The 10 best Channel Managers for Hotels in 2020

The 6 best Channel Managers for Hotels in 2019

For hoteliers, providing great experiences starts long before their guests even arrive, namely from researching and booking stages. That said, hotel operators sell their products through multiple distribution channels. To manage those channels, they need new software – Channel Manager.

From optimizing visibility and inventory across channels in real-time to easy rates, availability, and reservations management, the technology allows hotels to improve both profitability and efficiency. True, the Channel Manager became key for them to stay relevant and compete with other players.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the top-10 Channel Managers of 2020, as well as explain what a Channel Manager is and why hotels need it.

What is a Channel Manager?

The Channel Manager is software for managing sales effectively across many online distribution channels. This task is particularly challenging for bigger hotels and multi-properties with hundreds of rooms.

channel manager

Why you need a channel manager?

The Channel Manager is software for managing sales effectively across many online distribution channels. This task is particularly challenging for bigger hotels and multi-properties with hundreds of rooms.

In the hospitality industry, innovation continues to transform the way hoteliers do business. If you are not adapting with the times, your competitors may capture the most interested guests from across the globe. This is why Channel Manager becomes the system that is critical for business. Below, we’ll focus in more detail why your hotel needs the help of it.

The tool eliminates the need to change inventory availability and rates manually on all portals – updates are made instantly and automatically everywhere. If data are not synchronized, it can lead to errors and overbooking – more rooms are sold than available at a certain period of time. While overbooking might be a deliberate strategy for some revenue managers, its reputational risks are quite high, too. In the best-case scenario, the hotel can upgrade the room category, and in the worst – downgrade or deny service.

Also, an advanced Channel Manager allows getting statistical data and performance reports on sales, which helps optimize revenue by improving the sales strategy accordingly.

How does it work?

As the information in the PMS changes, the software updates the number of available rooms and prices on all synchronized online sales channels, and vice versa, reservations data are instantly reflected in the system thanks to bidirectional XML connections. If a room is booked through one website, it will no longer be available elsewhere.

How channel manager works in Hotel

Sales can be made via OTAs (Online Travel Agencies), the wholesalers. Placing offers on multiple channels allows optimizing online presence and achieving the Billboard Effect: many visitors see your property somewhere else but eventually book through the hotels own website not to pay the commission. Therefore, an integrated booking engine or booking button is an essential feature to get more direct reservations, and providers often include it in the package.

Obviously, hotels need the Channel Manager. However, how to pick the one that best suits your needs? Let’s discuss this below.

Criteria to consider when choosing a Channel Manager

If you're looking for a Channel Manager, you might think that there is a broad range of factors to consider. In a nutshell, these are key criteria to keep in mind when choosing the right tool:

● Functionality. A small hotel needs a basic but reliable tool, while an international chain will benefit from the most sophisticated functions like compatibility with Google analytics, competition and reputation checker, etc., which simplify revenue management.

● System integration. The Channel Manager should be able to easily integrate with existing hotel systems such as PMS, RMS, and CRS.

● Simple and effective reporting. The software must give the hotelier a clear overview of the connected channels' performance over a certain period of time, compared to previous periods, etc.

● Connectivity with payment systems. It is important that your software is connected to major payment gateways to manage credit/debit card data.

● Post-sales support. It's a perfect situation if maintenance and support are free and available 24/7.

● Availability in the local language. Desirable if your personnel does not speak English, which is rare.

● Price. It varies depending on the level of complexity and personalization, length of the commitment period, property size, etc. Small properties are often offered a Channel Manager/ Front Desk package at a flat monthly rate.

With so many options on the market, it is not always easy to find the right one that would be suitable for your property. We hope that our guide will help you to make an excellent choice.

Channel Managers to watch in 2020

Based on ratings and reviews from HotelTechReport.com, Capterra, Tooly.tips, Hotelhero.tech and information from companies’ websites, we have compiled a list of the top-10 Channel Managers, so read on.

 

channel manager, HotelFriend

HotelFriend

Website: hotelfriend.com

Hotelfriend allows to create tariff plans for 200+ OTAs in one system. Based on Capterra, it offers the following:

Rate Management
• Reservations Management
• Restriction Management

Hotelfriend smart tool corresponds to the highest industry standards. It displays information from all the connected channels on a single dashboard for maximum clarity. For each platform, you can easily set rate rules, e.g., minimum stay limitations.

