specific percentage or amount is added to a rival’s price, resulting in the selling price of a product or service.
How to Optimize Your Channel Management?
Here are some of the best ways to optimize your hotel channel management for enhanced revenue:
Develop Channel Goals
This includes outlining the aims and objectives for the distribution channel – it considers elements including market coverage, sales goals, customer satisfaction, and brand positioning. Channel strategies define the structure method, picking partners, and resource allocation to fulfill the objectives.
Select Channel Partners
Choosing the proper channel partners is crucial for channel management success. Companies must find possible partners who share their goals, have a strong market presence, relevant expertise, and a commitment to mutual success.
Implement Communication Channels
Communication and coordination are critical for flawless collaboration between the company and its channel partners. Clear lines of communication, information sharing, training and assistance, and developing solid connections all aid in aligning strategies, managing obstacles, and optimizing channel performance.
Measure Channel Performance
Companies can examine the success of their distribution networks by regularly monitoring and measuring channel performance. Key performance indicators (KPIs), such as market share, sales volume, customer satisfaction, partner performance, and inventory turnover, are monitored to identify areas for improvement and implement corrective measures.
Change Distribution Channels
The business environment is changing, and distribution channels must adapt and change to keep up. This entails regularly analyzing market trends, client preferences, the competitive landscape, and technology improvements. Hotels must be adaptable and agile regarding channel strategy, partner relationships, and operational procedures; this can aid in improving the performance and efficiency of distribution routes.
How to Use a Hotel Channel Manager to Enhance Profits?
Channel management software for hotels is a technological solution that allows hotels to sell rooms on many online booking sites (channels) at the same time. It is the digital equivalent of having a worldwide sales team and a reservations department open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A channel manager software for hotels can help your business in a variety of ways:
Save time and money
Using a centralized dashboard to handle your inventory and bookings may save time and money that would otherwise be spent manually changing your pricing and availability across numerous channels.
Optimize your pricing strategy
A channel manager can assist you in setting the proper room prices by monitoring market demand, competition rates, and other factors, ensuring that you stay competitive and maximize your revenue.
Improve your guest experience
By keeping your availability and rates up to date throughout all channels, you can provide guests with a streamlined booking experience, increasing their pleasure and loyalty.
Increase your reach
A channel manager enables you to distribute your inventory to different internet channels, such as online travel agencies (OTAs), metasearch engines, and direct booking engines, allowing you to increase your visibility and reach more potential guests.
Reduce the risk of human mistake
A channel manager automates changing your availability and prices across all channels, lowering the risk of human error, overbooking, and cancellations.
Businesses looking to manage their pricing strategy efficiently across numerous channels must invest in robust software. For example, hotel channel management software delivers real-time updates on seasonal demands, rival prices, and base prices, allowing you to make intelligent pricing decisions.
Furthermore, it can assist organizations in industries with constantly shifting market conditions, such as food choices or adventures, where prices might move swiftly. The software may also track price changes and provide insights into pricing trends, allowing you to make more informed decisions.