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Fairmont site overhaul triggered by 300pc increase in tablet usage

October 23, 2012


Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is rolling out updates to its desktop site so that its features are optimized and touch-enabled for tablet devices.

The hotel brand saw an increase in tablet usage – up more than 300 percent this year – as well as an increase in time spent on its sites. Therefore, Fairmont is catering to the digital habits of its customers through the first phase of a digital renovations that includes updates to and online community, new tablet and mobile sites and new multi-lingual microsites.

“Today, tablet users tend to browse and convert in a similar way to desktop users,” said Michael Innocentin, director of Internet marketing at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Toronto.” Armed with that knowledge, we decided to optimize the desktop site for tablets.

“Mobile users tend to be very task-oriented when visiting the site and look for streamlined navigation that allows them to complete their tasks quickly,” he said. “At the same time, smartphones can offer users a very rich browsing experience today.

“Fairmont's mobile redesign has and will continue to focus on task-oriented users, but will also improve design and incorporate additional photography and media to enhance the overall guest experience.”

Mobile movement

Tablet optimization is a large focus of the digital overhaul since so many of Fairmont’s customers are interacting with the brand on those devices.

In fact, mobile and tablet traffic account for approximately 20 percent of all visits to, per Mr. Innocentin.

Fairmont’s newly-revamped desktop site was designed to be compatible and touch-enabled with the iPad and other tablets.

Capabilities found on the desktop site that are now touch-enabled for mobile include image galleries, virtual tours, banners and maps.

Tablet site 

Furthermore, Fairmont will release additional updates to its mobile site and iPhone application. The mobile site will soon be available in multiple languages.

What affluents want

In addition to tablet functions, Fairmont is focusing on social media, images and interactivity to revamp its desktop site.

Fairmont chose a cleaner look for its new site that boasts improved navigation, altered font sizes, larger visuals, high-definition videos and more interactive maps and directions, per the brand.

The site will also show guest-submitted images and stories from Fairmont’s online community

Additionally, the brand is integrating its social media feeds at the corporate and property levels.

Fairmont is also pushing service reservations from the new site.

Guests can customize their hotel stay through new add-ons under the "Enhance Their Stay” program. Services include breakfast, valet parking and experiences such as a safari outing or hot air balloon ride.

Fairmont is also enacting a new Web analytics solution to examine consumer habits on its digital channels.

Global research and past online analytics shaped the guest-centric site design approach, per Mr. Innocentin.

For instance, through a third-party consultant the brand invited guests in to complete various tasks on so that it could identify areas of opportunity.

Fairmont also analyzed data from Web surveys and guest emails as well as examined Web analytics to track click streams and top exit pages.

“Our guest research also led to other significant changes to the platform,” Mr. Innocentin said. “Site navigation has been simplified and navigation has been changed to include more intuitive naming.

“For example, our guests told us that they were looking for a link labeled ‘Find a Hotel’ versus any other nomenclature,” he said.

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York