What is a channel manager?

06.12.2017 Karolina Rubacha, Product Specialist

Discover how channel manager can make your life easier (on every booking portal)

Why the system known as channel manager was created?

Imagine the following situation. Winter season at its` peak. The New Year is just around the corner.  Your staff is highly overworked, jumping from one guest to another. You`re back home before midnight and return to work just a few hours later.

Among that chaos you must still find a moment to update your online offer. You start with logging to Booking.com. You slowly adjust the price, room after room. 15 minutes later you smile with satisfaction and…log to Expedia. Deciding to create a promo offer there, you spend additional 20 minutes. Good job! You may now relax and… switch to AirBnB to adjust prices.

You haven`t even noticed how much of your precious time was lost in the process. And all you did was to repeat the same, mundane task. Instead, you could take care of your staff matters or walk home and spend time with family.

What is channel manager?

Channel managers are designed to centralize the control over multiple booking portals (such as Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, TripAdvisor, AirBnB, etc.). Without a channel manager each booking portal requires you to individually enter the prices and allotment. If reservation comes in through one portal you have to lower the allotment on the remaining accounts to prevent overbooking. The more portals you have, the more work is needed to keep the information current and the more likely something may be overbooked.

With a channel manager deployed, the data distribution is handled from a single location. Automated distribution of prices and allotment from one portal to the others will help prevent overbookings during periods where you do not have access to your accounts.

What else channel manager can do?

The channel manager`s work does not end here. Not only can you send prices to all portals from a single system but you may also apply formulas to prepare special offers. Remember the before mentioned Expedia case? With a channel manager, you no longer have to log in to Expedia to prepare a special offer. Instead you just add a formula (i.e. Lower price by 25% from 30.12.2017 to 1.01.2018) and save your settings. The channel manager will take care of the rest!

Depending on the channel manager, the price management can be pushed even further. Some of them are capable of optimizing the prices for you! By gathering a great number of data and using a complex algorithm, they can determine which rates will bring you the highest revenue income.

Would you like your offer to be displayed on the hotel website? Channel manager providers usually got you covered there.  How about a competition analysis? That`s possible as well.

The amount of features provided by channel managers may seem complex but they all serve the same purpose – minimizing the time you spend managing your online booking portals.

We have been cooperating with various channel managers for many years now and find them one of the most effective ways of boosting your revenue and a general quality of your services. For the time being KWHotel can be synchronized with YieldPlanet, WuBook and STAAH. How does this synchronization work? Why is it a perfect match for channel managers? Read the follow up to this article and find out!