Managing online distribution channels to market a hotel’s inventory through agents worldwide is the job of a channel manager. In general, channel managing tools provide support for the hotel manager for effective coordination of bookings and revenues. These systems create multiple channels for marketing of hotel services. It also carries out advanced analytics that serves as a basis for policymaking by stakeholders in hotels.
This article compares three of the best channel managers available. However, we need to highlight the following, first;
- Overview of channel management
- Criteria for choosing the best channel manager.
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Putting all these together, channel management is undoubtedly indispensable in the effective running of large and medium scale hotel businesses.
Now that this background knowledge is established, the next question on your minds will be; with this wide range of services offered by channel managers, what criteria can be used for the selection of the best systems?
The most important criteria to look out for include:
#1 Access to a wide range of online distribution channels; the best channel management tools can connect with a good number of locally and internationally recognizable distribution channels, such as the Global Distribution Systems, Online Travel Agents and much more. Also, the chosen channel manager should be flexible enough to enable customizing.
#2 High level of automation; the channel manager of choice should offer maximum automation. This implies that activities like changing price lists and advanced analytics and reporting should be fully automated. This will reduce human error and yield maximal returns. People should opt for a system that can generate data on the total revenue made from each channel and the number of bookings per time. For example, information like room occupancy and client details, when analyzed, can reduce the incidence of overlooking in large hotels.
#3 Compatibility with existing systems; the best channel systems should be compatible with a wide range of current hotel systems. It should have a format that is compatible with the hotel’s Property Management system, Booking Engine and more, to prevent the need for expensive modifications.
Finally, the size of the hotel in question, as well as the budget for the channel system, should guide the hotel manager in making their final choice. In implication, the bigger a hotel is, the more complex and expensive the channel manager needed. Therefore even the best-ranked channel manager could be inappropriate to certain hotels. Furthermore, channel managers with favorable prices and good payment options should be chosen
The criteria above will form the basis for the comparison between these 3 top channel managers; site minder, Myallocator, eZee Cenrix.
Site Minder; This marketing system has a channel manager product for hotel chains and single branch hotels.
#1. Distribution channels: it offers connections for hotels to over 350 distribution channels like Booking.com, Expedia.com, AirBnB, Hotelbeds, and plenty more.
#2. Automation: it provides a high level of automation by giving full reports on hotel performance and trends on a dashboard
#3. Compatibility with existing systems: it is integrated with ATRIO, Ibelsa, eZee, PMS and plenty more current systems.
#4. It is ideal for very large hotels with complex channel management need and costs about $64.70 (before taxes) per month for a hotel with 10-15 rooms.
Myallocator by Cloudbeds; this is a cloud-based channel manager that is easy to use and very economical.
#1. Distribution channels; it connects to over 300 channels, including Booking.com and Expedia.com and AirBnB, just like Site Minder. Other channels it links to are Orbitz, Flipkey and hundreds more.
#2. Automation: this manager offers real-time update to all connected channels, sending information on bookings from these channels back to the hotel. This level of automation makes updates faster and more accurate.
#3. Compatibility: its integrations include ADS Hotels, which is one of the best Metasearch platforms. Other integrations are Mancloud, Sirvoy, and so on.
#4. This package is best for small and medium hospitality businesses. However, some hotel groups can use it. It is the most affordable in the industry currently with prices from $50.60 per month, yearly, for ten rooms.
eZee Centrix; this package has a mobile version. It provides detailed analytics and ideal for small to medium properties with up to 1000 rooms.
#1. Distribution channels; it connects to 130+ channels including Online Travel Agents, Global Distribution Systems, and more than 30 more metasearch engines.
#2. Automation; This feature is highly advanced as it provides an update for prices in real-time as well as booking details. It also gives revenue analysis and reports which can be readily assessed.
#3.compatibility: it is compatible with about 20 third party Property Management systems including eZee FrontDesk.
#4. It is designed for small to medium properties and costs about between $39 and $68 per month, depending on the plan chosen.
To sum up, the above channel managers are front liners in the industry and should be chosen by hotel managers who aim for effective marketing and revenue generation.