The award-winning hotel group which owns and operates some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, resorts and residences, including two iconic properties in the UAE, has unveiled an online presence to match the luxury experience of its hotels.
Valtech has partnered with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to launch a new digital experience. Mandarin Oriental had the foresight to invest early and put themselves at the forefront of the industry in preparing more personalised digital experiences to greet increased post-COVID traveller demand, which is forecasted to continue to increase sharply through 2026.
Partnering with Valtech to transform its online presence in the heart of the pandemic resulted in an initial relaunch in time for the first travel surge in December 2021. This rapidly showed results; the average revenue per booking increased by more than 40% and engagement behaviours rose more than 10%.
Mandarin Oriental and Valtech have now completed the grand relaunch of Mandarin Oriental’s sites for all its global locations, including the UAE where it owns and operates iconic properties in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, to meet the continued increase in travel demand ahead of competitors in the industry; the new online presence enhances the visual experience and flow for travellers, all supported by the replatforming of the website to Sitecore. This further investment has extended the success of the new digital experience, with numbers from the full relaunch showing year-over-year increases in organic traffic (90.8%), unique visitors (17%) and revenue (42%).
“We’re thrilled to partner with Valtech to help us realise our vision, ahead of the return of more post-COVID guests to our properties, to create a truly customised, mobile-first experience that highlights the same luxury and customer-first approach they expect from our hotels,” said Peter Norris, Vice President, Digital at Mandarin Oriental. “The expertise Valtech provided made the transformation easy by elevating Mandarin Oriental’s digital experience to a level where we are already seeing exciting growth in customer engagement and booking value.”
The UAE’s hospitality industry saw strong recovery through 2022 as the total number of hotel guests in the first half of the year increased by 42% to reach 12 million. In Dubai occupancy rates through 2022 averaged an impressive 76%. To accommodate this robust recovery, Mandarin Oriental had the foresight to lead the hospitality industry in providing guests with a unified, unique experience across both physical and digital properties.
For Mandarin Oriental, this means the complete redesign and replatforming of their online presence, giving visitors and customers the same feeling of luxury and dedicated service from the moment they enter the new website, throughout the booking and even the confirmation process that they get during their stays at the properties.
“Our partnership with Mandarin Oriental has been extremely rewarding,” said Lori Esposito, VP, Head of Client Services at Valtech. “In our most recent collaboration, we aimed to build an online experience that truly showcased the scale and distinctiveness of such a wonderful brand, while still prioritising the improvement of the entire customer journey, as Mandarin Oriental welcomes travellers back to their properties. We look forward to our continued work with Mandarin Oriental as we help them – and their customers – navigate today’s digital innovation era.”
“Mandarin Oriental is a global icon in the luxury hotel segment and has always strived to deliver legendary customer experience across all its channels,” said Kareem Monem, Regional Managing Director at Valtech MENA. “What makes this journey so unique is that the Mandarin Oriental leadership saw beyond the challenges Covid presented and invested in the upturn – a decision that is paying back tenfold today. Valtech is proud to have been a core part of Mandarin Oriental’s Digital Experience Transformation journey and look forward to more successes together.”
We asked Peter Norris, Vice President, Digital at Mandarin Oriental, further questions to find out more.
Why was it important for Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group to prepare more personalised digital experiences to greet travellers?
Most of us have come to expect a minimum level of personalisation from the companies and brands we engage with and our guests are of course no exception. Personalisation, in essence, allows us to recognise our guests’ individual needs, wants and interests, in order to create a digital experience that feels tailor-made for them. Mandarin Oriental prides itself on delivering thoughtful, curated, singular experiences at each of our hotels and we wanted our website to recreate the feeling our guests have when they interact with any one of our dedicated hotel concierges and other colleagues. Personalisation was a key piece to ensuring the website reflected the same extraordinary service we provide on property.
How has the partnership with Valtech facilitated you to increase engagement?
We know that luxury travellers are not defined by their demographics. Their behaviours and needs change depending on the purpose of their travel. Through our partnership with Valtech, we developed an improved user experience that allows customers to more seamlessly engage with our website based on their travel intent and our post-implementation analytics are reflecting easier navigation, a lower bounce rate and more page views as a result.
Why is a mobile-first experience important to your customers and how has Valtech helped to deliver this?
Mobile-first is crucial in the hospitality industry, as we know many of our customers use their smartphones and tablets to research and book their stay. Additionally, the smartphone is always a trusted travel companion, so providing our guests with the best experience at hand – literally – is essential. It enables us to provide a seamless and convenient experience, from their first search, throughout their stay and towards their next adventure.
Can you explain how the visual experience and flow for travellers has been enhanced?
Today’s luxury traveller has many options when considering where to stay. Last year mandarinoriental.com was updated to give an enhanced experience to our guests. To give an emotional connection to each unique destination, larger photography and videos were used to let the spirit of the place shine through and showcase the local experience. The site was reorganised to guide our fans to stay, dine and enjoy our spa. Finding the perfect room has never been easier with improved filters and simplified checkout.
Why was it important to replatform the website to Sitecore?
Mandarin Oriental’s legacy website limited our ambitions for growth and customer engagement and lacked the capabilities of a modern Digital Experience Platform. The new Sitecore platform has enabled us to create more innovative guest experiences online and on-property and empowers properties to manage more of their local content. The new platform also allowed us to create a more streamlined booking flow.
Why did you choose to work with Valtech?
We’re thrilled to partner with Valtech to help us realise our vision to create a truly customised, mobile-first experience that highlights the same luxury and customer-first approach guests expect from our hotels. The expertise Valtech provided made the transformation easy by elevating Mandarin Oriental’s digital experience to a level where we are already seeing exciting growth in customer engagement and booking value.Click below to share this article