If You Arlo mobile app screenshots

HT Talks Tech: Jimmy Suh, CCO, Arlo Hotels

Arlo Hotels knows the power of social media and created a new app that allows any guest to become a travel influencer for the brand.

Arlo Hotels recently announced the launch of their “If You Arlo” app. The app introduces a novel loyalty program that empowers any social media user to drive bookings and earn rewards while sharing insider tips and discounts with followers. With social media increasingly influencing travel decisions, Arlo Hotels recognizes that social influencers, friends and family members can all act as travel agents, and it aims to reward their impact through innovative infrastructure. By leveraging social media, Arlo Hotels seeks to bridge the gap between independent lifestyle hotels and larger chains, offering unique stay experiences and valuable insights to consumers while paving the way for a dynamic new distribution channel. To learn more about this app, HT spoke with Jimmy Suh, Chief Commercial Officer at Arlo Hotels.

Is this Arlo's first loyalty app or is it a new/revamped version?

Yes. Though it’s the first loyalty app, it’s beyond a traditional loyalty app. Up until now, loyalty apps have specifically catered to frequent travelers (often corporate travelers) who have a 1:1 relationship with the hotel. The If You Arlo app not only recognizes and rewards the frequent traveler but allows them, along with general fans (influencers) of Arlo Hotels to pay it forward to their social network and community (with discounted rates by association).

Where did the idea for the IYA app come from? 

We know travelers often select their hotels by word of mouth and through social media (there’s empirical data to support this), so we wanted to put this to the test. We did this by using the existing legacy systems in Q2 of 2022 – offering a group of repeat guests and influencers who have engaged with Arlo Hotels individual codes to share. This program’s revenue grew 2000% year over year. This served as the proof of concept.

Was it built in-house, or did you work with a vendor? How long was the process - from inception to deployment? 

The program was conceived and built in-house with contracted engineers.

How are you marketing this new loyalty program to your membership? 

In addition to public relations efforts, we plan to market this organically for the first year, leveraging/engaging with the daily influx of influencer requests wanting to engage with our hotels. Additionally, we will engage with repeat guests and local tastemakers to sign up for the program.

What kind of booking or revenue lift are you looking for? How will you know if the program is a success?  

We are projecting a significant increase in bookings and revenue with the launch of the app, a minimum of 300% increase year over year.  We would measure the success in a few ways: 

1) Incremental revenue growth from the program 

2) A higher % of the direct business (not from third-party sites) 

3) An increase in repeat business 

4) greater share of overall business vs. the competitive set

Are you hoping major travel influencers on social media will use this platform to advertise Arlo Hotels, or are you expecting it to be more commonly used by repeat guests who are sharing their experience on social media with friends and family?

Hopefully, both! We welcome both groups along with general fans of the Arlo Hotel brands. We suspect that the major travel influencers would generate greater awareness while the repeat guests and general fans would spur a higher level of engagement and booking conversion.

Any other comments? 

Travel is often what folks post about on social media. We aim to capitalize on the intersection of social media and travel with the If You Arlo app. Another driving factor is that Arlo Hotels is very community-driven. We feel strongly that the experiential hotel stays that Arlo offers should not be reserved for the few. We wish to democratize great travel experiences by having the individuals who make up our community pay it forward to their community – recognizing and rewarding all who are involved in doing it.

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