Also, it helps hoteliers to:

• Manage quotas and prices for all distribution channels.
• Set restrictions for all OTA platforms.
• Set-up prices for the exact period, manage season rates.
• Update the number of available rooms on all OTAs.
• Receive reservations from all online channels.

HotelFriend has an outstanding support team, which can quickly fix any issues, as well as affordable pricing.

 

Siteminder

Website: siteminder.com

Siteminder allows to reach guests through 400+ distribution channels like Booking.com, Airbnb, TripAdvisor, and Expedia. According to HotelTechReport, it offers the following features:

channel manager

• PMS connectivity
• Analytics dashboard
• Multi-Currency Support
• Inventory Management
• 2-way real-time integrations
• Unlimited Channels (no additional cost)
• Multi-lingual
• Centralized user & role management
• Bulk Updating
• Channel Self-Mapping
• Derived Rates
• Yield Rules

Siteminder provides detailed performance metrics to build a successful sales strategy, as well as guest reservations/check-in summary reports. Even if the property is large and connected to hundreds of channels, it has the capacity to synchronize data instantly without any glitches.

 

channel manager, HotelFriend

Octorate

Website: octorate.com

Octorate’s channel manager allows hoteliers to connect with 110+ distribution channels, including Booking.com, Airbnb, and HomeAway. Based on Tooly.tips, it offers the following features:

• One-click option to close all channel on a specific date/period
• Rate increase/reduction by channel
• Rates and availability data update double-checking
• Rates by rate type
• Rates by room type
• Real-time sales/availability overview
• Real-time reservations retrieval from OTA
• Reservation details available for any channel
• RMS Interface

• PMS Interface
• Access to log/historical data
• Automatic update on all channels
• Availability by rate type
• Availability by room type
• Availability distribution by percentage
• Booking Engine Interface
• Mixed rate types support

Octorate not only enables effective distribution across numerous channels – it includes invoice management functionality. Like the other market leaders, it is cloud-based, so it can be accessed from any location through a mobile device. The Octorate product boasts such features as integration with Google Analytics, Reputation Checker, Rate Shopper, etc. The price depends on the number of connected channels.

 

STAAH

Website: staah.com

STAAH allows to reach a global audience through 200+ channel manager integrations with OTAs, GDS, and other booking platforms. According to Hotelhero.tech, it features:

channel manager

• Booking engine module
• one click on/off
• Channel analytics dashboard
• Multi-currency
• 2-way XML integration
• Flexible user rights & roles
• Connect to main GDSs
• Pooled inventory
• Mobile access

The provider offers two options: Instant Channel Manager and CM Max. The first one is a solution for independent properties, while the second one is for hotel groups and vacation rentals. The product has advanced features like channel performance analytics, top 5 competitors tracker (RateSTalk) tool, bulk updates, etc. Another competitive advantage is STAAH Mobile App, which allows 27/7 accessibility. STAAH Channel Manager is a cloud-based, the real-time application is suitable for properties of all sizes.

 

Cubilis

Website: cubilis.com

Cubilis offers 350+ connections, including Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Expedia. According to HotelTechReport.com, it offers the following features:

channel manager, HotelFriend

• PMS connectivity
• Analytics dashboard
• Multi-Currency Support
• Inventory Management
• 2-way real-time integrations
• Multi-lingual
• Centralized user & role management

Cubilis not only allows instant data exchange with multiple platforms but also ensures the highest quality of connection. It helps manage prices and availability of booking sites (OTAs) on one central dashboard. The platform has a flexible pricing model based on the number of rooms at the property, so a hotelier can scale up if the business expands and new locations are added.

 

My Allocator

Website: myallocator.com

My Allocator (Cloudbeds) allows to synchronize inventory with 300+ online booking channels like Airbnb, Expedia, and Booking.com in real-time. Based on HotelTechReport.com, it offers the following features:

channel manager

• PMS connectivity
• Analytics dashboard
• Multi-Currency Support
• Inventory Management
• 2-way real-time integrations
• Multi-lingual

Named Cloudbeds Channel Manager after rebranding, this effective cloud-based tool eliminates booking errors. The bi-directional XML connection ensures instant updates of sales information. It integrates with other Cloudbeds solutions and PMS from other providers, as well as one of the leading Metasearch platforms – ADS Hotels. The pricing depends on the number of rooms.

