Airbnb started in 2008 and was named after its three founders rented air mattresses so that guests could stay on the floor of their San Francisco apartment during a conference. Since then, the company has come a long way.
The company has been disrupting the tourism market by understanding and moving according to changes in consumer behavior. Here’s how Airbnb is shaping the future of the travel industry:
Dorothy was right when she said there is no place like home. It also applies well in the concept of Airbnb..
The increasing popularity of boutique hotels proved that there is a growing segment of travelers who wanted a more varied choice of accommodation. They preferred an experience with a personal touch and the opportunity to be immersed in the local culture. This is the essence of Airbnb, which was born as a kind of boutique hotel.
With the title “Viva lá” (live there!), the platform offers the chance to stay in unique places and have the experience of a local resident.
The proposal of the brand is that staying in an Airbnb location is more than just a stay. It’s a space where one experiences new places and meets the locals, appealing to people who do not like to see themselves as “normal” tourists.
By offering unique homes in some of the most spectacular places in the world, it is possible to expect that the first contact with the website already appeals to the user’s emotions. Be it excitement, admiration or belonging, Airbnb captures these emotions with carefully chosen images and background videos.
Yes, there is the layered search at the top, but, first and foremost, the project focused on connecting with visitors on a nicer level than any travel agency website that we know of.
It’s built on pure trust
The only part of every customer’s experience that Airbnb has full control over is the website. This means that the brand has no choice but to trust in people from all over the world who choose to offer their properties on the platform. That’s the reason why it’s so important to incentivize guest reviews.
This also requires that people who offer their residences to place trust in the complete strangers their guests are and vice-versa: the traveler has to trust his host, hoping that what they will get what they saw online. That is, the level of transparency and trust need to be very high for business to happen.
It’s price sensitive
Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences at any price. For millions of people who go on school holidays with children, it can be really economical compared to traditional hosting options. In addition, Airbnb also offers unique opportunities at competitive prices for corporate travelers. Rentals of entire homes/apartments for coworker groups or corporate event participants can be great options for those who want to pay less for their stay.
Every experience with Airbnb is designed to be pleasant and personalized. Many times, upon arrival, the hosts will leave a small welcome note or a gift to receive the new guest.
The biggest success offered by Airbnb offers is that in 99% of the time you interact with the brand, there is no human intervention (but still feels like it). The user experience must be special.
Airbnb thinks outside the box and has encouraged the host community to always offer unique and memorable experiences for travelers who stay on their properties. This really helps Airbnb customers to “live like locals”.
Whether it’s an apartment for a night, a castle for a week or a cottage for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique and inspiring travels.
With search filters by property type, including cottages, earth houses and treehouses, you realize that the experience is at least original.
As a brand, Airbnb can provide feedback lessons to many larger and more experienced companies as it recognizes the opportunities to turn a potential detractor into a brand supporter by simply responding and being respectful.
How many brands are truly concerned about their image and are respectful of customers when they have a negative experience?
From the logo to the application and the website, the Airbnb project and the user experience are simply beautiful. The Airbnb digital experience has played a significant role in redesigning the current user experience parameters.
Small things during the stay show how the Airbnb is all about ensuring guests truly enjoy a memorable experience. For example, when you arrive at your destination, Airbnb offers useful guidelines for your accommodation.
In short, Airbnb is human. Browse and see people like you and me who are part of this unique and growing community. They are people who are taking a different path to experience unique and enjoyable journeys, different from the usual.
Currently, Airbnb is one of the most inspiring and cutting-edge brands in the world, regardless of industry. This is mainly due to their innovative thinking and absolute focus on the customer experience.
For some time we have mentioned the fact that Airbnb has the potential to become a hotel distribution channel.
The question is: is the Airbnb experience the future of the travel industry? And what can hoteliers do to start offering their current customers something that Airbnb has become central to their overall customer experience?