Managing supply and demand from one preferred place
With a growing number of distribution platforms helping accommodation providers reach new audiences in new markets, the challenge of managing multiple channels is increasingly complex. Booking.com partners may utilise a multitude of software solutions beyond the extranet and Pulse to manage their supply and demand.
When faced with so many technological options, opting for one single Property Management System (PMS) or Channel Manager (CM) to manage the entirety of their supply and demand is a growing preference - and one Booking.com has been developing new solutions for. “What this means is that the property doesn't have to toggle between multiple interfaces and can take all their actions in one place, resulting in reduced property friction and increased convenience,” says Swarna Krishnaswamy, Product Manager at Booking.com.
A focus on earning and securing revenue
Connectivity options have grown over time to ensure that most actions taken on the extranet can also be made through a Connectivity provider. This is measured using a metric called “extranet parity” which asks one simple question: how many products available to properties over the extranet are also made available to properties over Connectivity interfaces?
“Until 2017, we achieved 50% extranet parity,” reports Krishnaswamy. “With accelerated product efforts over the last two years, we have been able to bridge this gap and increase extranet parity to 79%.” That is, 79% of the products available on the extranet are also available through Connectivity providers.
This growth in availability means partners can now pursue more last-minute bookings and set up promotions to move more inventory than they could two years ago, particularly when it comes to supply and demand. While some additions like viewing and replying to Guest Reviews are geared toward convenience, many of the added options are aimed at helping partners earn more revenue.
In addition to managing their availability, partners can now run a wide variety of Promotions like Basic, Last Minute and Early Booker Deals via their PMS or CM. Room-rate management options allow partners to set up room types, rate plans, meal plans and policies, as well as offer special rates like Mobile Rates, Business Booker and Country Rates. Information from the Opportunity Centre has also been added, allowing partners to take advantage of the same performance-enhancing options they see on the extranet. When it comes to reconciling and securing revenue, partners can tackle financial details like charging virtual credit cards from the comfort of their preferred interface.
Channel managers: partnering with partners
The development of these additional supply and demand solutions have also helped Connectivity providers offer a better experience for their clients on Booking.com. “Many property managers set variable pricing for the low season to reflect reduced demand,” says Futurestay CTO Sreenesh Raja. “Futurestay is able to convert reduced rates into Promotions and apply them to Booking.com listings without the manager having to navigate a discounting tool.”
Harshdeep Khatri, CTO of eZee Technosys, has also integrated Promotions. “Customers are happy to see such integrations,” says Khatri, “They can now create Promotions from our system only. There is no need to log in to the extranet.” His company has adopted almost all of the available Connectivity options to remain ahead of competitors and provide end-to-end solutions for customers. “All of the integration options that Booking.com has come up with are solving either a customer's problem or problems that need to be solved by the PMS provider.”
In addition to encouraging channel managers to pursue innovative integrations, the Connectivity Programme seeks to understand partner preferences around extranet options and communicate them to channel managers. “Using partner survey data, we can periodically gauge the interest of partners and relay their requests to each channel manager,” explains Krishnaswamy. “Keep an eye out for surveys on the extranet where we ask partners for their preference on having a particular feature available via CM/PMS. We will pass on your interest to the Connectivity provider to encourage them to bring you these features.”
- Booking.com has been developing new solutions for partners who increasingly utilise multiple software solutions beyond the extranet and Pulse to manage supply and demand
- Connectivity feature availability for partners has expanded in the past two years, rising from 50% parity to 80% parity
- Some improvements have focused on convenience, but a majority of added Connectivity options have been geared toward earning and securing more revenue
- Two ways partners can tell channel managers what they want to see in their PMS are by directly requesting it and responding to surveys inside the extranet, results of which are periodically passed on to channel managers