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Accenture helped Marriott reach $7 billion in annual sales online. So their guests can go offline even faster.
With nearly 3,700 properties in 70 countries, Marriott International offers global travelers hospitality choices across 18 brands. After expanding its global Web presence, Marriott recognized that being able to attract new customers and interact with them in their local language via the Web channel would be critical to drive international growth and reinforce the company’s brand in emerging markets, such as Asia.
Marriott teamed with Accenture on a globalization program to launch a series of new websites giving all Marriott customers the same rich user experience in their own local languages.
Marriott had long realized that its website formed a key component of its global brand. As one of the first to establish a Web channel in the lodging industry, the company rapidly expanded its global Web presence from 2003 to 2006. It recognized that being able to attract new customers and interact with them in their local language via the Web channel would be critical to drive international growth and reinforce the company’s brand.
However, a significant challenge to achieving this goal was the multiple languages used across its global websites. Because many of the company’s databases and back-end systems worked entirely in English, websites created in local languages could not offer the same depth of content and functionality as its primary website, Marriott.com.
To overcome these limitations, Marriott teamed with Accenture on a globalization program that would launch a series of new websites giving all Marriott customers the same, rich user experience in their own language.
As a first step, Accenture conducted a globalization strategy project to determine how Marriott should extend its Web presence at the right scale to achieve its strategic business priorities. Accenture then developed a technology plan that would enable Marriott to provide local-language content and functionality for each of the websites, in a cost-effective fashion.
After completing the strategy phase, Marriott engaged Accenture to move forward with the technology plan: to design, build, test and deploy a new fully internationalized Web application and integrate this platform with a translation management system.
Accenture worked with the Marriott teams who support the content management system, reservations system and property database to identify application and integration requirements for providing local-language content online. In the initial 11-month deployment phase, Accenture helped Marriott launch three new versions of the Marriott.com website—for Germany, China and Latin America—each enhanced with substantial new content and functionality.
Despite the scale of the task—creating the new sites required translation of more than 1.4 million words per language, and deploying 76,000 new pages onto each respective site—the project was completed on time and on budget.
Today, Marriott customers around the world can book any hotel from its entire global portfolio, as well as modify or cancel bookings, and access the Marriott Rewards loyalty program, in a direct and easy way.
In 2011, total Marriott.com sales exceeded $7 billion—a feat that makes Marriott.com one of the top 10 retail websites in the world.1 Since launching the first local-language websites in 2008, revenue for these sites has experienced double-digit growth for the Spanish, German, and French languages, while revenues for the Chinese-language website increased by triple digits.
1. Source: Rankings of top Internet websites are from Internet Retailer (Top 500 Guide, 2009 edition), various public earnings reports and Marriott estimates.
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