 

eZee Centrix

Website: ezeetechnosys.com

eZee Centrix is connected with 130+ travel booking sites including global and regional OTAs, GDS, vacation rentals, metasearch sites, and more. HotelTechReport.com provides us with insight into the features it offers:

channel manager

• PMS connectivity
• Analytics dashboard
• Multi-Currency Support
• Inventory Management
• 2-way real-time integrations
• Unlimited Channels (no additional cost)
• Multi-lingual

eZee Centrix Channel Manager allows to automate a hotel's inventory distribution through one-stop control. It ensures that hotel rooms are distributed globally by making property connect to the Global Distribution System (GDS) consisting of Galileo, Amadeus, Sabre, and Worldspan.

 

NightsBridge

Website: site.nightsbridge.com

NightsBridge allows to manage 250+ distribution channels with one click, including Agoda, HRS, Booking.com, TripAdvisor, etc. According to HotelTechReport.com, it provides the following features:

channel manager

• PMS connectivity
• Multi-Currency Support
• Inventory Management
• 2-way real-time integrations
• Virtual Properties
• Centralized user & role management

NightsBridge provides up-to-the-second room availability to potential guests through the hotel’s own website or the accommodation sites the company partners with. Guests can check availability, book, and pay online in one go.

 

AxisRooms

Website: www.axisrooms.com

AxisRooms provides 50+ OTA Integrations. According to HotelTechReport.com, it offers the following features:

channel manager

• PMS connectivity
• Multi-Currency Support
• Inventory Management
• 2-way real-time integrations
• Virtual Properties
• Centralized user & role management

AxisRooms platform allows to view all hotel bookings together. It also helps hoteliers run analytical reports to monitor each characteristic of their business, such as eBookings, guests, or inventories.

 

D-EDGE

Website: www.d-edge.com

D-EDGE allows hoteliers to connect to 300+ online distribution channels, including global and local OTAs, and GDSs. Based on HotelTechReport.com, D-EDGE features:

channel manager

• PMS connectivity
• Analytics dashboard
• Multi-Currency Support
• Inventory Management
• 2-way real-time integrations
• Multi-lingual
• Centralized user & role management
• Bulk Updating
• Channel Self-Mapping
• Yield Rules

D-EDGE provides Central Inventory. Using this centralized dashboard, hoteliers can connect to any of their partner channels. The platform offers planning management, which helps automate the planning and channel pool rules. 

That said, all the software above can help you manage multiple distribution channels and ease the strain and stress associated with it. Now you can decide for yourself what Channel Manager suits your specific requirements.

 

Final Thoughts

Nowadays, all Channel Managers work nearly the same way, nothing special: the list of reservations, quotas, and rates. The technology is not new at all and does not surprise anybody. And HotelFriend platform also has a Channel Manager, which is able to cope with standard tasks easily.

But what is the advantage? Where is the real benefit of using HotelFriend software? And the thing is that only with us:

- you get a multifunctional cloud-based solution with an integrated Channel Manager for not much money;

- the guest is always connected – he will receive an email and be able not only to see the reservation but influence on it directly from the smartphone: make a fast check-in or extend his stay;

- all of it works as a single ecosystem with no APIs inside, where the guest is always a priority.

This way you get more than just a Channel Manager. You get an innovative platform and a loyal, satisfied customer who will return to you.

Whatever Channel Manager you will choose, it will simplify your life greatly

● One login for all OTAs and other channels, which saves lots of time.
● Information on inventories and rates is always up-to-date with one click across all platforms, overbooking is eliminated.
● Guests’ personal data are automatically added to PMS.
● The strategy of dynamic pricing is easy to implement and results are easy to track with efficiency reports and statistics. What works best for your property and at what period of time: deals, early-bird rates, last-minute offers or other incentives? A good Channel Manager gives you enough clarity.
● Much lower chance of human error thanks to automation.

channel manager

If you are using one of the above-mentioned Channel Managers and would like to make sure it will integrate smoothly with the HotelFriend property management system, contact our team for a free consultation. Your success is our top priority.

Public relations: Stephanie Moench

 

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