I think if the hotel direct channel, the hotel website, continues to just be a brochure then customers will take that ecommerce experience elsewhere. They’ll still stay in your hotel but it might cost you 20 percent.
Frank Reeves is the Co-Founder & CEO of Avvio, an award-winning global technology business providing real solutions for hotels and accommodation providers since 2002. With a background in software engineering, Reeves is considered to be one of the top innovators in travel technology.
In this episode of Velocitize Talks, Reeves shares his expertise on travel technology, the hospitality industry and the user experience.
Meet Allora (1:13)
The challenge that I think hotels have is how do you compete with the major travel guys when you’re effectively stuck with a brochure website and a plug-in booking engine?
Avvio has developed the world’s first (and only) AI-powered booking engine, named Allora, which enables them to personalize and centralize the booking engine experience around the individual guest.
Welcome back (4:53)
You can be quite simplistic yet effective on personalization, even differentiating the website visitor who already booked your hotel yesterday and they’re back today. The vast majority of hotels will still just say, do you want to book a room? An online travel agent would never do that, Google would never do that.
Today 90% of travelers worldwide say they expect a personalized experience when they book their travel.
The journey (6:13)
The industry of hospitality is lagging so far behind what is a more hospitable user experience even on a retail site and that really is the opportunity to take a Netflix or an Amazon type approach.
Will hotel websites stay relevant? (10:04)
The risk for the hotel industry is that it just becomes a glorified brochure. By not differentiating one visitor from another you outsource that online user experience, that tailored hospitality experience, to a third party.
When it comes to booking travel online, close to 40% are booking hotels, followed by plane tickets. Consumers say they are more likely to search for hotels on the individual hotel’s website as opposed to third party.
Mind the gap (10:59)
As the cost of digital traffic and paid traffic continues to increase, the gap between hotels that can even afford to compete there and cannot is getting wider.