How to choose a Channel Manager
Posted by Vero
Could you imagine what would happen to those of us working in the hotel sector if Channel Managers did not exist? It would be absolutely crazy, for sure. Channel Managers are a key day-to-day tool that enables us to manage rooms and rates through hundreds of different channels without dying in the attempt.
Since Channel Managers are an indispensable part of our work we have to know exactly how to choose one: these days there are plenty of them and even if they all have the same basic characteristics, each of them has its own features that can be adjusted – or not – to our business needs.
What should you take into account when choosing a Channel Manager?
These days all Channel Managers are responsive and can be managed through any device. They also work 24 hours a day, allow you to compare rates with competing businesses quickly and in real time and automate processes that would take weeks for a human to execute.
But like we said earlier, each Channel Manager normally has its own set of specifications and when it comes to choosing which one to go for, there are four main factors to take into consideration:
1.- Compatibility. Most importantly, the Channel Manager you choose must be perfectly compatible with your website, your booking engine, your most productive distribution channels and your internal management system (CRS, PMS and RMS).
2.- XML connections. It is essential to choose a Channel Manager that guarantees bidirectional connectivity through XML integrations, since this is the only way to ensure correct, up-to-date information and avoid errors and duplicates.
3.- Grouped inventory. This might seem obvious, but not all channel managers offer it. This is a function within the Channel Manager that guarantees that there are no duplicate bookings, a key issue if you want to optimise your business to the max, increase your sales and the quality of your bookings.
4.- Monitoring. Always choose a Channel Manager that provides detailed reports to help you make decisions within the company. Obtaining data and, most importantly, analysing it will give you clues and let you carry out actions that could potentially be very beneficial, but not necessarily very expensive.
Increase your connectivity
Managing your entire product and service offer from one single point is essential in a sector where agents and sales channels have multiplied over the years. A Channel Manager is the computer tool that was created to meet this inevitable need to improve and increase connectivity.
Our API HotelDirect-X works directly with the world’s leading Channel Managers and increases the speed, flexibility and number of contacts within the travel sector through one simple connection.
How does it work? Thanks to its specific development. HotelDirect-X is the only API in the travel sector based on the GraphQL query language, which has made it a new connectivity standard for those who work in the tourism industry: with one single request it can track multiple sellers.