What does Channel manager mean?
The manager is, in general, a controlling element. For the most part, a person who is responsible for something or has a certain managerial role. Even in the case of a channel manager, the main task is management and responsibility for the correct transmission of data. In our case, the Channel is a distribution channel - an online portal, OTA (online travel agency such as booking.com, expedia.com, orbitz, travelocity, lastminute and others), which indirectly sells accommodation on its website. The channel manager is then a tool whose task is to manage online sales on various portals and distribution channels.
Why was the Channel manager created at all?
There will definitely be stages during the lifetime of the accommodation facility when a room is available. Then there is always the subconscious question, why? So naturally comes the effect, when the accommodation facility registers on a number of accommodation portals - it creates a profile, uploads photos, descriptions and tries to promote wherever possible. It has its justification, different portals focus on different markets and regions of the world. If we want to use their greatest strength, we try to get everywhere. Wherever possible. Anyone who has ever tried to create profiles on several portals knows that it is the ant work and that is just beginning.
For an active online portal (a portal that allows online booking in real time) it is necessary to regularly update prices and availability. Open, close deadlines, adjust prices, set promotions. Anyone who works at least a little with the booking.com, expedia.com and other portals knows what we are talking about. And he also knows that this everyday work is really laborious and routine because it keeps repeating itself. And when we multiply such portals by x 5, we are immediately at the level of 1-2 hours of work per day. Not only in the morning or in the evening, adjustments must be made whenever it changes e.g. hotel availability.
How does the Channel manager work?
The whole principle of operation of the Channel manager is based on constant two-way synchronization of the state of the accommodation facility and portals. All sales channels, including direct sales on the hotel's website, try to sell every single "free hole" or free night in any room. Each time the availability of rooms in the hotel changes, our system sends this information to all connected online portals. At the same time, the system checks in the background whether any of the portals has not generated a new reservation, modification of the reservation or its cancellation. It registers each of these changes in the hotel system, corrects the current room availability and, when the availability changes, sends the new status in real time to all online portals.
What can we sync?
The individual XML files and the method of synchronization differ in detail from portal to portal, but in general it is possible to send directly to online portals from our system:
- current availability of rooms by type for the next 13 months
- the price of accommodation for each day and each type of room
- restriction of the length of stay for each day
- price variants (increased or decreased from the basic price level, various types of meals, last minute offers, non-refundable reservations, etc.)
- prices for incomplete occupancy of the room (when, for example, you can sell a 3-bed room at a different price also for a variant of occupancy by 2 people, 1 person, etc.)
- reservations (complete info about new reservations including protected personal data and payment cards)
- modifications, cancellations and transfers of reservations (including the complete sequence of changes - the so-called reservation log)
How often does synchronization occur?
All information is sent to online portals whenever necessary. Each new reservation created in the hotel's sail changes the number of rooms remaining for sale. This new status is sent to the portals with each such change. Synchronization takes place in the background and does not interfere with the normal work of the receptionist or manager. New reservations and changes are checked constantly and in case of an action, the system will generate an e-mail notification and a notification of an unprocessed reservation in the form of a bookmark in the hotel system.
What are the main benefits of a Channel manager?
Channel manager as an active tool of two-way connection with travel portals brings many benefits. The main ones can include:
- always current availability of rooms at all points of sale (synchronization in milliseconds)
- elimination of manual work = minimization of errors
- dismantling overbooking (you always sell only what you have available)
- price parity also for a larger number of online portals
- higher traceability (active display in multiple markets)
- better quality score on portals = higher search rankings and higher chances of booking
- better work with the benefits of direct booking
- lower need for manual setup brings more time for guests, education, or marketing and direct booking support
Is the Channel manager safe?
Active connection with global portals is preceded by a number of technical and administrative tasks aimed at maximizing the security of data and transactions. The basic obligation of the provider is the international certification PCI (Payment Card Industry) to ensure online payments and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) to ensure maximum protection of guests' personal data. We hold both international certificates and the Ellipse hotel system can only be used under encrypted and secure communication, which we will set up for you before the actual start of your system.