It’s Time to make Hotel Content Relevant and Personalised

  • Issue no. 2

By Ian Sloan, VP Partnerships at Avvio

For years now the bar for personalisation has been raised by the global retail tech platforms that dominate so much of our lives. From Netflix to Amazon and Spotify our data is used to serve us content which is relevant and contextual based on things we have bought, watched or listened to. 

But when we talk about hotel websites, the conversation rarely goes beyond “We want great photos and video!” Why are we so happy as an industry to create “brochure” websites that serve the same content regardless of a potential guest’s stage of booking or intent? 

Put simply, the answer is – it’s difficult! Not only is it difficult, but we are also in an industry that traditionally lags behind retail in terms of digital transformation by 5-10 years. Hospitality has traditionally been very operational. By its very nature, the focus has been on the guest, but often not the digital guest experience.

Does this mean that user experience and great photography are not important? Of course not, it’s essential your hotel website has:

  • An amazing user experience
  • Clear navigation 
  • Imagery that really sells your property
  • Great performance – Core Web Vitals will have an in increasing impact on your SEO performance and ranking
  • Targeted digital marketing to drive high-intent traffic

But we can do more. Far more. This is not an “or” but an “and”. If you have all of these things in place that’s great – but also think hard about the following:

  • Our data shows us that a returning website visitor is 3 x more likely to make a booking than a first time visitor – we know what stage of the journey your website visitors are on – ranging from first time visitor to confirmed booking and post-stay.
  • Guests coming to your hotel from different inbound markets will require different information – We will give them the content they need in a tone of voice that most resonates with them.
  • Guests want to see content relevant to their stay date – not their booking date – e.g. special offers available during a stay date or events nearby.
  • A guest who already has a booking wants to see logistical / practical information – eg “How to get from the airport / train station”

So why do we show the same website to all of them? Same hero photo. Same headline. Same call-to-actions. Why? Because it’s the easiest thing to do. If you really want to personalise your website you have to figure out:

  1. What technology you’re going to use
  2. Who is going to write and /or gather all of the different versions of copy/offers and photography you will need

At Avvio we have been working on this for some time. Our solution – which we call “Smart Content” allows a hotel to

  • Target content based on incoming geography
  • Target content based on interest shown – using “tags”
  • Target offers based on search dates
  • Display personalised content based on search dates or an existing booking – e.g. 
    • “Are you still looking to stay with us in September for 2 nights?”
    • “Hi <Name>, we can’t wait to see you in September.

We haven’t cracked personalisation for hospitality – but we are certainly getting there. If you want to move beyond a brochure website and start to raise the bar within hospitality, then get in touch with Avvio here.


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