Marriott Revamps Mobile App Based On User Activities

What Happened
Looking to enhance its customer experience on mobile, Marriott Hotel has updated its app based on guest feedback to offer a more intuitive user experience. The revamped app sports a “one-button” ergonomic design that is easy to navigate, along with a swipeable home screen that let users easily switch from different scenarios such as checking-in or planning future stays. Each swipe will bring up a new page that brings up the most relevant information for their needs within those contexts, such as access to Marriott Rewards account information or personalized content delivered via the app’s built-in messaging service called mPlaces. The international hotel chain has achieved some early successes with its mobile app, which drives $1.7 billion in annual bookings.

What Brands Need To Do
Marriott is certainly not the first brand to adopt the swipeable designed popularized by dating app Tinder – cosmetic retailer Sephora also opted for a swipe-based interface for its mobile app, – but the way the hotel chain used this mechanism to let guests easily navigate the app through different stages of their travel and quickly get to what they need. As more brands rush into the mobile space, they should take note and learn to design it in a mobile-intuitive way that presents a user experience that matches with consumer behavior.


Source: Travel&Tour World

A Stockholm Hotel Is Using Amazon’s Alexa As In-Suite Butlers

What Happened
The Clarion Hotel Amaranten in Stockholm is the first in the world to incorporate Amazon’s voice-based, personal assistant Alexa into its suites. The hotel worked with Edge DNA to integrate hotel-specific functions into Alexa, which can help guests search for information, play music, or order a taxi. The hotel also plans to further integrate Alexa so that guests will soon be able to control the lights, lock the doors, or order room service simply by talking to Alexa.

What Brands Should Do
This is the latest example of how voice-based assistant services may transform customer experiences in hospitality. As Amazon continues to improve Alexa’s functionality and expand it to more devices to reach a bigger audience, brands that wish to stay ahead of the curve need to start working with developers to explore how incorporating conversational interfaces may help improve the customer experience.

The Lab has extensive experience with building Alexa skills and helping brands navigate the new realities that conversational interfaces are set to bring. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out and schedule a visit to the Lab. For additional information on how brands can effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, please check out the first section of our Outlook 2016.


Source: Business Insider

How St. Giles Hotels Is Crowdsourcing 360-Degree Content From Its Guests

What Happened
St. Giles Hotels is inviting its guests to help it create VR content by lending them 360-degree cameras to document their stays with. The hotel chain, which manages nine properties across multiple continents, is also launching a contest to find interested consumers around the world to contribute some 360-degree footage to add to its content library. This summer, thirty guests will be awarded with a free one-night stay, given a Samsung Gear 360 camera, and tasked with shooting 360-degree videos around the hotels and the cities they are located in. The final cut of the crowdsourced VR content will be incorporated into a digital and social campaign planned for September. The company is also making a mobile app to allow viewers to watch the content with Google Cardboard.

Why Brands Should Care
With more and more platforms supporting VR and 360 video content, branded VR content continues to gain traction among consumers as brands started working with content creators to produce engaging, immersive content. St. Giles Hotels is taking a different approach here, as it outsources the VR content creation to its guests in exchange for one night of free accommodation. It is a good way to drum up consumer interest and get some authentic material that truly reflects the customer experience. Brands looking to get in on the VR trend should consider taking a cue from St. Giles and devising a similar initiative.


Source: AdWeek

Marriott Develops Original Content For Branded VR Experience

What Happened
Guests at Marriott Hotels can now order a “VRoom Service,” which offers visitors virtual tours of Chile, China, and Rwanda, powered by Samsung Gear VR headset. The hotel created these distinct global travel experiences in partnership with Framestore VR Studio, marking it latest foray into developing original VR content to bring immersive experiences for its customers. Previously, Marriott also offered visitors virtual tours of London and Hawaii with the help of the Oculus Rift headset.

What Brands Should Do
Similar to Birchbox’s experiment with virtual reality earlier this year, Marriott joins a handful of early-adopting brands that are producing original VR content for the VR platform to bring added value to the customers. For brands that seek to immersively engage with the audience, now would be the time to start experimenting with VR content creation.


Source: Digiday

Header image taken from Marriott’s YouTube Video “VR Postcards