Channel manager: what is it, why have it and how to choose it?
The Channel Manager, or distribution manager, is software that allows you to update rates, availability, inventory closures and other details relating to your property in real-time on online portals and on your website. Besides to OTAs (Booking.com, Expedia, Airbnb, HRS, etc.), a channel manager also interfaces with GDS portals (Global Distribution System) and metasearch engines. It also allows you to download bookings from online channels directly into your PMS.
In other words, with a channel manager, it is possible to manage all the interlocutors of your structure from a single dashboard. Whether your property is a hotel, a B&B or an apartment agency, this has several advantages.
The advantages of the channel manager
- It allows you to save time. You can avoid accessing the various extranets of the connected channels (Booking.com, Expedia, Google Hotel Ads, Trivago, HRS, Agoda and others) every time you need to update them.
- It reduces the risk of overbooking. Thanks to the real-time update, you won’t run the risk of selling the same room or apartment many times.
- It makes you receive more bookings. By managing all inventory from a single platform, you can open all your availability without limiting the number of units per portal.
- It improves the visibility of your property. By using a channel manager, you no longer have to worry about selling your rooms or apartments to a “manageable” number of portals. You will thus have a wider online presence and you will be able to make your property known in new markets.
How to choose the right channel manager?
There are many channel managers on the market. In choosing the one that best suits your needs, you must keep in mind some essential characteristics:
- It must connect via XML or 2-way integration to the main online booking portals. Only in this way, it will be able to guarantee simultaneous and real-time synchronization of prices and availability. Discover here all the channels with which RoomCloud integrates in 2 ways.
- It must connect to the PMS and the Booking Engine of the property. To ensure efficient management, the CM needs to connect to the planning of the property. It is thus necessary to choose a CM already integrated with your PMS. Here you can find the list of PMS integrated with RoomCloud.
- It must provide clear and detailed statistical reports. Finally, the channel manager is a valuable source of data, as it collects all information from bookings received online. To be able to leverage this information in your sales strategy, you need to use a CM that presents it clearly. The new RoomCloud dashboard shows relevant data on your bookings at a glance.