As one of the world’s largest and most recognisable hospitality companies, Hilton have consistently embraced innovation across their brands, from installing the first in-room televisions in 1947, to pioneering airport hotels in the 1950s.
We've worked with Hilton as a digital partner for a number of years, helping to develop propositions and build and manage platforms to reimagine what hospitality means to the connected traveller.
Recently, we've worked with the Hilton EMEA team and our data partners at Mixpanel to make improvements to the marketing platform we previously built. The platform allows Hilton to connect travellers to relevant hotels, wherever they are on the travel booking journey, through tailored, customised landing pages.
Through this project, we've been able to improve user experience, drive user engagement and increase conversion from hotel discovery to booking for Hilton.
Here's how we did it...
- Data-driven UX and UI improvements, validated through A/B testing
- 65% increase in time on site
- 66% increase in clicks-per-session
- 189% growth in guests entering the booking funnel
- 93% lift in map engagement on hotel pages
- Performance dashboards to articulate ROI of UX improvements
To make improvements and optimise product performance, we first needed to understand where points of friction were occurring within the user journey. Where were users getting stuck or dropping off, and what features and functionality were not being used to their full potential?
Our tool of choice to help us answer these questions was Mixpanel. Mixpanel's event-based analytics model allows us to focus on what really matters - interactions that map the real-world behaviour of customers. This approach gives us a more intuitive understanding of the user journey and helps us make strategic, informed decisions about where to focus UX improvements.
For example, through Mixpanel, we identified that only 1.9% of sessions were utilising the map feature when choosing a hotel. Analytics data, combined with user feedback, gave us confidence that guests needed more help understanding the relative location of hotel options to comfortably make a booking.
Based on insights like this, we looked at the search bar, the filtering journey, the review tab, and the hotel map to identify opportunities, formulating a series of hypotheses about how we could improve the hotel discovery experience for users.
Validating our hypotheses
After designing and implementing UX improvements across the booking journey, we validated our decisions through experimentation and A/B testing. We needed to establish whether new features were being used, whether they solved the user's jobs-to-be done, and if they had an impact on business outcomes.
One experiment involved adding a destination search above-the-fold to help user discover more personalised hotel options based on location. Our hypothesis was that providing a path to input geography would drive increased engagement with hotel content and entries into the booking funnel.
After testing and iteration, we found that over a third of users who used this feature to search for a destination went on to interact with the hotel map, and we saw a 93% uplift in map engagement and a 189% increase in users entering the booking funnel, more than validating our hypothesis.
A key challenge we see product teams coming up against time and again is communicating the value and ROI of UX and UI improvements back to the wider business.
With Mixpanel, we were able to build performance dashboards to show the impact of our experiments, helping the Hilton EMEA team to simply and clearly articulate the ROI of these initiatives to their senior leadership team.
Interested in seeing the discovery experience in action? Take a look at Hilton's sun & beach location page to see the filtering, search and map experiences for yourself (and maybe even book a holiday... we think you deserve one 🏖️)