The Set Hotels Accelerates Digital Results with Achiga's Live Digital Experience Platform
Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, The Set Hotels is a young, ultra-luxury hotel group established in 2011 that owns and operates three iconic properties in Europe: Hotel Café Royal in London, Conservatorium in Amsterdam, and Lutetia in Paris, and plans to expand its portfolio in Europe and globally.
As a young brand in a very competitive marketplace, The Set is competing with well-established luxury hotel brands with strong heritage and great digital storytelling, some of which have been around for over a century.
What sets The Set apart from these established brands is a unique viewpoint on how modern, luxury hotels should be today. They bring the best of traditional and contemporary luxury together by marrying beautiful heritage buildings with contemporary design in unique locations. Their hotels are truly modern grand hotels and that’s the story they strive to tell.
"We see ourselves as creating modern grand hotels and being in the business of creating places that people return to again and again."
Director of Brand & Marketing, The Set Hotels
While Stephen Alden was CEO of the The Set, he set three big ambitions for the future of the group: growing business from North America, increasing customer loyalty and building the portfolio in key international cultural and gateway cities. With a strong belief that digital is transforming the luxury guest experience, making their ambitions a reality would require changing their marketing approach to digital-first. They needed to address the following challenges with their digital presence.
LACK OF BRAND AWARENESS
People, particularly in the North American market, didn’t know who The Set was. This signaled a need for a stronger, omni-channel digital presence that would be globally recognizable.
DISJOINTED WEB PRESENCE
Each hotel was opened and operated independently with the websites and digital marketing activities managed by local agencies. Without a global mindset or strategy, The Set’s digital presence was disjointed and inconsistent.
OLD WEBSITE TECHNOLOGY
The hotel websites were outdated and built on different technology platforms, none of which were mobile enabled or responsive. Not only were the websites failing to deliver the digital experiences needed to compete in a very competitive marketplace, making updates was time consuming, costly and required technical expertise. Overall, the technology platforms that were powering their websites didn’t have the capabilities to grow and expand with the group.
RELIANCE ON OTAs
Due to the limitations of their own digital presence, The Set faced challenges reducing reliance on the OTAs and growing the direct bookings on their own website.
It was clear that it was time to completely rethink and revamp their digital presence in order to solve their immediate challenges and drive future growth. This realization set the team on a mission to find a solution that would enable them to easily create, manage and deliver optimized digital experiences across multiple digital channels.
”We’ve launched a new website with an improved platform, more languages and much better pictures, this has increased our web bookings by 60%.Stephen AldenFormer CEO & Current Board Member for The Set Hotels
As they explored solutions, they quickly learned that they needed to think beyond simply launching a new website. They needed to invest in a digital experience management platform designed to power positive digital experiences for consumers in an omni-channel digital environment and grow with them.
Achiga’s Live Digital Experience platform, a unique, scalable platform designed specifically for the hotel industry, had been recommended to them by other hotel groups. After meeting with Achiga and evaluating the solution, the value was clear and far exceeded other solutions. They decided to invest.
The most significant LiveCMS features that influenced The Set’s decision included:
Single digital experience solution
The Set is now equipped with a single solution that includes the tools they need to manage all of the applications that touch the consumer, ensuring a consistent omni-channel digital experience throughout the guest journey.
Flexible, versatile technology
Many content management solutions today are designed around web publishing and therefore lack flexibility to create the complex cross-channel, contextual, interactive digital experiences that today’s consumers expect.
Live Enterprise is the next wave of digital experience management technology. By offering the flexibility and versatility to manage content independent of channel or presentation layer, it supports many different websites and digital channels that make up The Set’s omni-channel digital presence and marketing strategy.
Revenue generation opportunities
The platforms gives The Set the opportunity to drive revenue from ancillary services, including restaurants and spas using pre-built modules specifically designed and proven to generate reservations for dining and other services.
Being able to convert more mobile visitors with responsive and mobile optimized website experience powered by LiveCMS is critically important to revenue growth.
The Set needs to respond quickly to market demands in order to stay ahead of their competitors. LiveCMS gives them the ability to easily access, control and update visual, promotional and textual content required for digital marketing and ensures their digital experiences are always current.
LiveCMS is designed on a one-to-many model, which means that individual users at The Set’s properties can create and publish digital content using brand-approved templates, ensuring consistent digital brand experiences.
The user-friendly LiveCMS interface enables users to tweak and update digital experiences immediately without relying on an agency or IT.
Being able to speak to international markets in an educated and clever way is a key part of their roadmap for the future. With technology that displays content in more than 45 languages, including Right-to-Left (RtL) languages will help them increase business from emerging markets.
Digital Content Management for Omni Channel Experiences
Live CMS 5 enables hotel chains to manage content independent of channel or presentation layer.
- Hotel specific capabilities
- Modules to drive direct bookings
- Extensive API ecosystem
- Scalable and flexible
- Mobile-first experience
- Ability to update quickly
- Built for end-users
- 45+ languages including RtL and LtR
- SEO best practices
- Ongoing service and support
”I’ve worked with some CMSs in the past where users need a degree in HTML to be able to understand what to do. Achiga’s CMS is very easy to use.Brian GoreDirector of Brand & Marketing, The Set Hotels
In August 2017, shortly after adopting Achiga’s Live Experience Management platform, The Set launched a new website built on LiveCMS5 and the brand‘s improved and consistent digital experience is driving positive results across the board.
Booking conversion rates and revenue have increased overall and they have seen significant uplift in the North American guests. As a result, their reliance on OTAs has decreased.
Prior launching the new website, mobile visitors were bouncing from the website immediately. Their mobile bookings have increased from 5% to 30%.
The amount of time visitors spend on the site has increased by 20% and they expect it will continue to improve as they add more content.
Feedback from partners, the travel agent community and guests confirms that The Set’s enhanced digital experience tells the brand story effectively and establishes its credibility as a luxury hotel group. Both brand awareness and understanding of the brand have noticeably improved.
With LiveCMS integrated with their website analytics platform, they’re able to easily measure their performance and see that their website stats including time on site, engagement and bounce rates have all improved.
When asked about the impact of specific LiveCMS capabilities on The Set’s success so far, the team emphasized that hotel-centric applications designed to facilitate direct bookings and enabling complete control over content as being “vital to their success.” They also expressed that the platform’s multi-language capabilities are critical and will become “even more critical as they expand globally in the future.”
The Set’s feedback on Achiga’s platform is extremely positive in terms of what they can do with it, how easy it is to use and how they can add languages.
”We had maybe 5% of our online bookings coming through a mobile device before the new website launched. Now, it’s over 30% - 35%. This is a dramatic change and I can see us getting closer to 50% of our online bookings through mobile within a year.Brian GoreDirector of Brand & Marketing, The Set Hotels
The Set has established an enhanced digital experience supported by the Live Enterprise Digital Experience Platform that empowers them to tell their unique story of truly modern grand hotels to the world. They’ve overcome the digital marketing challenges that were holding them back, are experiencing significant results with their improved digital experience and are well on their way to making their ambitions reality with a market leading solution that will grow with them.
”We’re a group that is going to continue to grow and add more hotels. We need scalability. Partnering with Achiga is about moving forward into the future.Brian GoreDirector of Brand & Marketing, The Set Hotels
“It was important that our design agency was involved in defining the look and feel of the website and making sure that it fit within The Set family.”Brian GoreDirector of Brand & Marketing, The Set Hotels