In today’s multi-channel distribution landscape, the Hotel Channel Manager Software has been one of the most crucial solutions hoteliers have at their disposal. A Channel Manager typically update the rates and availabilities across connected channels at one go. The advanced ones having XML integration with OTAs also deliver reservations made on the sites and syncs inventory thereby minimizing chances of accidental overbookings. Find out what to look for when selecting your next channel manager.
Third Party Integration
Unless you plan to overhaul your entire technology solutions including your Property Management System (PMS), Revenue Management System (RMS) or Central Reservation System (CRS), check whether the Channel Manager you are planning to invest on has an integration with your hotel systems. A 2-way XML interface between your PMS and Channel Manager would ensure capturing and delivering reservations generated at OTAs to the property management system in real-time, thereby eliminating manual handling of reservation notifications. Similarly, if the Channel Manager is integrated with your RMS, then the rate recommendations suggested by the Revenue Management System could automatically extrapolate in your channel manager, making your pricing strategy error free.
Seamless Connectivity with Online Sales Channels
There are hundreds of Channel Managers available in the market. Only a few offer XML interface with OTAs. Having seamless integration with online sales channels require technology expertise. However, seamless connectivity between OTAs and your Channel Manager would facilitate real-time data transfer thereby ensuring inventories are always in sync.
For an optimal- distribution mix, you would need connectivity with a wide range of online distribution channels including global and regional OTAs, metasearch, niche channels, GDS, wholesaler and tour operators. The longer the list of channels provided by your Channel Manager, the wider could be your potential reach. Hence which checking on Channel Manager solutions, take a note of the number of off-the-shelf channels that the system if offering. Here’s a quick tip. Most advanced Channel Managers would have connectivity with hundreds of online channels. By looking at their channel eco-system, you can geta fair idea of the solution you are considering.
Automatic Pooled Inventory
Very few channel managers offer pooled inventory model which allows hotels to allocate your inventories across all your channels including Brand website at the same time. This essentially allows hotels to work with any number of channels thereby broadening their distribution network and exposure to new market.
Data and Analytics
A good Channel Manager would provide not only sales statistics, but also other important KPIs like booking pace, channel performance, price-point analysis for hotel revenue managers to stay on top of their business. Evaluate which Channel Manage provides you with insights on insights on booking volume, competitor analysis, market rate movement and other important parameters to identify top performing channels and make adjustments to their distribution strategy.
Payment and Data Security
One of the biggest challenges for the hotel industry today is to keep security in check. Since Channel Managers delivering reservations has access to credit card information, it is important to safeguard guests’ information from data theft and cyber fraud. It is recommended to opt for a PCI DSS Certified Channel Manager to ensure you customer card data is fully protected. Further, the solution also needs to be GDPR compliant for data and privacy protection,
Ease of Use
Simplicity is beautiful. Simplicity is loved. A product might have loads of features, but what’s the us eof those features if it’s too complicated to handle. From Microsoft Office to iPhone – most successful products share a common philosophy – they are incredibly easy to use. The last thing an hotelier needs is to get confused with the complexities of a technology solution. Instead, when looking for your next Channel Manager, check how easy it would be to manage and how long would you need to spend every day to manage your online distribution.