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A Marriott Site for Those on the Move
After booking over $2 million in gross revenue between
August 2008 and the end of the year, the initial success of
Marriott Mobile, the version of Marriott International’s Web site for mobile devices, made clear to the firm the benefits of tapping into the m-commerce space. Although the mobile site had existed since 2005, it had up to that point
functioned only as a directory for Marriott’s 13 chains and over 3,000 hotel properties. Prior to these upgrades, mobile users would have to go to the main Marriott Web site or call the actual hotel to book new reservations or change
existing ones and manage their Marriott Rewards accounts. The upgrades rolled out with the August relaunch had been designed to increase functionality, and based on
the response, the hotel chain, a long-time favorite destination of business travelers, was looking for new ways to improve its mobile services.
Choosing to launch a mobile site, as opposed to a
Smartphone app, was an important strategic decision in itself. For starters, a general mobile site would not be limited to use on just one type of handset, which in turn would
also make it more accessible to owners of handsets more
popular in global markets. The site approach over the app
approach allowed Marriott to gather a broader data set on
who was using the site on what mobile devices. Over time,
Marriott was better able to direct its app strategy, as it eventually chose to create a booking app for the BlackBerry, a Smartphone often more popular with business executives,
before creating one for Apple’s iPhone.
While Marriott had access to other substantial resources for research, the company felt that specifically creating a mobile-based feedback system would provide
some important advantages. “One of the benefits of [the
mobile survey approach],” says Gina...
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