6 Reasons a Channel Manager Will Change Your Life

By aharris, October 14, 2015

Channel managers are an invaluable resource for hoteliers in today’s travel market. Here are 6 reasons you need a channel manager. 

1) Save Serious Time

Time is a hoteliers most valuable asset, channel managers help decrease the amount of time spent on administrative work

It takes a lot of time to update many OTAs every time your guests complete a booking. Adding and subtracting reservations one-by-one is laborious and, a waste of your time.  Each OTA has a different process and the process takes, on average,  5 minutes per OTA. The average property lists inventory on four OTAs. They spend 140 minutes a week on reservations alone. A channel manager can save you up to an hour and twenty minutes a week or 20 minutes per day.

A channel manager automates the entire process and keeps your property in sync.  It keeps your property’s rates and availability up-to-date across all your online marketing channels. This includes all your selected OTAs, booking engines, and your property management system.

A channel manager allows you to manage your bookings with ease. Change your rates and inventory, and update everything from a single place. It decreases the risk of over-bookings and other costly mistakes.

2) The Billboard Effect

The Billboard Effect is one benefit of using OTAs and channel managers help hotels list on many different OTAs

More than 300-million consumers visit online travel agencies (OTA), such as Expedia, every month. OTAs produce more than half of all hotel bookings each year. That’s a lot of eyeballs and reservations! Listing your property on OTAs increases consumer awareness of your brand. It gives your property more exposure. The added exposure drives potential guests to proprietary websites, which leads to direct bookings.

The Billboard Effect is the phenomena whereby a hotel enjoys an uplift in direct bookings when it lists vacant inventory on OTAs. Cornell coined the term in 2009 after conducting its famous study. It showed that hotels see a rise of between 7.5% and 26% in direct bookings when they list inventory on OTAs.

An Expedia study showed that consumers check 38 different websites before booking travel. Guests flip between OTAs, hotel websites, social media, and other marketing channels before booking. Many guests believe that hotel websites offer the best value. This tempts them to book direct. There are many ways to entice potential travelers to book direct, once they get to your website. Read our guide on 8 ways to improve direct bookings.

3) More Visibility = More Sales

OTAs help increase hotels' visibility

There is an ancient Chinese proverb; “If you want to catch fish, fish where the fish are.” Channel managers make it easy to cast a wider net. You can leverage marketplaces across the world without the hassle of managing them one-by-one.  Greater reach leads to more potential customers and more bookings.

4) Mistakes are Costly. Avoid Them!

Save money and avoid costly mistakes with a channel manager

Mistakes sting–and hurt your wallet! Manually updating OTAs with your current availability leaves room open for human error. If you publish the wrong rate, whether too low or too high, it will affect your bottom line in a bad way. If your rates and availability vary across marketplaces, you will confuse customers. You’ll create distrust, and get fewer guests. When it comes to overbookings, no one is happy.

Channel managers remove human error while keeping your property’s rates and availability in sync.

5) Rate Transparency Builds Trust

Keep your rate plans open and transparent to build trust

Consumers are fickle. The thought of better deals found elsewhere distracts them. But if you keep your rates consistent across marketplaces, you will build consumer trust. Use a channel manager to keep your rates updated and in-sync across all points of sale.

According to the latest Cornell research, hotels with consistent published rates enjoy higher revenue. Rate integrity reduces confusion, reduces mistrust, and improves conversion rate.

6) Property Management System Integration = Easy Breezy Hotel Management

Property management systems and channel managers go hand in hand. They are essential to effectively marketing a property

Hoteliers have a million things going on at any moment. Keeping track of reservations is important, but time-consuming. A channel manager can update your PMS with new reservations in real-time. It can both push and pull inventory. This ensures that your front desk staff always knows exactly what is going on at your property.

When you integrate a channel manager with your PMS, you have a central place to manage your rates and availability. Use your PMS to move guests, open and close rooms, and change rates. Your channel manager pulls these changes, and then pushed them to your online channels. Thanks to a channel manager, you can manage every aspect of your property from one dashboard. This saves you time and money and reduces overbookings.

Use a channel manager that pushes and pulls inventory. Say goodbye to lost reservations forever!

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