Hotel Channel Management Software 101: Everything You Need to Know

April 18, 2023 Layla. M
Home > Guest Experience, Marketing, Technology, Uncategorized > Hotel Channel Management Software 101: Everything You Need to Know
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The phrase “channel management software” is frequently mentioned in the new era of hotel management. But what does it actually mean, and what do you need to know? Hotel management software can be easy to understand and easy to use. With RoomRaccoon, your hotel channel management software will help you maximise profit – with minimal time spent on manual operations. 

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about channel management solutions. We’ll also jump into what makes the best hotel channel management software. Ready to learn more about innovative hotel management solutions that will elevate your performance? Let’s start with the basics – “What is hotel channel management?”

What Is Hotel Channel Management Software?

Hotel channel management software allows hoteliers to sell their rooms across online booking platforms concurrently, with automatic rates and availability updates. It essentially allows hoteliers to organise and manage their listings, occupancy, and more – in one consolidated interface.

A channel management solution allows UK hoteliers to access important guest information and manage dynamic pricing and room availability. It will allow connections to OTAs, Metasearch, GDS, and your hotel’s booking engine. If you’d like a detailed breakdown, you can read our ultimate guide on hotel channel management.

Many hoteliers use a software stack for hotel management systems. A software stack is a variety of tools that aim to improve a business’s daily operations. The best software solution for your hotel should be fully integrated with your PMS (Property Management System). 

Some business owners may opt for free hotel management software. However, paid options will offer more beneficial features and greater personalisation.

Hotel Channel Management: Key Features and How to Choose the Right Software
(Free & Paid)


Some of the key features:

  • Channel Integration Capabilities
  • PMS Compatibility
  • Reporting & analysis
  • Centralised content management
  • Customer support scope

We’ll dive into what each of these features is and why they matter shortly. At this point, you may be wondering what sets apart free hotel channel management software from paid. 

Free options may include limited channel management abilities. It is also important to note that many “free” software packages may be a trial period or are restricted in terms of the number of rooms you can manage or the connections you can utilise.

While there are free channel management solutions available, they fall short in comparison to PMS options. Free channel management software is often just that. A single stack tech option that is not integrated with your property management system. 

This may seem like a small price to pay for free software, but it can wreak havoc on future automation and hotel growth. An all-in-one HMS with a built-in PMS, booking engine, and channel management software will provide consistent growth and optimised results.

How to Choose your Software?
5 Features and Aspects to Consider:


1) Channel Integration Capabilities

As a hotelier, you’ll need to create a solid distribution strategy to maximise occupancy and revenue in the UK. The hotel channel management software you choose should seamlessly connect to all your virtual channels, including OTAs, Metasearch, GDS, Google Hotel Ads and your booking engine. 

It’s also essential to bear in mind that your channels or connections may change as your business grows. Channel manager systems should have various channel integration capabilities to ensure that nothing disrupts growth. RoomRaccoon offers over 300 easy-to-implement integrations.

2) PMS Compatibility

Whether you opt for standalone channel management software or an integrated solution, a PMS should always play a role in the decision. If you’re using a singular channel manager, you should find a suitable PMS that enables data synchronisation.

This ensures that your hotel’s reservations, guest information, and more are automatically sent to your property management interface. The ideal PMS should be suited to your property’s unique offering and size (in terms of rooms).

The best option for PMS compatibility with channel management software is finding an all-in-one solution. An all-in-one software solution like RoomRaccoon syncs data in just 5 seconds. The quick sync makes your booking engine, channel mix, and reservations accurate and consistent.

3) Accurate Reporting & Detailed Analysis

Since you’ll be using channel management to manage listings, you’ll need software that supports reporting. Reports help you to understand your data regarding guests and their behaviour with more insight. 

A detailed reporting dashboard can help improve your overall hotel marketing strategy. With RoomRaccoon, you’ll have a comprehensive dashboard that can identify top booking channels, provide reservation insights and analyse guest trends.

Reporting and analysis can fall by the wayside in the busy lives of hoteliers. But reporting should not be ignored. Data is one of the most valuable assets to a business, whether it be a lodge, villa or aparthotel. Once data is analysed, it becomes a vital resource for improving hotel performance.

4) Content Management

The beauty and burden of listing your property on multiple channels are managing all the content that sells the experience. But it doesn’t have to be a disorganised hassle when you have the right software.

A good channel management solution should offer centralised content management. In simple terms, one place to add, edit, or update your content that synchs to all channels. The content could include images, videos, copy, pricing, and even discounts. 

RoomRaccoon uses API connections to that provide centralised content management, guest review management, and exclusive opportunities. This synchronisation is possible through a pooled inventory model.

5) Scope of Customer Support

Working with new software, you may have some questions along the way. This is why it is integral that your chosen property management system has reliable support options. 

It is also important to determine if support is available in your first language and during suitable United Kingdom operating hours. This will all influence your overall experience and success with your chosen system.

