Tips for Channel Manager activation

The main online sales channels are the OTA booking portals. Each of these portals has its control panel (extranet) for the following sales data configuration:

  • The list of your room categories (Double, Triple, Family, etc.).
  • The list of your rates (Standard, Not-refundable, Room-only, ecc..).
  • Daily sales data: availability and price of each room category.
  • Daily restrictions: Minimum stay, closure, etc. of each room category.

☞ Docs: What is an OTA?

If you work with more than one portal, it becomes necessary to configure this data on the sales portals.

If you DO NOT use a Channel Manager, every time you want to modify your data you have to access the extranet of each portal. Availability (the most frequently changing data) must be updated immediately on all portals after each incoming reservation or cancellation. The availability update delay may cause overbooking.

Our ZaK Channel Manager is a set of channels that automatically synchronize OTA data from a single centralized database. By configuring your data (availability, prices, restrictions) on ZaK, they are automatically sent to all portals (via XML codes). The Channel Manager also manages incoming reservations (changes and cancellations) made on the portals. In this way, Zak will always have the correct availability, and you can offer your rooms from all OTA portals at the same time.


Here are some useful tips and tricks for using the Channel Manager!


Updates


While configuring a channel, the ZaK data (availability, rates, restrictions) will be updated on the OTA you are connecting. The data on ZaK will completely overwrite the OTA data (covering one year).

By the time you configure the Channel Manager channels on ZaK, you must have already inserted all reservations for future stays (for ZaK to calculate availability correctly), set prices, closing periods, minimum stay duration, etc..


Inserting reservations

On Zak, availability is automatically calculated based on:

  • number of physical rooms (per category)
  • booked room/stays
  • room closures (per category).

For availability to be correctly calculated, it is necessary to enter on ZaK all reservations for future stays manually.


☞ Docs: Physical rooms

☞ Docs: Room Categories

☞ Docs: Reservation detail

☞ Docs: Room closures

☞ Docs: New reservation

Booking.com is generally the portal that, more than any other, generates reservations. Besides, this OTA, unlike all others (except Airbnb), allows the Channel manager to download existing bookings involving future stays.
This means that you can manually enter your reservations except for those registered from Booking.com. To proceed in this way, we recommend that you activate the Booking.com channel first.


Reading data from Booking.com


In case you are already working with Booking.com and are starting to work with ZaK, by activating the channel, you can download prices and restrictions from the OTA.

 

Precautions


To proceed safely with Channel Manager activation follow these simple precautions:

  • Make sure you have no other active channels on the same profile. Having two channels that update data on the same portal profile generates errors. If you were using another channel manager before, remember to disconnect your channels before activating the ZaK connection. If you were using WooDoo, you have to disconnect the channels directly on the Woodoo side.

☞ Docs: Disconnecting a Channel

  • Define your online sale consistently. We suggest you create on your OTA the same room categories (with similar names) to manage your online sale easily. The same goes for the rates: it is good to have the same rates on the different OTAs (where possible).

Before activating the channels, create your room categories on ZaK. Then you have to manually enter all reservations with future stays on ZaK (excluding those coming from Booking.com if you activate the channel to Booking.com first).


A. If you are selling on Booking.com

If you have not yet set prices and restrictions on ZaK and work with Booking.com, you can configure it as your first channel. 

While associating room categories, you can import data (price and restrictions) and download reservations from the portal. In this way, you will have the same rates and restrictions configuration on ZaK, as you have already defined on Booking.com. 

Besides, all your reservations will be on ZaK (the ones you entered by hand and the ones you may have downloaded from Booking.com).


B. If you are not selling on Booking.com

Before activating a channel, you have to configure prices and restrictions of your products for online sales. This way, as soon as you activate a channel, the connected OTA will receive an update that will overwrite the data correctly.

☞ Docs: Rates

  • Data check. You may leave out a few details during the channel configuration process. Although the technology is tested and reliable, as soon as the process is completed, it is highly recommended to access the portal extranet and check (on several randomly selected dates) whether prices and restrictions are consistent with the data configured on ZaK.

Checks should always be made on the extranet of the portal (your private area) and not on the public booking pages. There may be changes by the portal at the time of online publication, and ZaK has no control over these changes.

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