How to choose a channel manager
Choosing a channel manager for your hotel or property can be tough. There are many channel managers available to choose from, all with different features and price points. Here, we give you some key things to consider, to help you choose the right channel manager for you.
Is it compatible with your PMS?
Finding a channel manager which can have a two-way sync with your property management system (PMS) is recommended. This means you won’t need to manually capture reservation details in your internal systems, and you can spend more time focusing on your guests.
If you’re already using a PMS, your provider will be able to suggest compatible channel managers.
Does it offer pooled inventory?
Pooled inventory means that all your available rooms can show across all your distribution channels at the same time. When a booking is made on any of these channels, the channel manager updates all channels, communicating that this room is no longer available.
Not all channel managers offer pooled inventory, so consider how valuable this time-saving tool will be for your business when making your choice.
What is the cost?
Channel managers come with a range of different pricing models. Some work on a compensation basis, while others have a monthly fee based on room size. Some have added costs for setup and for adding new channels. Some have a commitment to a minimum time period when signing up. Based on your budget and needs, weigh up which channel manager is best for you.
As with anything, the more you pay, the more features and higher quality service you will receive, so be sure to consider realistically what sacrifices you can afford to make if you are working with a modest budget.
What channels does it connect to?
Based on your distribution strategy, and the segments you’d like to target, does the channel manager connect to the most important channels for your audience? Does it connect to a broad range of channels so you can adapt your distribution strategy to attract different types of guests further down the line? Is it compatible with the channels you are already using?
Think about the features each channel manager supports. For example, many OTAs use APIs to pull through your information, which may not be supported by all channel managers.
What analytics and reporting does it offer?
Choose a channel manager which provides detailed analytics and reporting. The more information you have on your booking volume, revenue and competitors, the better you will be able to refine your revenue strategy and your distribution strategy.
Does it offer centralized content management?
Can you update your photos, amenities, points of interest and offers centrally? This tool helps you keep your listings fresh and up-to-date across all your channels, saving you time and helping convince travelers to book your rooms.
What support does it offer?
A good support team is essential to be sure that any problems you have are resolved as quickly as possible. Find out the level of support, and any extra costs, before making your decision.
Find the right connectivity provider with Expedia Group
- Easily compare supported features and match them with your needs
- Understand how each system performs without having to try it yourself
- Get key information at a glance and spend less time researching