If you run an attraction, you'll have likely been contacted by an Online Travel Agency (OTA) about putting your tickets on their platform. When used correctly, OTA's can be of great value to your business, but you have to get the relationship right.
What is an online marketplace?
Online marketplaces such as Get Your Guide, Expedia and Viator, are e-commerce sites that connect your experiences to your customers, most likely reaching a much wider range of audiences. Imagine heading on holiday, you won't know the local things to do, right? You won't know the top restaurants to eat at, the most scenic places to go to and the best attractions to visit. That's where an online marketplace comes in. Online marketplaces make it much easier for the end-user to view and book attractions and experiences.
In the past, if you run an attraction, you would need to assign a certain amount of your tickets and capacity to the online marketplace. This meant you could only put a small number of tickets on their website, otherwise, you would tend to over-book, which, as we all know, is not ideal. This often meant that partnering with an OTA could be more hassle than good and that's without even considering partnering with multiple OTA's. Enter, a channel manager to change the game!
What is a Channel Manager?
A channel manager resolves the historical pain of working with independent OTA's by providing the software to, well, manage your channels. Why partner with one channel, when you can be unlimited in your reach? A channel manager allows you to sell your tickets on all your connected booking sites simultaneously. It automatically updates your availability in real-time on all sites when a booking is made, when you add or remove tickets, or when you want to make bulk changes to your inventory, meaning no more manually capacity updates.
Why use online marketplaces?
By reselling your tickets on an online marketplace, you really are exposing your attraction to a far greater reach than you may be able to do organically. For instance, on Expedia alone in 2020 over thirty-six billion dollars worth of bookings was made. That's a lot of tickets! Competing with some of the bigger sites that have mega marketing budgets is going to be difficult, so why not utilise the channels already out there? There is one important point to consider, you'll most likely need to pay a percentage of your sales to the channel, this can range between 10-25%, so you'll need to make the most out of them.
Our Top Tips for using Channel Managers
Interested in find out more about Channel Management? At DigiTicket we offer our own channel manager; Experience Bank. Experience Bank seamlessly connects to your online ticketing inventory with up to 50 platforms, meaning you sell more tickets. Chat to us today to find out more.