How Capella Hotels & Resorts Boost Bookings with Omnichannel UGC

Results with Stackla-powered omnichannel UGC:

  • 4,000+ rights-approved authentic assets
  • 4.5x increase in Family Package revenue YoY
  • 40% increase in online revenue for Capella Hotels & Resorts

Capella Hotels and Resorts is a luxury hotel and hospitality group, boasting eight properties across Asia and Europe designed by world-renowned architects. Known for its highly personalized service, Capella sought to create just as intimate experiences for their guests online as they do in person.

To do so, Capella’s Corporate Director of eCommerce & Digital Marketing, Terence Wu, recognized that leveraging user-generated content (UGC) would be the perfect way to engage guests while crafting more authentic online experiences that build brand awareness and drive bookings.

“In the past, luxury hotels have been redefined by the real estate, the fixtures, the quality of the marble, and so on,” Mr. Wu said, “but now, it’s becoming more about the moments these properties create for families and people to get together.”

To capture and showcase these unique moments, Capella started searching for the right UGC platform for their brand.

Finding a UGC Platform with the Right Features and Scalability

Capella underwent a RFP (request for proposal) process to evaluate competitive UGC platforms side by side.

“We evaluated these platforms based on available functionality, integrations, support, scale and overall value of the platform,” said Mr. Wu. “We really liked the integrations and benefits Stackla offered; they had a lot more built-in templates we could use.”

Customer support was also a concern for Capella, which is based in Singapore. “Stackla has strong support in the Asia-Pacific region, providing quick and proactive responses to any support needs.”

Ultimately, Stackla’s superior product and services combined with the scale its platform offers made it the obvious choice for Capella.

As Mr. Wu stated, “We are a growing hotel group and we’re looking to add more hotels to the mix over the next three years. Stackla is a very scalable platform that was best suited to us.”

Getting Up and Running Quickly with Stackla-Powered UGC

Once the Capella team signed on with Stackla, they were eager to get up and running as quickly as possible. Luckily, Stackla’s customer success team was up to the task.

“Stackla customer success was very instrumental in getting us live in a very short period of time,” said Mr. Wu. “We signed an agreement in April and were live in May.”

Capella’s initial goals were to capture customer moments as part of their visual review strategy and showcase their luxury hotels online through their guests’ eyes, as well as “to build a richer library of images for our hotel marketing managers to leverage in their campaigns.”

To start, they added visual UGC galleries to their homepage and property webpages to serve as inspiration for visitors looking to stay in places like Ubud, Sanya and Shanghai.

“Stackla does a great job of enabling us to discover these candid guest moments and feature them prominently on our website, which is why we refer to them as #CapellaCandids on the site,” Mr. Wu told us.

These candid moments are thoughtfully curated to provide visitors with a genuine, multidimensional view into the experiences these properties provide.

“These images are all intentionally chosen for their ability to showcase a different part of the hotel,” Mr. Wu shared. “For example, when you first go to the website, you see the building, the architecture, the nice rooms, but there actually isn’t a lot of content about the pools. So, we feature pool and outdoor imagery in the UGC gallery, as well as the family moments that you can’t quite capture using professional photography. The hotels are using a combination of these authentic images as sales tools.”

Capella also began using Stackla to rights manage the high-quality UGC their guests were posting online about their brand. By requesting rights via response, Capella was able to directly engage passionate content creators while also easily obtaining the rights to use their content across all earned, owned and paid channels.

“Rather than just showing typical professional room images, we’re using user-generated content and we credit the guests accordingly. We’ve seen phenomenal growth as a result.”

Additionally, Capella Hotels shares their guest’s posts back out on their Instagram account with photo credits for the content creators.

According to Mr. Wu, “About 50 percent of our Instagram content is now UGC.”

 

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A post shared by Capella Singapore (@capellasingapore)

UGC as a Wedding Venue Sales Tool

Like most luxury hotels, Capella’s stunning properties are popular wedding venues. However, competition between wedding venues can be fierce. To help give their team a leg up, Capella Singapore has started using the UGC from guest weddings to inspire and entice other potential couples to get married at their hotel.

As Mr. Wu tells it, “We’re progressively using UGC as a tool to help our Wedding Whisperers sell these experiences. Photography is expensive, but we can request the rights with Stackla to use high-quality wedding photos taken on our property. It’s become an online to offline experience where our Wedding Whisperers can use an iPad to show people these images.”

UGC as an EDM Tool 

In 2020, Capella Ubud and Capella Singapore began rolling out EDM (Electronic Direct Mail) to past guests. With UGC, the hotels were able to provide guests an authentic visual experience of the hotel, resulting in higher engagement and CTR to the website.

 

Capella Singapore’s Family Packages

Capella Singapore’s Family Packages is another example of strategic UGC success.

As Mr. Wu said, “We run Family Packages every year, but this year we used UGC images along with some new messaging in our 2019 campaign and saw 4.5 times higher revenue. We strongly believe the use of UGC images in our marketing collaterals resulted in a more relatable and effective marketing campaign.”

UGC Results with Stackla

Since getting started with Stackla in May 2019, Capella has aggregated over 30,000 pieces of UGC and added over 4,000 rights-approved images to their asset manager. These are authentic, high-quality images that “naturally lend themselves to the creation of compelling marketing campaigns.”

“Smart investment, strong targeting and the use of UGC in most of our packages have all been really instrumental. Year on year, online revenue for the Capella brand grew 40 percent across the board.”

Capella Hotels and Resorts—and Capella Singapore in particular—are clearly ahead of the curve when it comes to the strategic use of omnichannel UGC in luxury hospitality, and we here at Stackla are looking forward to helping them lead the industry into a new era of customer-centric marketing.

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