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Hyatt leverages Uber on-demand taxi service to ease travel for guests

By using the Uber button located under the My Reservations section of the Hyatt app from the day of check-in until the end of their stay, guests can use available Uber transportation and receive information about the estimated price of the trip for each option.  The update shows how hotels are responding to guests’ demands for experiences that integrate mobile functionality and hotel service.

Hyatt is continually evolving its digital and physical experiences by listening to guests to better understand their needs,” said Ellen Lee, vice presiden of ecommerce at Hyatt. “We continue to hear that guests seek seamlessness, and this feedback drove the redesign of Hyatt’s mobile site as well as our new iOS and Android apps.

“The new feature is just one way we’re taking steps out of the process, making it easier for guests to get from their destination to their Hyatt hotel during their stay,” she said.

Leveraging mobile
For the past few years, Chicago-based Hyatt has been leveraging mobile to satisfy travelers’ demands for a more seamless experience.

In 2009, it launched its Hyatt Mobile Web site for travelers on-the-go, anywhere in the world. The site, created by Usablenet, let guests locate and book a Hyatt hotel, access reservations and check in or out through any Web-enabled mobile device.

Two years ago, the hotel chain began using mobile apps to make it easy for users to stay in touch with family and friends. It let guests create and share both digital and print postcards with The Canvas Art of Living Postcard app.

Hyatt’s mobile progress signals that the travel industry has grasped that brands and retailers must use mobile to guide the consumer journey instead of viewing revenue as the central metric.

Companies win and lose consumer loyalty during mobile moments, those brief occasions when powerful impressions can be made. Understanding the step-by-step journey of a consumer as he or she engages with a company helps to uncover where, when and why these mobile moments emerge.

Forrester Research analyst Julie Ask, speaking at the Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2014 in May, said the key features of mobile are immediacy, simplicity and context. Consumers tend to use a brand’s app or mobile Web site briefly and only for specific purposes. When a consumer opens her phone, she wants to immediately achieve a goal, not wade through tons of pages and load times.

Brands can provide this control by breaking down the consumer journey into segments and having the function of an app adapt intuitively to the context.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide’s SPG app changes from broad overviews to highly specific travel information when a guest’s stay approaches. Two days out, guests can open the app and immediately find hotel, room, transportation and exploration information.

Revamped app
The Hyatt-Uber feature comes on the heels of a newly redesigned Hyatt mobile app as well as a new mobile site.

Hyatt’s new iOS/ Android app makes it easier to book a stay, offer the ability to book with Hyatt Gold Passport points and provide in-app integration with Apple’s Passbook feature.

The company’s new mobile site includes booking with Hyatt Gold Passport points and the discounted My Elite Rate for Platinum and Diamond members, and support for Passbook.

For Uber, the move continues the platform’s expansion into product delivery-on-demand. The company has launched a test in its headquarters market of Washington of a service called Corner Store that allows users to order from a menu of products that includes toiletries, gifts and office supplies.

“Uber transportation options are among the many transportation choices available to travelers,” said Ms. Lee. “Hyatt will continue to assist guests with all available transportation options to and from the hotel, such as taxis.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.