Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts continues to be at the forefront of digital innovation in the luxury travel industry with the introduction of a new, highly experiential global website. The new fourseasons.com offers an immersive and user-friendly experience, combined with rich global content, impactful design and social media integration. Guests can transport themselves to a distinctive Four Seasons destination with just a click.
"Four Seasons has always provided an unparalleled hotel experience, and this level of service and engagement extends into our online presence,” says Susan Helstab, executive vice president marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “The new website anchors our already strong digital presence online, in social media and with the various communities we facilitate.”
As the first luxury hotel brand to fully embrace social media, Four Seasons moved digital to the forefront early on with Four Seasons magazine online, the introduction of blogs such as Have Family Will Travel, and a strong presence on social networking sites to suit the ways guests and travel partners communicate. The new Four Seasons website was thoughtfully designed in the same vein, to deliver an immersive and effortless experience tailored to every user. The brand’s signature service, locations and experiences are showcased through photo-rich, informative property and destination pages. Key features of fourseasons.com include:
Ease of booking - A new booking process that allows for multi-destination, multi-hotel, and multi-person reservations. Spa and restaurant bookings can now be made in one step for many properties.
On the go - Fully optimised for mobile devices and tablets.
Access to reviews - Each of the 80-plus property pages features user generated content direct from Twitter, Facebook and TripAdvisor.
Every property has a story - “Five-star highlights” and “why you’ll love it” sections both demonstrate first-rate service and the story behind the individual property. A quick reference tool kit right on the booking page offers need-to-know information specific to each stay.
Location, location, location - Four Seasons awe-inspiring destinations are front and centre, with descriptions of amenities, itineraries and experience offerings, while painting an authentic picture of the local culture.
Personalisation - After setting up a profile and indicating personal interests, related content and recommendations from Four Seasons will become available on a guest’s next visit and over time, delivering a completely personalised experience.
Extensive research around digital consumption of luxury consumers, both in the travel sector and across other categories, was conducted for the development of the new website. In addition, Four Seasons held focus groups globally to better understand guest and travel partner needs. This insight informed the content of the inaugural issue of the 2012 Four Seasons Luxury Trend Report. The first issue, The Luxury Consumer in the New Digital World: Then & Now, is now available online.
“With nearly 90 properties in 35 countries and more than 50 years in the luxury travel industry, Four Seasons is able to share unique insights into the habits of an important consumer segment,” says Helstab. “The inaugural Luxury Trend Report highlights what we have learned about guest expectations in terms of high-tech balanced with high-touch, how they use social media to engage with brands, and other valuable information.”
Four Seasons Luxury Trend Report affirms that luxury consumers are not only embracing, but engaging with new technologies in ways that are changing the face of travel. Some of the insights from the report include:
Luxury is back. 2011 was the year of luxury’s rebound. Almost all regions saw at least six percent year-over-year growth in the luxury travel sector – a key indicator of luxury in general. This surge is projected to continue; industry experts project 10 percent growth in luxury overall in 2013. At Four Seasons, revenues are projected to grow 9.2 percent in 2012.
Branding moves to the social sphere. Seventy-eight percent of the affluent participate in social networking sites, with more than half using social media to connect with a brand. Four Seasons brings digital media to the forefront of marketing efforts to suit the ways guests communicate.
E-commerce is king. The luxury consumer is increasingly going online to research and make purchases. Four Seasons online bookings rose 10 percent from 2010 to 2011.
The rise of the iPad. One-third of wealthy consumers own a tablet or e-Reader. Four Seasons revenue generated from the iPad and other tablets has grown 200 percent from 2010 to 2011. This number is predicted to grow significantly in 2012.
“As luxury consumers embrace digital media on a larger scale, luxury brands that do not commit to a holistic digital media strategy will not survive; it is no longer a nice-to-have but an essential pillar of branding and marketing,” concludes Susan Helstab.