The science of direct guest acquisition
allora.ai’s online guest journey is as complex and unique as they are. Whilst rival/competing booking channels, such as OTAs, already embrace the power of a more personalised guest experience, traditional hotel booking engines fail to deliver the engaging, personalised brand experience that both you and your guests demand.
allora.ai unlocks the power of data science and predictive personalisation to ensure a curated brand experience at every stage of your guests direct on line booking journey.
Hospitality has always been personal. allora.ai means your ecommerce strategy is personal, too. Drive greater numbers of engaged direct guests that fall in love with your brand even before they arrive at your property.
What made you decide to work in the world of hospitality meets SaaS?
I fell in love with hospitality very early in my career – straight out of university, in fact. It’s a fantastically unique industry that brings a great deal of joy to people’s lives, and I feel very lucky to be a part of it. I’ve spent 18 years of my career in marketing and commercial roles for large hotel collections in the UK and Ireland.
For me, the role of technology in hospitality – particularly in the luxury sector – is to enable hoteliers to enhance the guest experience, both online and on-property, and run more efficient operations. Our industry has some incredibly advanced ecommerce competitors (OTAs) who invest hugely in ensuring they are in the right place at the right time with the right price.
SaaS can help hospitality brands elevate their digital presence, so they too can adapt to guest expectations and emerging trends, and compete more effectively in today’s digital landscape. For me, this was a key driver in joining Avvio earlier this year. They created allora.ai, the world’s first AI-powered booking engine. Furthermore, our APIs enable you to work with best in class across your technology stack, so your tools can talk to one another. The world of hospitality meets SaaS is an exciting place to be right now, so here I am!
In terms of the psychology of buyer behaviour, what would you advise a hotel GM?
I’ve had the privilege of working with some truly inspiring and creative owners and GMs over the years. Hoteliers are true hosts – their attention to detail and passion for delivering personalised and tailored experiences for their guests is second to none. It’s important to recognise, though, that in today’s digital marketplace, the hospitality experience doesn’t just begin when a guest walks through your door – it starts from the very moment they land on your website for the first time.
The more you understand about what drives a guest to visit, the more effectively and deeply you can connect with them on their booking journey. Technology-driven innovation, coupled with immersive, personalised experiences, is what’s driving performance growth in hospitality today. Guests demand personalisation at every touchpoint in their booking journey, and are gravitating towards those hospitality brands that are able to recognise and respond to their needs. Furthermore, they are happy to pay more for it. This is where investing in technology can enable you to drive more business, more profitably.
“There’s a huge opportunity to refocus, rethink and restrategise how hoteliers maximise business opportunities amidst the new normal”
In your new role as business development director for Avvio, what are you most looking forward to, and what are your plans for the coming 12 months?
As business challenges go, the past 18 months have been pretty unprecedented, but I’m so proud of how hospitality continues to bounce back. For me, it feels like a real phoenix moment for hoteliers. There’s a huge opportunity to refocus, rethink and restrategise how they maximise business opportunities amidst the ‘new normal’.
For us at Avvio, we don’t stand still. We have continued to innovate throughout this crisis – it’s in the company’s DNA, and one of the many reasons I joined the business. Our new Retention Engine, for example, which supports hoteliers to navigate the rising trend of cancellations by utilising our AI learning modules, is part of a raft of innovative developments we’ve launched this year.
There’s so much more in the pipeline as well, and I’m already speaking to a lot of groups – both domestic and global – who are embracing the opportunity to upgrade their technology, which is very encouraging. Most of all, though, I’m looking forward to meeting people in person! It was fabulous to be at the HLDC conference back in June, and I hope to be doing a lot more of that over the coming months.
What intrigues you most about the hospitality industry?
That’s an interesting question. It’s often underestimated how important the hospitality industry is – it’s unique in today’s digital-first world. By its very nature, hospitality is about people, places and experiences. Technology can only ever complement and enhance it – it can never replace it. The impact of travel restrictions due to Covid has been felt in so many ways all over the world. Our industry literally keeps the world moving, and I think that makes it pretty special!
Tell us something interesting about yourself …
One day I want to own my own vineyard.