How lastminute.com Partner Connect Works
Partner Connect allows for the electronic exchange between lastminute.com and our hotel partners: availability, rates, inventory and booking retrieval is pushed to lastminute.com, and booking notifications may be automatically delivered to your system. lastminute.com has developed a number of connectivity solutions to meet the needs of our partners.
Partner Connect receives your Availability, Rates, Inventory and Restrictions (ARI) directly from your Central Reservation System (CRS), Property Management System (PMS), or Channel Manager to the Partner Connect platform. This allows you to quickly make adjustments without additional data entry into the CRS, PMS, Channel Manager or extranet. If your Connectivity Provider supports it, bookings can be passed directly back to your system removing the need to manually enter these. An alternative to passing the bookings back, is the Booking Retrieval option, check with your Connectivity Provider to see which option they offer.
Rates, availability and restrictions are managed through a process called “ARI Push”. For example, whenever there is a rate change, product close-out or open in the hotel reservation system, this change is pushed through to Partner Connect, processed by lastminute.com's system, and immediately reflected on the sites (lastminute.com). So, whenever lastminute.com receives an update message, it takes less than 60 seconds to apply this change in our databases and is immediately reflected on all sites.
Please make sure that your connectivity provider knows that whenever a product changes in your reservation system which necessitates a change for lastminute.com, this message is immediately pushed out via Partner Connect ARI Push. As long as your connectivity provider ensures this "push" is delivered to lastminute.com in a timely manner, our inventory system will always be in sync with your reservation system (with no need to use extranets or manually manage inventory and rates).
There are a couple of options for receiving bookings from lastminute.com. The easiest and simplest to implement is called Booking Retrieval. When a customer books on the lastminute.com site, a booking is deposited in a file and the Connectivity Provider is responsible for picking up these bookings and inserting them into the Hotel reservation system. Connectivity Providers generally poll the system on a predetermined schedule to check if there are any bookings.
A second option for receiving bookings is called Booking Notification. In this implementation, as soon as a customer makes a booking on a lastminute.com site, the booking with lastminute.com’s confirmation number is sent directly to the Connectivity Provider’s system to insert this booking into the Hotel’s reservation system. The Connectivity Provider is expected to return an acknowledgement to lastminute.com confirming receipt of the booking. If the Connectivity Provider does not return an acknowledgement, it is assumed the Booking Notification has failed and lastminute.com will retry up to three times on a predetermined schedule. If all retries fail, the booking will be sent by fax or email to a mutually agreed upon fax number or mailbox. This implementation is generally more robust than Booking Retrieval and is designed to support higher volumes of bookings.
In addition, lastminute.com offers Partners the ability to implement Inventory Verification. This is designed for very high volume implementations where there is a possibility of our database being out of sync with the Hotel Reservation system because many bookings have occurred in a matter of minutes. In this implementation, lastminute.com will check for product availability twice, prior to sending the Booking Notification. The first inventory verification will take place when the customer selects the hotel from the shopping path, and the second will take place when the customer books the hotel on lastminute.com site. The Inventory Verification checks if that product (room type/rate plan) is still available, and will only confirm the booking and send a Booking Notification if a positive response is received.
Work with your connectivity provider to determine what will meet your needs.
1. ARI (Availability, Rates, Restrictions, Inventory) are pushed to Global Hotels through Partner Connect.
2. Hotel Information Retrieval – allows you to request a current snapshot of what is in Global Hotels.
3. Booking Retrieval - your system collects a file with the booking data or Booking Confirmation - we pass new bookings back to your system.
4. Inventory Verification - Room availability and rate plans are verified prior to completing transaction.
5. Booking Delivery – we pass new bookings and cancellations back to your system.
*Features are dependent on what each Connectivity Provider has developed.
- Extranet updates and maintenance (rate changes/close-outs) are seamless; the manual process is removed -- along with human error and delays!
- Offers real-time updates and availability which means that customers no longer shop against stale cached rates which may not always be accurate.
- Unlimited usage of client and product codes with Partner Connect.
- Better content through increased room types and rates!
- Enhanced customer experience at point of sale and at hotel.
- Rate, availability and promotional parity.
- Partner Connect offers additional promotional functionality.
- Expanded visibility to 330 days (an increase of 100+ days!).
- Improved revenue in compressed markets
- Increased conversion from enhanced content
- Higher ADR through room upgrades
- Higher ADR through value-add rate plans
- Plus: minimize manual work, costs, errors and effort!