- Hotelchamp has introduced ‘Autopilot’, a new technology which it hopes will revolutionise how hotels think about their online guest experience;
- The artificial intelligence engine is trained to recognise and personalise the experience of every visitor to a hotel’s website;
- It is not a chatbot or ‘digital concierge’ – it customises static hotel websites using a range of marketing techniques and tools.
Hotels already spend huge amounts of time and money on guest personalisation – from email campaigns and communication, to advertising and loyalty programs. But generally these efforts are funnelled to static, one-size-fits-all websites.
“Today’s hotel websites provide the same static experience for every visitor, which is bizarre given how different guests and their preferences are,” says Kristian Valk, CEO of Hotelchamp.
“Personalisation is already the standard that guests have come to expect from hotels. The challenge has always been how to deliver that on a website in a scaleable and meaningful way,” adds Mr Valk.
Hotelchamp’s Autopilot is not a chatbot or ‘digital concierge’ – it customises static hotel websites using a range of marketing techniques and tools. With a seamless integration, the result is a living, responsive and personalised experience, guiding guests through the entire direct booking process depending on their characteristics and needs.
“The truth is, only artificial intelligence can deliver a truly adaptive website experience tailored to every single website visitor. One that brings the right information, interaction or offer, to the right person, and at the right time.” explains Mr Valk.
Hotelchamp’s data science team has developed Autopilot using years of data and hundreds of millions of A/B test impressions on what exactly convinces guests to book direct. Autopilot applies this knowledge against a range of factors; including real-time data from a hotel’s website, GDPR-compliant visitor insights and behaviour, and best practices from amongst Hotelchamp’s thousands of hotels.
Whilst this may sound complicated, Hotelchamp acknowledges that all the hotelier needs to do to activate Autopilot is literally flick a single switch. “We developed Autopilot to make it easy, not just for hoteliers, but also for guests to see the best information on the website. Autopilot makes direct bookings smarter – not harder,” says Mr Valk.
“We believe that with this type of technology now available to the hotel industry, hoteliers can bridge the gap between the online experience and the personal service hotels are famous for – a website that knows what guests are looking for, even before they do,” he adds.
Hotelchamp works on the philosophy that "the hotel industry is out of balance" as OTAs become more and more powerful and hotels lose control over their own future. It warns that if hoteliers don’t take matters into own hands and do things differently, and soon, they could end up facing a losing battle in winning back direct custom.
The Amsterdam-based business was founded in April 2015 to restore "a fair balance between direct versus third party hotel bookings" and is already helping more than 1.500 hotels from over 50 countries to boost their direct bookings and create what it describes as "a sustainable future where hotels are less dependent on OTAs and have more control over revenue, profitability, customer engagement and data".