Loyalty & Rewards

Who’s Prepping For Apple Watch Apps?

Starwood Hotels and BMW are among the luxury brands that are putting the finishing touches on apps for the Apple Watch during the run-up to its availability on April 24, Luxury Daily reported.

In both cases, the focus is on connectivity -- between the guest and the hotel in Starwood's case, and between the driver and the car for BMW.

The Starwood app "will provide guests with the information they need, when they need it, like the address of the hotel in the local language before they arrive and their confirmation number when they arrive at the property for the first time," Stephen Gates, Starwood's VP and digital creative director for global brand design, told Luxury Daily. Starwood's app was showcased by Apple when it first announced the Watch last September.

Not surprisingly, the app will give guests access to their Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty account information, deliver promotions and offers, and provide information about hotels such as directions and reservation details. A guest will be able to check in from the Watch, receive room information and track information on current and upcoming stays.

But the key feature -- literally -- will be the ability for guests to open their room doors using the Watch, which is already available in other Starwood mobile apps. Starwood has been rolling out a contactless-key system to its hotels starting with its Element, Aloft and W Hotels, and already has plans to install the feature in another 140 properties.

BMW is applying the same concept to its own app, which is designed to work with cars from its BMW i brand. The iRemote app will let drivers check the charge status of their electric BMW i3 and hybrid i8, and the app will notify the driver when the car is fully charged. The app will also let drivers check the available range, open or close door locks, and even adjust the temperature inside the car as they approach it.

The BMW iRemote app was part of Apple's "Spring Forward" media event on Monday (March 9), when Apple announced pricing and availability for the Watch.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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