Rejuvenating an online experience to bring an established luxury hotel brand into the modern digital age
Increase in page views
Increase in revenue
Increase in conversions
The Peninsula brand is at the vanguard of worldwide luxury hotels and its name is synonymous with top of the range accommodation and service. With expectations high among potential clients, those booking with Peninsula expect a digital experience commensurate with the standards the brand is famous for.
To this end, Peninsula resolved to upgrade its website and booking functionality to exemplify all the characteristics of a stay at one of its properties, giving an aspiring client a taste of five-star luxury from their very first interaction.
The Peninsula Hong Kong opened in 1928
The oldest hotel in Hong Kong
World-leading luxury hotel chain
10 properties across Asia, Europe & the US
The world’s largest fleet of Rolls Royces
"The challenge from the outset, was really asking ourselves ‘how do we grow from a luxury hotel group which focuses on delivering a first-class experience to guests during their stay, to ensuring we deliver that exact same standard at every stage along the customer journey".
Director, E-Commerce & Digital Marketing, Peninsula Hotels
Optimising Peninsula’s web and digital channels to offer the most inspiring, luxurious and bespoke experience in market
The global hotel market is a fiercely competitive environment and it is not simply enough to have strong name recognition and a five-star offering in the digital age. With websites now the most valuable asset for businesses, to fall behind in terms of development and functionality is to hand the initiative to your competitorst.
Peninsula had seen consistent growth within the luxury travel sector, however there was a need to update and refresh its website and booking functions in order to maximise its sales potential and provide a best-in-class experience for its guests.
Peninsula.com had been originally built on Sitecore v6.6 which was rapidly becoming obsolete technology. This platform also required significant updates to meet GDPR and WCAG 2.1 web accessibility standards.
In addition, the overarching Peninsula.com website was comprised of a global website and 10 property sub-domains, (one for each property in its network), which created many inefficiencies.
Elsewhere, the website required simplification by streamlining the flow between properties to enhance the SEO, while the design and technology stack also required standardising, to enable the site to accommodate more properties slated to come online in future years.
The website’s entire look and feel needed modernising, whilst retaining the existing infrastructure, with personalisation and conversion rate optimisation key outcomes of the redesign.
The scope of reimagining the entire online customer experience was broad, and involved bringing teams together from across MullenLowe Profero, including strategy, UX, visual design and technology, to optimise and enhance the user experience using a human-centred design approach.
Increase the value and size of direct bookings through the website
Increase the value and size of direct bookings through the website
Improve the experience of guests at all stages of their visit
Increase the revenue from the sale of other items (gift cards, experiences, etc)
Better communicate the brand and hotel’s offerings
A brand new website aesthetic to drive Peninsula’s unique offering into the future
This was a bold and complex undertaking that required meticulous planning to execute effectively.
With a pressing need identified to upgrade the Peninsula.com code base to meet ADA Accessibility audit and GPDR requirements - complicated by time constraints - an extensive website redesign project was ruled out. Instead, following user testing and a heuristic UX review of the website experience, the MullenLowe Profero team conceived a visual design refresh. This included a significant website layout redesign, enhancing the user flow from the website to booking engine and creating a uniquely branded Peninsula digital experience.
For the visual redesign, a core requirement was to deliver a mobile responsive website, which replaced separate desktop and mobile versions. The next step was the delivery of optimised responsive web templates with an entirely new look.
Deliverables included development of a new website front end and back end for Peninsula.com as well as large scale content migration.
MullenLowe Profero’s team worked closely with Peninsula’s IT team in order to configure and integrate Sitecore into their existing web infrastructure and compile the new Peninsula website in the staging and production environments.
As part of the migration process MullenLowe Profero provided SEO optimisation and web analytics support services to continue to improve the website performance. Web analytics were upgraded and business-wide reporting was established on the digital performance of the site.
"Drawing upon MullenLowe Profero’s hyperbundled capabilities across Singapore, Sydney and Chengdu, our approach from the outset was to utilise the best skill sets and talents from across the organisation, in order to deliver a cutting-edge solution for Peninsula Hotels’ unique challenge"
Client Operations Director, MullenLowe Profero
Peninsula has already seen impressive results following the website relaunch
Most crucially there has been a considerable uplift in page views, booking conversions and revenue in the period since the new website functionality was rolled out.
27% increase in page views
18% increase in revenue
53% increase in conversions
In terms of soft results, there have been other noticeable improvements.
User journeys into the booking flow have been enhanced, while the website’s SEO has been vastly improved. Peninsula also now enjoys comprehensive web analytics and third party tagging updates that greatly aid in reporting and measurement.
Finally, the implementation of modular design has reduced development and time to market costs for new website builds, with development taking weeks, not months.
"After the launch of the new website in 2018, and as a direct result of MullenLowe Profero’s work, Peninsula Hotel’s Gartner L2 Digital Index ranking climbed to 11th out of 75, a vast improvement from from 47th out of 50 in 2015"
The improved digital features conceived by MullenLowe Profero have allowed guests to experience Peninsula’s properties in a whole new fashion before, during and after their stay. In 2019 the digital experience at Peninsula is slated to improve even further with further website consolidation in the pipeline