Secluded away on the Isle of Arran is the stunning Auchrannie Resort. It’s proudly employee owned and operated, meaning the team working there benefits when guests arrive at the resort happy and leave happy. The resort realised they had to develop their digital channels to remain competitive, and over the past two years, they have been on an exciting journey to get there.
The luxurious 4-star Scottish resort first discovered Avvio whilst visiting the Independent Hotel Show in London back in 2016. Gordon Hay, Business Development Manager attended the show and recalls the first meeting there, “the challenge set to Avvio was “how do we create a better system for online bookings and convert more of our online traffic into bookers?” We were struggling to drive direct online bookings due to an outdated and poorly performing booking system which users found difficult to use, and therefore it was easier to book through an OTA.
“We wanted a product that grew as we do, and continually evolved. Having worked closely with the team from Avvio, we were convinced that their regular feature innovations and platform updates would exceed our requirements at the time and scale-up as the business grows.”
One year on since partnering with Avvio, Gordon and the team at Auchrannie have been thrilled with the results; “the results now speak for themselves, and we’re getting excellent results across our website and through the entire booking process.
“At the start of the partnership, we worked hand-in-hand with our E-Commerce Manager at Avvio to grow our digital presence. We’ve seen startling online growth and a massive impact since switching to Avvio, which is fantastic. Where we’ve seen the greatest growth is in upsells, especially with our spa bookings which coordinate seamlessly with room bookings and packages on the Avvio booking engine.”
Gordon explains the growth they’ve experienced since switching to Avvio; “we wanted a booking engine that would integrate into our existing website and was capable of growing our online direct business. Since partnering with Avvio in 2017 we’ve seen our direct bookings grow by 70% year on year - and as an independent hotel that’s not only an significant achievement, but also makes us much more efficient as a business as we’re able to get to know more of our guests from the moment they book with us.”
Since then, Auchrannie has also moved their website design to Avvio’s creative team who’ve developed an image-rich site which captures the uniqueness of the resort and its surroundings. The independent property is located on the west of the island. It’s a few minutes’ walk to the beach and the centre of Brodrick. For a small island, there’s plenty to do here, such as golf, tours and outdoor pursuits and Auchrannie offers access to popular experiences across the Isle of Arran.
Fiona Power, E-Commerce Manager at Avvio says “we wanted the website to showcase the variety that’s on offer in the resort, including three restaurants, the award-winning ‘Aspa’ and leisure facilities including a play barn to keep the kids entertained whatever the weather! All of this is discoverable on the easy-to-navigate website that we worked closely with the resort to create. The aim is to share this extensive local knowledge with guests before they arrive, encouraging them to stay longer or explore more of the island.”
However, the resort won’t be resting just yet, as digitalisation and enhanced guest experience are key areas for development in the coming years. The property is actively embracing new technology but wants to go further, as Gordon explains “Avvio has played a big part and being able to assist with this growth. Technology can make our business even more efficient and as an employee-owned company, it’s in our interest to do this.
“We’re working alongside other tech providers such as Criton to further improve the guest experience and this is an evolving project which again started at the Independent Hotel Show. A high percentage of our guests are downloading the Auchrannie app ahead of arrival, this allows us to support an evolving demographic of guests and responding to guest needs. More importantly, around 60% of our business is from repeat stays, and the app along with the great booking experience on our website helps to maximise this.”
The resort is now trusting Avvio to grow further through tailored digital marketing campaigns, as Gordon explains their plans for the future; “after seeing such positive results with the booking engine, this seemed an obvious next step for us. Having a team behind us who have the best skills to help grow our online presence allows my team to focus on other areas of the business. The future looks good for Auchrannie and we look forward to continued growth through our developing partnership with Avvio.”