the site coped brilliantly and managed a 35 per cent increase in traffic compared to the same period last year
Hilton has launched a new global web technology platform that will host localised websites for the hotel group and bring all nine Hilton brands onto one global portal. The first website to go live on the new platform was www.hilton.co.uk.
The multi-million dollar project to create the new platform and localised websites began 21 months ago and has been handled almost entirely by Hilton team members in the US and the UK. Co-leader of the project and Vice President of Distribution for Hilton, Jamie Cole, explained what prompted Hilton to invest in the new platform: “Hilton is operating as one global company and we wanted to take advantage of the economies of scale that a single, global platform offers. Importantly, the new platform will enable us to launch and promote our brands into new markets more easily and more quickly.”
The new platform and UK site has been through extensive testing to ensure that traffic and conversion rates would be maintained on the switch-over. According to Jamie Cole, the new site is already producing some excellent results: . “We turned on full traffic to the new site at the same time as launching a major January sale, which was a pretty brave thing to do, but it paid off – the site coped brilliantly and managed a 35 per cent increase in traffic compared to the same period last year.”
Hilton carried out extensive research into what customers wanted from the new site and this approach also seems to have paid off. Mike Lock, Hilton’s Director of International Online User Experience, said: “One of the key things we identified was that visitors to our site wanted as much information about the hotels as possible. We’ve now got 3,700 more images on the site, more restaurant and bar information and more detail about rooms. We’re already seeing the benefits of this, with three times as many people visiting hotel information pages as before.”
Web work at Hilton is now focusing on markets outside the UK. Localisation of these new websites will be key to their success, claims Jamie Cole: “In addition to different languages and currencies, the new sites will take account of different cultures and consumer behaviours. For example, the Japanese site will use imagery that is relevant to that market to ensure that visitors to the site feel ‘at home’.”
The next markets to move over to the new technology platform will be Germany and Japan in early 2009, with other markets including France, Australia, Italy, India and China following afterwards. The existing US Hilton brand websites platform will also move over to the new global platform during 2009.
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Notes to editors:
Key project statistics:
120 people working on the global web platform project
40 competitor websites researched
75 people took part in concept research
208 hours of usability testing with 151 people
500 hotels supplied content
500,000 words will be translated
3,700 new photos have been added to the content centre
10,000 photos have been migrated from the old to the new platform, giving a total of almost 14,000 photographs on the new platform
The new site has been tested and proven to handle three times the current peak hour load
About Hilton Hotels Corporation
Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 3,200 hotels and 545,000 rooms in 77 countries and territories, including 135,000 team members worldwide.
The company owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton®, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton® and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection®.
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