Strategic Use of Channels and Third-Party Listings
Every owner loves a direct booking, and we at SuperControl are committed to helping you achieve more direct bookings.
The self-catering accommodation sector is however a highly competitive market, where the on-line travel agents (OTAs) are increasingly prominent and therefore an essential part of your marketing mix. Channel bookings in SuperControl have grown by an average of 44% year-on-year over the last three years. A quarter of all bookings taken in SuperControl now come through OTAs. Each day our channel manager calculates more than 734 million prices to send live to OTA listings.
Channels are not something to be scared of. used correctly, they are a valuable tool to increase the visibility of your properties, and branch out into new markets.
There are broadly three types of Channel that you can integrate with through SuperControl-
- The International Channels- such as Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO/HomeAway and TripAdvisor.
- UK based and Regional Channels- these include Cottages.com, Premier Cottages, VisitScotland, and SimpleView (which powers a great many region-specific platforms).
- The Niche/Specialist Channels- we integrate with a number of channels that cater to a specific type of guest or specific market. These include Camping/Glamping sites, Family-friendly travel sites, Group booking specialists and many more.
These are the biggest players in the accommodation industry, and include well-known names such as Airbnb, Booking.com, TripAdvisor and VRBO/Homeaway. These channels trade under many sub-brands too, so by listing on them you will gain wide international exposure via their partner sites.
You can use these sites strategically, by uplifting your prices to cover the commission charged, as well as block certain dates from being available via these third party channels in order to reserve them for direct bookings only. These big channels can be a great way to market your out of season or short break availability, as well as gain more exposure in the market.
These channels specialise in listing properties within a specific region of the British Isles.
- England, Wales & Northern Ireland- The most important regional integration for English & Welsh properties that we link to is SimpleView (formerly Newmind). This integration allows you to link to a large number of regional English tourism websites, as well as discovernorthernireland.com.
- Scotland- The two Scotland-Specific channels we integrate with are VisitScotland and the ASSC's Embrace Scotland booking engine. There are also Scottish regional sites (such as www.visitouterhebrides.co.uk) that are powered by SimpleView.
- Republic of Ireland- If you have properties in the Republic of Ireland, why not list on LetsGoSelfCatering.com, the booking engine of the Irish Self Catering Federation (ISCF).
This class of Channels can be grouped by a few broad themes:
- Guest Demographics- This would include channels that specialise in Baby or Child-Friendly accommodation (such as Away with the Kids or Baby Friendly Boltholes), or guests who travel with pets (Pets Pajamas). Those with larger properties, who wish to market to larger parties of guests might consider listing on GroupAccommodation.com.
- Property-type Specialists- If you are a Campsite or Glampsite, we have great integrations with Campsites.co.uk and Pitchup, and those with quirky or unusual properties might consider Not in the Guidebooks or Oliver's Travels. Those who specialise in 5 Star, top-end accommodation should consider Premier Cottages, Sawdays, Plum Guide and Five Star.
- Location Specific Features- If you are a rural Property business, Farmstay and Yonder could be the perfect way to reach a wider audience, whilst any property close to water might consider listing with Waterside Holidays. For properties close to a beach, Beachlets could be the perfect channel for you!
Cross updating is a means of linking two SuperControl accounts together. It is typically used where both an individual owner and an Agency both have SuperControl accounts, and both parties market a version of the same real property.
For Example, the Owner of Rose Cottage markets her cottage directly via her website, using the SuperControl embedded calendars. She also lists Rose Cottage with an agency, who market the cottage via their own website, using the SuperControl embedded calendars. A cross updated link is set-up between the owner's version of Rose Cottage and the Agency's version of Rose Cottage, to ensure that any bookings taken in one version block off the dates automatically in the other version, from one account to the other.
Agencies will typically specify what information is sent through as part of the calendar block to the owner's account, depending upon which party handles payment and/or manages the communication with the guest.
If you plan to list with an Agency that also uses SuperControl, Find out how to request Cross Updating by clicking Here.