Connecting your Distribution Channels is one of the most vital steps in the setup process. Distribution allows your property to be seen on various OTAs by the thousands of potential customers.
All of your Rates and Room types must be setup in Cloudbeds PMS before progressing to this stage. See the Step 1 for more information.
Before Getting Started
- The following steps will help you to setup your active channel connections.
- Make sure that your availability is accurate and up-to-date in your active channel connections.
- If you are not setup with a particular channel yet, you will need to create an account with them first. Check out our article here for some tips about this.
- If you do not have a myallocator account yet, wait for your Onboarding Coach to enable the distribution setup for you
- Before starting, confirm that the availability and rate information on your calendar is 100% accurate.
How to set up Distribution
Distribution Channels (commonly called OTAs) allow your property to be seen by the thousands of potential customers that visit these websites you have accounts with. Follow the steps below to start setting up your Distribution Channels on your Cloudbeds PMS account:
Ask your Onboarding Coach to enable the Channel Distribution page for you.
- Once your Onboarding Coach confirms the page activation, click on the Account button
- Click on Settings
- Access the Channel Distribution section and go to the Introduction
1. If you already have a myallocator account:
Make absolutely sure that your settings on Cloudbeds PMS match those in myallocator. This includes the number of accommodations.
Things to note:
- Any bookings previously received by myallocator can be automatically imported into Cloudbeds PMS by our Reservation Import team once the mandatory information has been completed in the setup process. This process includes both past and future reservations up to 2 years in the past.
- If you choose to import from myallocator, make sure you have not manually added these bookings to Cloudbeds PMS. Doing this will create duplicated reservations and fake overbookings.
- Reservations from the following channels are automatically imported at the moment of connecting your property to Cloudbeds PMS (Remember to inform your Onboarding Coach to perform this action after connecting your property)
2. If you are changing PMS providers and also have a myallocator account:
The steps below are performed by the Onboarding Team. Once these are complete, continue on and follow the next steps.
- All direct reservations made in your previous PMS provider's system (eg: phone, website booking engine, walk-in, email) will need to be transferred over manually. Some PMS do offer exporting your past reservations as either a CSV or Excel file for reference.
- We will need to disconnect your myallocator account from your current PMS, so it is possible to connect Cloudbeds PMS. If myallocator gets connected to both systems at the same time, it may cause unexpected behavior such as incorrect availability and prices being distributed to channels, reservations not migrating to the proper platform and overbookings.
- Once we connect both accounts, Cloudbeds PMS will override myallocator. From that moment on, Cloudbeds PMS will be the only system in which changes are made and your platform will be live.
- Your credentials to myallocator will be changed, in the process and you will be locked out of myallocator. There is no reason to worry because you will manage everything from within Cloudbeds PMS.
3. If you do not already have a myallocator account
Make sure all of your room types, rates, availability, and other information has been fully entered into Cloudbeds PMS. Wait for your Onboarding Coach to confirm you are ready and we will create a brand new myallocator account for you.
4. If you are ready to go Live
Contact our Support Team to Activate Distribution for your property.
Enabling myallocator will fully activate your Cloudbeds PMS account and send you live.
Once the distribution is enabled, go to Step 2 below.
- Click on the Allotment section
- For most properties, we recommend choosing "Last Room Available (Recommended). However, to keep some rooms in reserve for either a staff dorm or to exclusively sell with the Booking Engine, select Property Allotment, you will then need to configure your channel allotment.
Now that your Cloudbeds PMS distribution settings are enabled, it's time to begin connecting your channels!
- Under the Channel Distribution section, go to Channels
- Select a Channel: The process to activate a channel varies, but for most you will need to enter credentials. Some channels, like Booking.com and Expedia, require you to contact them first, and others have an approval process.
- Click on Not Setup, click to Setup. This will open the channel credential box. Enter the required information (it may be a login and password, or just an ID, depending on each channel).
- Map Your Rooms: This is one of the most vital steps to ensure a positive experience with channel distribution.
- Click on Next to continue
Things to note:
- All rooms on the OTA must be mapped to a corresponding room type in Cloudbeds PMS, otherwise, they need to be disabled/unlisted. Distribution channel room types that are left unmapped to a Cloudbeds PMS room type will never receive availability updates which can lead to overbookings.
- We strongly recommend only mapping one Room Type in your channel to a single matching Room Type in Cloudbeds PMS.
- We do not recommend attempting to map multiple individual Cloudbeds PMS rooms to a single Room Type in your channel. This is incompatible with most OTAs and has a big chance of creating overbookings. Read our Distribution Channel Mapping Guidelines to learn more.
- Your Cloudbeds PMS rooms will appear next to a drop-down list of the rooms configured on that channel, select the appropriate OTA room type to match with those you've created in Cloudbeds PMS.
- Add Your Channel-Specific Rate Difference: For your default rate on this channel to be different than what shows up on your calendar, input the additional amount here. Use a set amount or a percentage.
- Click Next to continue.
- Confirmation and additional steps: Once you see the confirmation screen and Setup Complete, you're done mapping the channel in Cloudbeds PMS!
- Some channels require additional steps to complete setup. For Booking.com, for example, you need to check your extranet one more time (Extranet > Account > Channel Manager) and confirm the very last step of activation.
- If you have hard-closed dates in your Booking.com extranet after establishing the connection with the channel, see this article to learn how to open your rooms.
Important things to keep in mind
- If you previously had a myallocator account, from this point on, Cloudbeds PMS will be the system to make any changes to, and your platform will be live.
- Your credentials to myallocator will be changed on the process and you will be locked out of myallocator. There is no reason to worry because you will manage everything from within Cloudbeds PMS. Do not attempt to reset you myallocator credentials as it can break the link between both systems and cause issues with availability, prices, and overbookings.
- Keep the extranet login credentials for your various distribution channels up to date in the channels section of Cloudbeds PMS. Changing these without updating them in Cloudbeds PMS can result in connection errors. The channels availability might not sync automatically or bookings will not get imported.
- Cloudbeds PMS does not change the currency inside of a channel's extranet. Make absolutely sure that the currency settings in your channel site's extranet matches what you have set in Cloudbeds under the Currency tab of the distribution section. Check: How to Set Custom Conversion Rates for OTAs.