The travel and tourism industry has seen a major revolution with the advent of the internet as the primary source of information and action for customers. Earlier, people would call up hotels and make bookings personally or just drive to the destination and look for a suitable stay option. Now, that can be avoided with a hotel channel manager.
If you are planning a trip, all you have to do is search for suitable hotels on the internet and take your pick. The entire booking system has now been automated by easy channel manager software, including special requests and customized services.
This is where channel management software for hotels comes in. In marketing terms, channel management refers to the process through which a company can develop an integrated strategy to reach the widest customer base through various channels.
In hotel bookings, this refers to the technique of advertising your hotels on multiple channels and managing all of them together, to ensure a smooth experience for your prospective guests.
What Exactly is a Hotel Channel Manager Software?
Before diving into the specifics of a channel manager, you need to know what is a channel management system for hotels.
A channel manager software helps hotel owners manage customer data, online inventory, and price rates effectively across multiple channels. With its help, hotels can simultaneously update all their information on multiple platforms, thereby reducing manual labor and abolishing the task of making changes to listings one at a time.
A hotel channel manager software works to make the hotel booking experience for guests uniform and accurate. It prevents overbooking and makes sure potential guests are kept informed about the changing availability and prices. For a user-friendly and streamlined experience, hotel managers should definitely use this software to manage bookings.
In the present scenario, the best way to attract more customers is through online advertising. As a customer, I would trust a hotel that has a strong online presence, with photos, reviews, and price information.
So, if a hotel owner does not list their property on multiple channels, travel agent websites, and their own website, they tend to lose out on prospective guests. However, maintaining so many different channels becomes a tedious task that is prone to update delays and overbooking. That’s why you should trust the best hotel channel manager for your business.
A hotel channel management system allows the listing and sale of rooms on all connected booking sites at the same time. When a particular room is booked, the information is updated automatically on all platforms to avoid availability issues. With an online channel manager, you never lose out on guests or revenue.
Workings of an Easy Channel Manager
The aim of a hotel channel manager is to provide real-time updated information across multiple online booking portals. Hotels can use a centralized dashboard that allows various functions like live room rates, vacancies, room availability, services, etc.
Like any other pipeline management software, it integrates all the associated features on a single platform to make it easier for hotel owners to manage their information everywhere on the internet. Any changes made on this system reflect automatically and immediately on all portals.
Both smaller hotels and large hospitality chains can benefit greatly from this software. An OTA channel manager provides targeted solutions for franchises. In a market where almost 85 percent of customers choose to book their hotel stay online, channel managers are a crucial part of the hospitality ecosystem. The best hotel channel manager works perfectly with big platforms like Booking.com, Airbnb, and so on.
Creating a diverse sales network for your property helps attract international guests as well, thereby increasing revenue and ensuring steady bookings. A distribution channel management software lets you integrate as many channels as you want, without slowing down the process or increasing workload.
Choosing the Right Hotel Channel Manager Software
There are several easy channel manager systems that you can adopt for your booking system. However, choosing the right software makes a lot of difference. This choice may depend on a variety of factors, including:
The best hotel channel manager must have all the required features in your budget. In this aspect, you can choose based on the scale of your business, the number of channels to be integrated, and the number of properties to be managed.
2) Number and types of rooms
If your property has various types of rooms in a large number, your management software must be capable of integrating all the variants successfully on all channels.
3) Number of channels to be reached
The prospective channels include booking websites such as Booking.com, Airbnb, travel agency websites, your own website, social media links, and so on.
4) Target Audience
Do you want your listings to be visible to people in a particular area or internationally? This determines what kind of software you may end up choosing.
5) Pre-installed applications on your system
Your hotel distribution channel manager must be compatible with your existing systems and integrate all the functions on a single dashboard successfully.
