September 6, 2023
If you're looking to grow your business or spend less time updating rooms and rates across distribution channels, it may be time for your hotel to invest in an advanced channel management solution.
Choosing a channel manager is an important business decision, and with various options on the market, it's essential to select the right one for your hotel.
Let’s look at what you should consider when choosing a channel manager for your business.
What to Look for When Choosing a Channel Manager
Supported by an Open API
An open API, also known as a public API, is an application programming interface that enables various systems to connect, such as apps, software, and programs. This capability allows channel managers to customize and synchronize your rates, availability, and inventory data across OTAs and sales channels.
A channel manager backed by an open API improves efficiency by connecting directly to an all-in-one property management system (PMS). This two-way integration enables your PMS to receive reservation requests from third-party channels and your channel manager to implement availability and pricing updates made in your PMS.
When choosing a channel manager, it’s essential to determine if reporting tools are included. You can only optimize your distribution strategies if you know how your rates are performing across channels and identify growth opportunities.
For example, business intelligence (BI) can help you answer detailed questions about booking trends and performance, how much revenue each channel generates, and which channels are the most profitable. You can then modify your strategies to get the most out of each channel.
Channel Leverage and Optimization
Another consideration when vetting channel manager vendors is evaluating whether they connect to the OTAs you need for your hotel. While hundreds of channels and third-party websites exist, selecting the right ones are vital.
Your channel manager should allow you to maximize the profitability of all your channels and OTAs, not just connect to them. A great channel manager will also allow you to market to new channels to find new visitors without sacrificing efficiency or revenue generation.
Reliable and Flexible Connectivity
Real-time connectivity is one of the best advantages of great hotel channel managers.
It is more crucial than ever to be able to lessen the requirement for human involvement in a time of staff reductions. Minimal intervention is possible with real-time connectivity through your channel manager.
A channel manager that doesn’t have reliable, flexible connectivity to multiple channels can cause overbooking and leave large sums of revenue on the table.
Your channel manager must be able to integrate with and connect to your existing systems, such as your PMS, if you want to fully leverage what it offers.
Having PMS compatibility with your channel manager will help you save time by automating reservation information into your internal systems without manual intervention.
Channel managers should integrate easily with your current PMS to simplify inventory management, expenditures, and preparation for visitors. Additionally, without PMS compatibility, your channel manager will require more manual upkeep and produce less ROI as potential will be limited.
The Difference Between Effective and Ineffective Channel Managers
What an Effective Channel Manager Can Do
The best channel managers update availability, data, and pricing across all connected channels without compromising functionality or speed.
With an effective channel manager, it’ll stop taking reservations for booked rooms. Room sales will end as soon as you reach capacity, creating a stress-free experience for you and your guests.
Additionally, your inventory is instantly updated by the channel manager on all associated channels whenever a reservation is received. Doing this can prevent accidental overbooking or double-booking across all properties.
Updated Data and Pricing
It is a waste of time for your team to manually update prices and data across numerous booking websites when a channel manager integrated with a PMS can automate those tasks for you.
Once data, pricing, and availability are updated, changes are implemented across your channels for accurate booking information at every touchpoint.
What an Ineffective Channel Manager Looks Like
More Manual Work
Manual entry of booking information risks errors, reduces time to help guests, and causes channels to fall out of sync with your pricing strategy, which can lead to lost revenue. Additionally, an ineffective channel manager can result in overbooking.
With an effective channel manager connected to your PMS, you won't spend unnecessary time fixing overbookings since your availability and pricing are constantly in sync.
Visitors feel more at ease making seamless, fair, updated, and stress-free reservations.
When connected to the right hotel PMS, you and your guests will have consistency across all your channels and website, including pricing consistency. Your guests will no longer need to wonder if rooms are available, worry about overbooking, or if the price is accurate through their preferred booking channel.
With an ineffective or outdated channel manager, you could be missing out on additional marketing opportunities — and reduced revenue as a result.
Hotels maximize revenue using advanced pricing and booking tools — two features an ineffective channel manager fails to provide. In an industry where innovation and operational efficiency are vital to success, your business cannot afford to use a lackluster, subpar channel manager.
Find an Effective Channel Manager with All-in-One Software
The importance of a great channel manager cannot be overstated.
With a top channel manager connected to all-in-one software, you will have direct access to a vast array of other supportive tools, features, and resources to lead your business to operational excellence.
Solonis is not just an all-in-one software solution that connects to a channel manager, but it has its own channel manager built in to help consolidate all your tools and data in one place.
Discover the full power of a channel manager backed by a modern hotel PMS built for hotels just like yours with our Ultimate Guide to All-in-One Management Software.