Ace Hotel is one of the most distinctive and forward-thinking hotel brands in the world. Each of their ten locations—from Seattle to Kyoto–is utterly unique, serving not just as a hotel, but as a cultural hub for the community.
Just as important as the accommodations is everything that happens around it at each Ace Hotel. Events are a big part of the experience for both guests and locals. The culture and lifestyle aspects play an important role as well, embodied not only by the look and feel of the properties, but by their online output, which includes a section of their website highlighting people, ideas and events of interest to the young emerging class that serves a key demographic for the brand.
Ace Hotel is committed to fresh thinking and continued evolution. So when it came time to partner with an agency to create a new website for their brand, it was important to them to find someone equipped not only to fully understand their identity and values, but also to accommodate the evolution of their brand over time. All of this needed to be balanced by an approach that prioritized website user experience and conversions.
Before approaching Wallop, Ace Hotel had a website that did a good job reflecting their brand, but compromised user experience in favor of design. It was visually striking, but challenging for users to find the information they were looking for and to take that all-important next step of making a booking. This was made especially clear by website heatmap data, which showed limited engagement with the UX.
There were other priorities for the new website as well. It had to include a more robust events section to showcase the on-property goings-on that have become such an iconic part of the Ace Hotel experience. It also needed to accommodate the need to add new locations as the brand grows over time, having the capacity to fully showcase the unique aspects of each property.
Wallop’s overarching goal in creating a new website for Ace Hotel was to balance the curiosity and creativity that Ace Hotels stands for with the best practices of user experience and website optimization. This union of creative thinking and careful analysis is what we do best!
Improving User Experience
From the user experience side there were a few priorities for us. One, we felt it would help to introduce a ‘sticky’ navigation bar that remains visible as you move throughout the site, including a prominent booking button and an easy-to-use booking widget to encourage conversions at every touchpoint.
Additionally, we designed the new site to provide a clear overview of all of the Ace Hotel locations. Many guests are loyal to the brand, and providing easy access to explore other locations encourages them to consider new destinations in addition to the one they’re currently seeking out.
Enabling Their Evolution
Although the website showcases the brand as a whole, it was important for Ace Hotel to be able to fully showcase the unique identity and offerings of each separate property. The new website does just this, providing Ace Hotel with a design framework that can be filled in with content and design elements unique to each location, with the freedom to add new property pages as new hotels are added to the portfolio.
In fact, improving the ability for Ace Hotel to control the website content as a whole was another priority. Wallop’s modular approach to the construction of the website now allows Ace Hotel to quickly, easily and seamlessly add and edit key website content in a way that they weren’t able to previously.
increase in website transactions
increase in website revenue
increase in ecommerce conversion rate
Emphasis on Events
To help Ace Hotel showcase their on-property events in a more compelling and user-friendly way, we expanded the scope and functionality of the events section of the website. We put a lot of thought into how to do this effectively, since it’s such a unique and important aspect of their business.
The website events section now allows guests to search for events that match their travel dates, purchase tickets and add these events to their calendars, all from a single touchpoint. The ‘Goings On’ page, as it’s known, is fully controllable by the Ace Hotel team through their CMS, with the ability to add and edit events as they’re announced.
Increasing Transactions & Revenue
In the months following our launch of the new Ace Hotel website, the results were impressive and immediate. Comparing the first two months after launch in September of 2021 to the same period two years prior, we saw a 59.45% increase in website transactions, a 55.11% increase in website revenue and a 50% increase in ecommerce conversion rate.
That last statistic is especially crucial to note here, since overall website traffic showed only a modest 5% increase from the same period in 2019, meaning that many more website visitors were taking the next step of making a purchase after visiting the new website compared with the old one.
Shaping the Future
At Wallop, working with iconic brands like Ace is the type of challenge we thrive on. As Ace Hotel aims to inspire curiosity, creativity and connection, so do we, and we’re proud to have had the opportunity to bring their identity and values to life online while working to strengthen their bottom-line results over the long term.