Video: RoomRaccoon’s Hotel Channel Management Solution

Want to see our hotel channel management solution in action? Watch the comprehensive breakdown of our interface and discover the capabilities of an all-in-one PMS.

What Makes the Best Standalone Channel Management Software for Midsize and Big Hotels? (From 30 to 100 Rooms and Over)

If you’re looking for an independent software solution, you may be overwhelmed with the options available. Software is a vital investment for the growth of your property offering. As well as the improvement of hotel operations for better revenue performance.

We’ve compiled the top three listings of the best standalone software. On these websites, you can view product summaries, compare against similar services and save your favourites for further consideration.

It’s always important to check that your channel management solution will integrate with any existing tech stack that you have. We recommend consulting with customer support for any software you currently use. This will ensure the best possible performance of your software solutions and your hotel.

Software Marketplace Recommendations

How to Manage Distribution Across Multiple Channels

Distributing your rates and availability is integral to increasing your hotel’s revenue. The more exposure your property and its services have online, the more prospective guests you’ll be able to reach.

By managing your presence across major distribution channels, you’ll be able to maximise your occupancy. Channel management software is essentially your virtual assistant that automates and updates hotel availability and details across various channels.

The software helps to streamline all the vital information that guests need to view across platforms. So what are the different types of booking channels that you can distribute your availability to?

Examples of major distribution/booking channels:

Different booking channels pricing for distribution:

  • Online Travel Agency: Accommodation providers pay a commission per booking from an OTA. 
  • Metasearch or Pay Per Click models: Accommodation providers pay a cost for every click on an ad. Google Hotel Ads also offers Commission Per Stay.
  • Global Distribution System: Accommodation providers pay a commission per booking from a GDS. Connecting to prominent GDSs through a Channel Manager prevents you from paying individual connection fees for each GDS.
  • Wholesalers: Negotiated prices with accommodation operators for rooms or packages.
  • Hotel Booking Engine (direct website bookings): Most Booking Engine vendors charge a monthly or annual subscription fee in addition to commissions per booking. RoomRaccoon offers an easy-to-use and customised hotel booking engine at no extra cost.

A good channel distribution strategy should ensure that your hotel in the UK has ample brand exposure. However, it is essential to remember that direct bookings are your best friend as a hotelier.

Direct bookings on your website are inherently commission free. Your booking engine is owned media space to create the perfect guest experience. With RoomRaccoon’s booking engine, you have the option to add your logo, brand colours, and hotel imagery. 

By creating and optimising your hotel’s booking engine, you’re getting the greatest revenue per available room (RevPAR) possible! A good booking engine should allow automated upselling. In this way, you can generate even more revenue with your own booking system.

Why Do Hotels Need Channel Management Software?

Hotels need good software solutions to ensure that their daily operations run efficiently. With the help of hotel software solutions, hoteliers can manage all their pertinent tasks. Since channel management solutions come hand in hand with automation, it also saves time.

Once your hotel invests in a reliable Property Management System, bookings, rates, availability, and more will be streamlined. Hotel channel management software is particularly important when it comes to overseeing OTAs, integrations, and direct bookings. With RoomRaccoon’s channel management solution, everything can be viewed on one consolidated interface within the PMS.  

Statista reports on the online travel market “As estimated, the global online market size totaled approximately 475 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. This figure was forecasted to surpass 521 billion U.S. dollars in 2023 and rise to over one trillion U.S. dollars by 2030.”  With more travellers booking online, hotel software solutions will only gain momentum in popularity and use.

Which CRM Is Used for Channel Management in Hotels?

A CRM is a customer relationship management system that manages brand-to-customer communications. These independent software solutions work outside of integrated hotel management systems. 

HubSpot has three tips on how to decide if your business (in this case a hotel, lodge or aparthotel and more) would need and profit from a CRM. 

If you face any of the following challenges stated by Hubspot, you may want to pair your channel management with a CRM:

  • Store all of your customer information in one consolidated system. Instead of communicating information to multiple divisions, you can use a CRM platform to create a single up-to-date point of truth that everyone can access.
  • If customers regularly interact with multiple people from your company, it’s easy to keep track of previous interactions with a CRM. 
  • A CRM can help you track the productivity of your sales teams. It can also help you establish a workflow or process to follow.

Why Choose RoomRaccoon?

RoomRaccoon is the leading hotel management solution and is preferred for its integrated features and easy-to-use interface. Our synchronisation software has a 5-second speed across all channels – one of the fastest in the industry.

Channel management is a piece of the PMS puzzle that enables your hotel in the UK to improve performance. In our blog post, you can read more about how hotel management software can make your business successful. Ready to get started with channel management software and boost your hotel’s revenue in the United Kingdom?


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Layla. M

A grammatical purist with a love for the written word, Layla is a Content Manager at RoomRaccoon, passionate about producing content that drives results. Her passion extends to everything Layla sets her mind to, such as spearheading social responsibility projects for the community and also exploring the beautiful city of Cape Town.

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