In Zaui, Channel Partners refers to resellers that have a direct API integration with Zaui. This means bookings made via these channels will be automatically created in your reservation system hands-free, with no need to enter booking details manually. Online Travel Agencies such as Expedia Local Expert, TripAdvisor Experiences or GetYourGuide are all examples of Channel Partners.
|For more information about working with OTAs check out this webinar|
This article will walk you though the steps involved in creating a new channel which will allow you to connect your tours, activities and transportation products to the online travel marketplaces of your choosing. The following topics are covered:
- Creating the Channel Partner as a Company in Zaui
- Enabling a Channel Partner Connection
- Channel Partner Rules and Controls
- Channel Management Strategy
Create a Company for the Channel Partner
The first step in working with any third party company, including OTAs is to add them as a company in Zaui. This is so the system can correctly assign new bookings and the agreed-upon commssion structure to the company.
Note: The complete guide to configuring company and commission structure is detailed in this article.
- From the navigation bar, select Resellers > Companies > Company List.
- Click Create Company from the shortcuts panel.
- Enter the Company Name and any other optional information you choose to fill in.
- Under Rate Type, select Wholesale (Discount/Invoice)*
- Under Rate Codes, build in your agreed-upon commission structure
- Save to create the company
*Channel Partners are always configured as Wholesale Resellers whereby the reseller takes payment on behalf of the supplier and is invoiced at a later date.
Enable a new Partner Connection
- From the navigation bar, select Resellers > Channel Partners.
- From the list, locate and select the Channel Partner want to connect to.
Map reseller to account is where you select and add the company you just created for this reseller. The company will be linked to the voucher transaction for payments and any bookings will be reported in the Invoice Reports.
Optional Channel settings:
- Enable Channel allows you to turn the channel on or off.
- Enable Alerts will enable notifications of bookings through the channel.
- Send Alerts to this Email is where you can enter the email addresses you wish alerts to be sent to; you can enter multiple email addresses separated by a comma.
Channel Partner Rules and Controls
Channel Rules are the mechanism for you to control available inventory for your distribution channels. Here you set the permissions for what, when and how much of your inventory each OTA can access:
- Set a Start and End Date for your rule.
- Select how many days into the future you wish the reseller to be able to sell your activities.
- Select how close to the activity date a reseller can create, edit or request a cancellation. You have the ability to specify how far in advance your connected resellers may access and sell activities on your behalf, as well as how near to the booking date they can request a change or cancellation.
- Select the amount of inventory you'd like to allow the reseller to sell on your behalf. This can be set either as a number of spots, or a percentage of inventory*
- Select any activity, specific activities, or activity groups to which this specific rule applies.
- Use the Add button to apply any additional rules, making sure to double check that there is no overlap between rules which can confuse the system.
- Don't forget to Save.
*Limiting inventory prevents the OTA from booking additional spots once they have sold their specific allotment, as opposed to the overall remaining inventory.
|If a reseller requests a cancellation outside of the threshold, the voucher will be refunded and the booking cancelled. If the cancellation is requested within the threshold, the booking will not be cancelled and the reseller will receive an error message indicating that the booking could not be cancelled.|
Channel Management Strategy
When starting out, and for smaller operations with 1 to 5 tours and activities, we recommend using the following 'Channel Management Lite' settings:
- Start Date/End Date: Set a 5 Year window
- Inventory Rules: Allow 100% of overall inventory
- Create/Edit Rules. Restrict the reseller from:
- Performing any actions outside of 365 days
- Creating or editing reservations within 2 hrs of start/departure
- Performing cancellations within 24 hrs of start/departure
- Activity Configuration: Allow Any Activity to be Sold*
Larger, more mature or more complex operations may wish to apply a more Advanced Channel Management approach to maximize the potential of their OTA relationships. The settings you can leverage include:
- Different rules for different OTAs
- Different rules over date ranges
- Available activities
- Available time slots
- Maximum inventory limits
- Minimum booking lead time
- Ensure you have enabled the API flag on the Category setup page.
- Ensure you have enabled the API flag on the specific Activity set-up page, under Additional Settings.
- When creating your Channel Rules, ensure you have included an End Date and that it has not expired.
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