Marriott’s Mobile App Is Getting a Big Upgrade

Feb 7, 2017

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Last year, Marriott was busy focusing on successfully completing its merger with Starwood after fending off challenges from Chinese company Anbang. Now that the merger is complete and guests can take advantage of status matches, points transfers and more, Marriott’s able to once again focus on making improvements to the guest experience. Now, the chain is betting on extensive customer research to provide new, high-tech features in a revamped mobile app that aims to provide a thoroughly modern and seamless experience from the time you plan a stay to when you check out.

You’ll notice a new look for Marriott’s app when it launches sometime today.

Here’s a rundown of the features that you can expect to see in the new app:

  • Mobile Check-In/Check-Out: While Marriott has offered this feature since 2014, it’s making it easier to use and more robust. Guests will be able to request room upgrades and be notified if an upgrade clears before arrival. You’ll also be able to request a late checkout (a perk guaranteed to Gold and Platinum Elite members).

  • Mobile Requests: This feature has been available since 2015 and is now available at 4,000+ hotels around the globe. Guests can chat with employees directly as well as request things such as extra towels right from a menu within the app.

  • Mobile Key: You’ve already been able to take advantage of the mobile key feature and completely skip the check-in desk, but it’s getting a big expansion with the rollout of the new app — it’ll be available at more than 500 hotels worldwide this year.

  • Improved search: Users will have the ability to perform more precise searches by searching hotels nearest to a specific address or point-of-interest.
  • Curated content: The app will deliver original content from Marriott’s digital Magazine called Traveler that will aid travelers in finding compelling information on their destination.

In addition to the inclusion of the above features, you’ll notice an improved interface featuring what Marriott calls ‘one-button’ design, inspired by watching travelers walking (or running) through airports balancing phones in one hand and luggage in the other. The goal here is to provide travelers with ‘simple thumb-tap access’ to all the app’s features. Also, the home screen will be dynamic, meaning that relevant features will pop up depending on where you are in your trip. For example, if you’re just beginning your trip you’ll see the Mobile Check-In or Mobile Requests page upon opening the app.

Relevant buttons are located in a way that makes it easy to navigate the app with one hand.

Later this year, Marriott plans to add a message bot called mPlaces which will provide travelers with travel and hotel information, recognition and offers throughout a stay. In the future, this feature will deliver more personalized content based on user data and driven by beacons that are now installed at over 500 properties. Also, you’ll be able to order restaurant or room service food to be delivered at any location on the property.

The new app will launch at some point today in the Apple App Store with support for five languages — English, Chinese, Spanish, French and German. Android users will have to wait a bit longer to download the app, which will be available in the Google Play store later this year.

What other features would you like to see added to Marriott’s app?

Featured image courtesy of the JW Marriott, Grand Rapids.

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