What is ThinkReservations?
ThinkReservations styles itself as an all-in-one property management solution built to streamline hotel businesses. Between the ThinkReservations booking system, PMS and channel manager, this ecosystem of tools promises to save time and increase bookings.
But is it the ideal solution for hotel businesses? Or might another tool, SiteMinder, be even better?
In this guide we’ll place these two hotel solutions side-by-side to understand their strengths, their weaknesses, and which might be the best option for your business.
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Why compare ThinkReservations and SiteMinder?
It’s important to conduct a comparison between ThinkReservations and SiteMinder because a hotel’s choice of platform can have a significant impact on its success moving forward. The right tool will offer all the functionality you require, and will allow you to streamline more effectively and grow faster.
ThinkReservations and SiteMinder both promise to enhance your hotel business. And per the SiteMinder and ThinkReservations reviews on HotelTechReport, both solutions are trusted by the industry. So which is best?
ThinkReservations is the product of a small team working out of Seattle, Washington. It offers a decent level of functionality, with its stated goals centring on driving more direct bookings, saving time through automation, and hotels putting the focus back on the guest.
Somewhat of an upstart in the hotel PMS space, ThinkReservations faces many of the common limitations that come from being a smaller player: customer support is limited to US office hours, integrations with booking channels and other hotel tech tools are limited, and insights aren’t as deep or powerful.
SiteMinder, meanwhile, is the world’s largest open hotel commerce platform. It is overflowing with best-in-class functionality, offering all that ThinkReservations offers and much, much more: business intelligence, marketing assistance, OTA partnerships and a powerful booking engine, to name but a few key features.
Like ThinkReservations, SiteMinder is a growth- and efficiency-focused platform, and one that has plenty of receipts to back up its claims, from a market-leading number of integrations to the ability for any hotel to build an optimised and fully functional hotel website in quick time.
Full comparison of ThinkReservations and SiteMinder
Both ThinkReservations and SiteMinder promise better ways to manage and grow your hotel, and the solutions share a number of similar tools and features to help you get to where you want to go, such as PMS capabilities, a booking engine and a channel manager.
But there are some distinct differences in these two offerings. A few key points of comparison include:
It is critical that your chosen hotel management tool can integrate with the other hotel software and tools you use, whether OTAs, GDSs, PMSs or third-party hotel apps. The more integrations a solution offers, the more capable and functional it will be, and the better it will help you streamline and grow your hotel.
ThinkReservations lists a total of 19 integration partners. Most notably it lacks integrations with critical channels like HotelBeds and Getaroom, which drive significant business for many hotels.
SiteMinder, meanwhile, offers a market-leading number of integrations: 1350+ in total, with 450+ across booking channels alone. No matter which technology platforms, OTAs, PMSs, CRSs, GDSs, wholesalers and hotel apps you might use, you can be far more confident that they will work seamlessly with SiteMinder.
Let’s say you’re wondering how to combine room reservations on ThinkReservations. Or worse, let’s say your tool just crashed. As a relatively small company based out of the US, ThinkReservations offers only limited support: you can only contact the company during the hours of 8am-7pm Mon-Fri Eastern US time. This can make things awkward if an issue arises, particularly for international customers. The support is also not offered on US holiday dates, when many hotels are at their busiest.
SiteMinder, meanwhile, offers truly global, 24/7 support. Local, dedicated success teams work in 20 different languages, providing one-on-one support from the very beginning to ensure you understand the platform and gain the best possible return from your technology investment. There’s also a tranche of online resources for those keen to find their own solutions.
Reporting and insights
A major point of difference between the two solutions is the level of insight each offers. The ThinkReservation reporting suite is limited, showing only simple accounting and reservation statistics. While it is capable of generating predictive analysis, such as yield management reports that forecast demand and guide rate adjustments, some users say that these reports don’t convert well to Excel.
A solution that comes complete with a powerful business intelligence tool, Siteminder offers deep and comprehensive reporting. A user can use real-time rate intelligence to compare their offerings against direct competitors and adjust them accordingly. You can also identify and capitalise on trends relating to your customers, your competitors and your destination.
ThinkReservation offers direct connections with just four payment platforms: Heartland, MPI, Stripe and Braintree. If you don’t use any of these platforms you’ll need to connect through an Authorize.net account, a US credit card processing platform with a $25 USD monthly gateway fee and a 2.9% transaction fee. It can therefore be tricky and expensive to manage ThinkReservation payments, and the solution doesn’t make mention of real-time payment processing.
SiteMinder offers real-time payment processing, which enables fast, accurate reconciliation within its real-time transaction dashboard. There are no setup fees, no monthly fees and no hidden fees – just a small transaction commission fee. All payments are fully secure and PCI-DSS compliant.
ThinkReservations is desktop only. A user needs to bookmark the booking calendar on their web browser. The lack of ThinkReservations app means that there’s also no way to integrate a calling service through your smartphone.
SiteMinder is available as an iOS and Android app for your smartphone and tablet. The app offers great functionality, allowing you to view your property dashboard, manage rates and availability via an easy to use grid, check the status of your property and guests, and get in touch with the SiteMinder support team via a handy chat function.
Why is SiteMinder the best ThinkReservations alternative?
If you’re considering ThinkReservations as your preferred hotel management solution, it may be worth thinking again. In SiteMinder you have a tool that offers pretty much all the functionality offered through the ThinkReservations login, as well as a whole lot more, at a very compelling price.
Increase direct revenue
Both ThinkReservations and SiteMinder put a focus on direct bookings – and so they should. By getting guests to book directly with you, you get to keep the 15%-25% commission fees commonly charged by OTAs like Booking.com and Expedia.
Only SiteMinder, however, brings together a powerful direct booking engine, a transparent hotel payment processing tool and a dedicated hotel website builder. It’s up to you whether you integrate the booking engine and payment processor with your current site, or create a new, fully functional website designed to attract more direct bookings!
Smooth integration to channels
With the ability to connect with 450+ OTAs and booking channels, SiteMinder boasts unmatched distribution coverage, particularly when compared to the 19 integrations listed by ThinkReservations. No matter which booking channels you use, from the biggest to the most niche, you can be confident in SiteMinder’s ability to integrate.
Maintain direct communication with guest
Guest engagement is a central focus of the SiteMinder solution, both in terms of the automation that gives you more time to focus on the guest experience, and the purpose-built Guest Engagement tool, which does everything from providing a digital check-in experience, to sending personalised upsell offers, to requesting feedback after a stay.
SiteMinder can form a team of backroom staff who work 24/7 on the low value and laborious stuff, so you and your team can focus on the high value and fun stuff. Any number of processes can be streamlined, such as how the channel manager can bring all your booking channels together on one screen, allowing you to update pricing and availability instantly across all OTAs.
Drive bookings from social media and metasearch
SiteMinder is uniquely placed to increase your direct bookings. The metasearch expertise offered by our Demand Plus team puts your hotel up in lights on platforms like Google Hotels, TripAdvisor and Trivago.
And with automation blessing you with extra time, you can focus more on curating and enhancing your social media presence, driving even more bookings.