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Why You Need a Pooled Inventory Strategy

Posted by Alex Gaggioli
May 24, 2016

Introduction

Here at Cloudbeds, we strongly believe in diversifying your marketing strategy. With technology and the right tools, it’s more manageable than ever to have several active booking channels. A software feature called pooled inventory helps effectively distribute beds and rooms. Here we’ll explain what pooled inventory is, why it’s beneficial, and how you can take advantage of it.

Pooled Inventory vs. Allocated Inventory

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Pooled inventory means that all of your rooms or beds are put into one bucket that every channel has access to. If your property connects to Hostelworld, booking.com, and Expedia, all three sites have access to your total inventory. Once a room or bed is booked, your total inventory will decrease to prevent overbookings.

On the other hand, allocated inventory means that a specific number of rooms or bed are designated to certain channels. Therefore, once one channel sells out of their designated inventory, it cannot pull from the allocated inventory on other channels.

Reasons You Need a Pooled Inventory Strategy

Automation

Arguably the most beneficial feature of a pooled inventory system is automation. An allocated inventory strategy is quite manual. With allocated inventory, first, you have to allocate certain inventory to each channel, and then respond to the market. If you sell all your rooms on one site, you need to log in and allocate more rooms. If all your inventory sells out on booking.com and Expedia hasn’t sold anything, it would likely make sense to add inventory to booking.com. But, the process is manual and must be managed with extreme care. Pooled inventory makes sure every marketing channel has enough inventory to sell, reducing your manual labor. As a small or medium-sized hotelier, your most valuable asset is time. Therefore, any tool that helps you save time is beneficial.

Manage Several Channels

Software has enabled small and medium-sized hoteliers to run their businesses like the large hotels. Now any size property can list their inventory on many sites with less risk of overbookings. Channel managers, like myallocator, who use pooled inventory, allow hoteliers to not only to join many lucrative channels. Then the channel manager handles allocation.

Respond to the Market

With an allocated inventory strategy, you need to manually respond to the market and therefore hedge your own bets. In any given day, you don’t know which channels will be the most popular. Long story short, you could be missing out on sales. A pooled inventory allows you to let the market decide which channels are best for you.

However, it is still important for you to determine which channels are best for your property. Not every channel will bring in the same amount of revenue due to commission rates and other agreements.

More Revenue

While automation is the most important feature of pooled inventory, more revenue is the most important result. After you choose the best booking channels for your property, let your software do the tedious, time-consuming work for you. Save time and make more money; simple as that.

Next Steps

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As we mentioned above, a pooled inventory strategy begins with the right software. It is usually a feature of channel managers, including myallocator. Other features you should look for in a channel manager include:

  • A broad list of OTA and booking channel integrations
  • Real-time integrated updates
  • Commission-free direct bookings widget that integrates with your website
  • BookNow button for Facebook to take advantage of all your marketing channels
  • And strong software engineering to back it all up

Conclusion

A pooled inventory strategy can save you time and money when it comes to managing your property. One of the key benefits of a channel manager is it allowing you to manage rooms the way you want to. Take away the stress of managing individual rooms or beds, and let the software do the work for you.