Finding the best channel manager is the key to the success of your hotel’s distribution strategy. Online distribution is more important now than it’s ever been before and tomorrow it will be more urgent again, such is the rapidly increasing rate of today’s online environment, online travel agent landscape, and advancing hotel technology.
The number of ways people can book their travel is growing almost as fast as the amount of people traversing the world. It’s no secret international travel has doubled since 1995, and despite pockets of security concerns, it continues to grow.
Mostly, travel is cheaper and more accessible, but technology has arguably been the biggest influence.
An explosion of online booking options has kept apace with the developments of the Internet and other technology, like mobile devices. In the US, 50% of travellers using digital means to book a trip are doing so on a mobile device.
In conjuction, online travel agents are proving one of the most popular places to make these bookings. Currently, almost half of all gross online bookings are conducted via OTAs, with the number set to increase to more than 50% by 2017.
All of this culminates in a pressing need for hotels to be switched on to the strategies of adapting to the modern state of affairs. Optimising websites for mobile and search engines are high on the checklist but connecting to OTAs stands large in attracting bookings.
Without connecting to a lot of the big channels, you won’t be securing the number of guests you need, so your revenue will likely suffer.
Even this isn’t enough. To maximise bookings, hotels need to manage these channels effectively and efficiently, something that can only be done via the best channel manager. Use SiteMinder’s Channel Manager to boost revenue, raise profit, and save time.
Here are 8 ways The Channel Manager will improve your online distribution:
1. Increase online bookings
A report by Skift states telephone bookings are down by 8% while online bookings are up by 7% so it stands to reason online bookings will be the dominant method from here into the future. The Channel Manager positions your hotel in the best place to accept bookings from your chosen distribution channels.
2. Increase your hotel’s revenue
The Channel Manager enables you to display your live availability and promote all your rooms at once across as many channels as you want, meaning you can accept more bookings faster. You can also choose how your rates display on each channel. Depending on performance and commission fees you may adjust rates or use a rate multiplier.
3. Reduce the risk of overbookings
Without a channel manager, you’re forced to split your inventory between channels and risk double-bookings or failing to reach full occupancy. Pooled inventory and automated updates of availability and rates in real time means guests can only ever book a room that is actually available.
4. Improve brand recognition
Ideally, you’ll connect to as many channels as possible. SiteMinder has unrestricted two-way integration with over 350 of the world’s leading OTAs. Using The Channel Manager means these agencies will want to partner with you because they know they can rely on the accuracy of your inventory. In turn, this will expose your hotel to even more potential guests and increase your brand recognition.
5. Boost online hotel direct bookings
If your room is booked through an OTA or on Google Hotel Ads you will pay a commission or fee but by the same token, if a traveller researches multiple options on an OTA, they often visit your website to finalise the booking once they have brand recognition, resulting in greater profit for your hotel.
6. Remove manual processes
Once you are able to automatically update your inventory across your entire distribution network, including your own website, you’ll realise just how time-consuming and frustrating manual data entry really is. Now time-rich, you’ll see productivity in other aspects of the business skyrocket. With a bulk update, you can adjust your availability in a matter of seconds.
7. Integrates with your other systems
Instead of being required to update information in multiple extranets, The Channel Manager can integrate with your property management system, central reservation system, or revenue management system as well as TheBookingButton to create a central control system for the entirety of your hotel’s operations. In addition, The Channel Manager has a unique connection to Airbnb, who recently announced their foray into the hotel space. Learn more about it here.
8. Transforms into a powerful business platform
The Channel Manager allows complete transparency of data across all systems and channels, meaning you can use the received information to see which channels or rooms are performing the best. The ease with which The Channel manager seamlessly melds with your existing business means you can constantly update your business strategy. See reports such as channel yield and channel analysis and your reservation trends to see where things are going right, or wrong.
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