Marriott Hotels announced earlier this week its newest addition to the industry leading Marriott Mobile app for smartphones. This latest innovation features a mobile phone check-out functionality. The function, which is exclusively available to members of Marriott’s Reward loyalty programme, reflects the brand’s commitment to mobile as a critical channel for the enhancement of travel experiences. Although it is at the moment only available in Marriott branches across North America, the entire global Marriott brand will join later this year (Hotelmarketing 2014).
MARRIOTT’S DIGITAL CUSTOMER JOURNEY
The mobile check-out is part of a long-term digital strategy that is aimed at putting Marriott at the forefront of digital innovation in the hospitality sector. Through different initiatives, the brand committed itself to introducing technology at all stages of the customer journey, thereby offering a more seamless and customised service experience. Senior VP for Brand management Pau Cahill said “We're excited to add mobile checkout to our portfolio of innovations as Marriott Hotels reimagines the future of travel."
MEETING CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS
In July 2013 mobile check-in was added by Marriott to its digital mix. The customer feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with 150,000 mobile check-ins in six months. Especially the convenience and faster check-in, have been cited as main reasons for adopting the technology. Also the app offered an option that would alert customers once their rooms are ready. As smartphones assume an increasingly important part in consumers’ daily lives, mobile technologies are becoming a critical element of customer journeys. The future 24/7 connected traveller uses her/his mobile phone as a remote control for their life, thereby forcing travel brands to incorporate this technology seamlessly into travel experiences.
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