In a Nutshell: Through its online store, Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques sells hotel items many of its guests love to take home with them. The company has developed a loyal following with those who are familiar with its brand. To maintain high standards and customer value, Marriott is attentive to feedback and gives customers extra benefits through its rewards redemption program.
Nearly 100 years ago, J. Willard Marriott and his wife began their entrepreneurial endeavors that would eventually lead to creating one of the largest hotel chains in the world. His story began in 1927, when he opened an A&W Root Beer stand in Washington, D.C. The success of that business led Marriott to start a chain of Hot Shoppe restaurants and then expand into other businesses.
In 1957, Marriott started a family-operated hotel business that today encompasses more than 8,000 properties around the world. The company has some of the most recognizable hotel brands, including St. Regis, the Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, Westin, Le Méridien and W Hotels.
A large aspect of the company’s success over the decades has been its consistency in maintaining high standards of comfort for its hotel guests. And, as it turns out, many guests desire to bring that comfort back home with them after their stay.
Demand became so great that Marriott decided to merchandise its hotel products, most notably the Westin Heavenly collection of bedding goods. Mattresses, pillows, blankets – all are strongly desired by Marriott’s loyal customers.
To serve such high demands, Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques currently sells a wide array of hotel items from bedding and bath sets to scented oils and furniture. Having so many options allow customers to reexperience their hotel stay in their homes.
“We put a lot of work and love and thought into the products that we put into hotel rooms to tell these brand stories,” said Dana Hopp Peritz, Vice President, Global Enterprise Partnerships, Retail & Experiences at Marriott International.
“But what we’ve heard – and how it really started with the Heavenly bed – was customers saying ‘You know, I want to take that home. You gave me the best experience of my life, I have such great memories, and I want that in my home.’ So that really encouraged us to come up with a way to serve customers and serve our guests in that way,” said Hopp Peritz.
The Importance of Product Consistency
Consistency is a basic component of maintaining customer loyalty, whether the product is a fast-food restaurant, a car brand, or anything customers expect to be reliable every time. The same applies to the hospitality industry. If a brand changes its formula too much, it will eventually lose customers.
It’s something Marriott understands very well, and the company has invested much research into understanding preferences and comfort to create the best experience for its guests and customers.
Hopp Peritz said much of it involves sleep science and how people respond to positive environments. That includes aroma therapy and knowing what types of scents people prefer because it has the power to leave a lasting impression.
“Those are really interesting and exciting ways that a customer can kind of take the brand to their home and talk about it. And obviously scent is one of those amazing senses that really pulls memories back. So we see a lot of interest there,” said Hopp Peritz.
Creating a good impression and being able to replicate that has paid off very well for Marriott.
Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques allows customers to view and select products based on each hotel brand as they navigate the company website.
“Consistency is exceptionally important,” said Hopp Peritz. “So for someone who’s on the road a lot, if your home bed can match what you’re experiencing when you’re away, it can really help you maintain a cycle.”
Extra Value for Those With Marriott Points
Those who join the Marriott Bonvoy travel program can enjoy a number of member-exclusive perks and earn points by staying at brand hotels and resorts, or by spending with Marriott co-branded credit cards.
Marriott’s Bonvoy Boundless Chase credit card allows cardholders to earn five free-night rewards valued at over 250,000 total points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. The card has a $95 annual fee, and cardholders can enjoy a Free Night Award every year after their account anniversary, valid for a one-night hotel stay at a property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points.
Marriott’s Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card offers six times the points when cardholders make purchases through participating Marriott online retailers. The card has a $450 annual fee, and cardholders can also receive travel perks, including complimentary Priority Pass Select membership which allows unlimited access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world at no additional charge.
They can also earn 10,000 points when they purchase a mattress. Members can redeem their points for future stays at hotels or exclusive products from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques. When members use ‘Shop With Points’, they can receive all kinds of product redemptions.
“We look at this as a way to extend that value for card members,” said Hopp Peritz. “And we think a lot about what we can do more for card members every year.”
“We’ve been hearing about it for a few years through retail specifically around redemption. So today we can redeem your points through ‘Shop With Points.’ That’s the portal we use for all the product redemptions. And we do have our products there, but we are now working to add the redemption option to all of our retail sites as well, really listening to customers,” said Hopp Peritz.
A Strong Emphasis on Customer Feedback
Customer feedback has always been a cornerstone of Marriott’s operations. Every business J. Willard Marriott developed was centered on servicing the needs of the customer, and, naturally, if customers weren’t satisfied, the business wasn’t doing what it was meant to.
It’s a simple concept, but one that’s often overlooked when people are more focused on the money-making aspect of a business. But Marriott never lost sight of its objective.
To this day, the company still heavily analyzes and values its customer responses. And it’s the reason why Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques exists. Listening to customer requests for hotel goods is what convinced the company to start its online shopping store.
“Our guests are really good about giving feedback,” said Hopp Peritz.
“And because of that, we’re able to make adjustments. If we hear something like a mattress gets lumpy or has a body impression, we’re able to actually work with manufacturers to adjust it. So they do evolve, and they evolve based on consumer feedback, which we just love! We get really excited that we’re able to mine that information and really make adaptations.”
Hopp Peritz added that the company is excited about the future and wants to continue adding more value to its consumer base.
“It’s not just that there’s so much love at Marriott headquarters for these brands – which there is a very strong amount – but the general public and certainly our loyal members feel that same passion and want us to bring them more. So that’s where my team is focusing and just thinking about what the future could hold,” said Hopp Peritz.