Wyndham rolls out ambitious mobile strategy for hotels
Travelers now have access to Wyndham Hotel Group properties through 10 newly created branded mobile Web sites. Sites were created for Wyndham’s Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Wingate by Wyndham, Baymont Inn & Suites, Microtel Inns & Suites, Hawthorn Suites, Howard Johnson, Travelodge and Knights Inn brands.
“Wyndham wanted to leverage brand loyalty into the mobile space, allowing the end user to go to any hotel site they typically visit and get a successful, consistent experience,” said Jason Taylor, vice president of mobile products at Usablenet, the company that created and powers the sites.
“By rolling out 10 separate mobile sites, Wyndham could ensure that regardless of the hotel brand you associate yourself with, all sites would be accessible by mobile,” he said.
Wyndham Hotel Group, one of three principal components of Wyndham Worldwide Corp., encompasses approximately 7,000 hotels and 588,500 rooms in 66 countries.
Wyndham Hotel Group’s new mobile Web sites provide users with nearly all of the same content and functionality as each brand’s wired Web site and have been optimized for use on more than 2,000 types of devices, including the Apple iPhone and the BlackBerry Curve.
“[The] mass market of business and leisure travelers are relying on mobile devices to go to Web sites,” Mr. Taylor said. “Mobile sites have proven to be a successful model for the travel industry, including hotels and airlines, such as JetBlue and American Airlines.”
Customers can download maps and turn-by-turn directions, view property photos, and research hotel amenities and brand promotions via a handheld device.
Access to the sites is available through established brand Web addresses, such as http://www.daysinn.com, which, when entered into a mobile phone’s Internet browser, detect the type of phone being used and adapt to provide the user with an optimized experience.
Wyndham isn’t the first hotel chain to rely on Usablenet’s services to go mobile.
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts launched its Hyatt Mobile Web site for travelers on-the-go, anywhere in the world, back in May.
The Hyatt mobile site lets guests locate and book a hotel, access reservations and check in or out through any Web-enabled mobile device. The multi-brand functionality is available to guests from around the world who are traveling to any Hyatt location (see story).
Nor is this isn’t Wyndham’s first foray into mobile, either.
The Wyndham hotel chain ran a mobile campaign for its Days Inn Business Place division to compile a database of prospects for remarketing.
The campaign was handled by mobile marketing firm Ping Mobile and asked travelers to text DAYSINN to short code 74642. Participants were then sent an SMS message asking them to text in to confirm that they want to join the VIP club for future promotional messages (see story).
The mobile sites were the obvious next step.
“The Usablenet Mobile platform has the unique ability to extend current Web sites to mobile, so Wyndham was able to achieve the quick roll-out of 10 brands without having to create any new mobile content or doing any back-end IT integration,” Mr. Taylor said.