Some other factors involved in choosing the best hotel channel manager are:
- Your ideal mix of channels
- Profile optimization preferences
- The frequency of rate changes
- The promotions and offers you want to run
- Any extra benefits or services you support
A hotel distribution software also gives an insight into which platform delivers higher successful bookings, which platform sees most cancellations, and so on, so you can make a calculated business decision of which website to focus on.
Benefits of a Channel Manager Software
There are multiple benefits of a cloud channel manager, both for the guests and hotel owners.
a) Make online bookings easier
There is a huge importance of channel management in marketing your hotel online. When your hotel listing displays the same room options, prices, and services in every online hotel booking engine, it makes the user experience smooth.
A channel manager helps you achieve this with minimal efforts and real-time results.
b) Increase revenue
As your online visibility increases, so does your revenue. Choosing the right channel for advertising helps you reach the right audience at the right time and thus boosts conversion rates.
As a prospective guest, I can now book the hotel and room of my choice without having to call anyone or having any grueling conversations. The booking and payment process is smooth, and I am immediately notified if a certain room has been booked already.
c) Create brand recognition
In this competitive market, brand recognition is important for long-term sustenance. An easy channel manager helps you build recognition over many platforms and many types of audiences. It also creates a good impression through photos and customer reviews.
d) Boost direct bookings
Often, a channel manager system boosts direct bookings as potential guests may choose to visit your website after coming across your listing on an OTA. Before making the final decision, they read up info on your website, check out photos, and often opt for a direct sale, which leads to a better profit margin.
e) Integrate technology stack
Hotel distribution management works by creating an integrated tech stack, wherein any changes you make on the system will be updated in multiple extranets. Through this central management system, you can control all your hotel operations, listings, and price models.
f) Reduce risk of overbooking
The best hotel channel manager would work efficiently to prevent overbooking. If you’re advertising on multiple channels, there are high chances that more than one guest would end up booking the same room on the same date.
If not regulated, the hotel would end up getting overbooked, leading to a logistical nightmare. Real-time updates through a central management system ensures all listings reflect room availability accurately.
g) Centralize all channels
Operating all channels through a central dashboard greatly optimizes the workflow and ensures that there is no misrepresentation for prospective guests. It also helps track booking data, analyze sales channels, and make universal changes in the information.
h) Automate bookings
All bookings are automated and coordinated through an easy channel manager. Guests can choose their rooms, request special services, enquire about additional benefits, and finalize the deal without having to reach anyone manually. This greatly expedites the booking process and makes it user-friendly.
i) Ensure scalability
Scalability is a key factor in any business, and using a channel manager for business operations ensures this in the long run. This is applicable for small boutique hotels as well as big corporate hotel chains.
j) Provide customer satisfaction
Hospitality thrives on customer satisfaction. With the correct channel management solution, hotel owners can ensure a seamless experience for potential guests, with the promised room, service, food, and so on.
Customer satisfaction results in good reviews, brand building, higher revenue, and better business performance.
Why is Channel Manager Software a must-have post COVID?
A channel manager software has always been a smart solution for hotel owners. However, it has become all the more important in this pandemic era. The Covid-19 pandemic has driven all tourism and hospitality businesses into trouble due to quarantine rules and the prevention of human contact.
Now that the whole world is gradually opening up and travel has started again, a centralized channel manager has gained more prominence.
- Manual services have shifted to the virtual space; thus contactless bookings are very important.
- A centralized system ensures guests can make bookings and travel arrangements with minimal human contact.
- This system can be accessed and regulated from anywhere; hence the entire staff need not be present at the property to ensure smooth operations.
- It prevents overcrowding by updating booking information in real-time.
- It helps to broadcast all safety measures and hotel guidelines to guests well in advance, so they can plan their stay accordingly.
In every aspect, a channel manager can only improve your business prospects and make your tasks easier through booking automation. AxisRooms channel manager is one such solution. But if you’re still wondering how to choose the right platform for your requirements, that is also easy to figure out. Any confusion to choose the right system can be solved by taking a channel manager demo before investing in the platform.