The 2000s have developed an era of collaborative consumption, which is to increase the use of a good or service sharing, exchange, sale or lease of it. Last affected by this phenomenon: housing and tourism. We all heard about "couchsurfing" or "exchange of apartments or houses" and the society swears today more than Airbnb. The concept proposed by this site meets a real demand: it is to link individuals who want to rent their homes to supplement their ends with travelers seeking accommodation at lower prices. No wonder that this start-up in Silicon Valley has attracted over 4 million users in 192 countries worldwide. As I read through the case; I realize that Airbnb did not respond in a good way. However, how they reacted in the long-run was very smart. Indeed, they apologized and promised to strengthened their security for the safety of each customer.
Four million passengers have already tested the concept . The ads make the visitors dream : Prices also are attractive: 100 euros per night for a three - bedroom duplex terrace overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Cheaper than a room in a small hotel next door. Select, contact, and book: three clicks, it is done . " We owe our success to our business model : the ad is free , we only take a commission at the time of the transaction ," said Nicolas Ferrary . 3% paid by the host, 6 to 12% by the traveler. In crisis, Airbnb democratizes tourist rental . " We rent our three-piece 750 euros per week , enough to pay a part of the holiday ," explained Isabelle and Quentin . Like them, 35,000 "guests" in France - 15 000 Paris supplement their income by renting their couch , their guest room, their apartment or house. However, the site is sometimes more than just extra income. (Airbnb, 2013).
3. Social Media
Besides operating a host of social media channels, including Facebook, with 247,000 likes, Twitter, with over 140,000 followers, YouTube, with over 3,400 subscribers, and a company blog, Airbnb has successfully leveraged social media channels to promote the content they house on the site itself. Airbnb's Twitter feed pushes out original content from their user base, including stories from renters on their experiences in new cities, local information that always includes link that takes followers directly to the Airbnb Neighborhood Guide page for that city. Contests are a great way to engage users, and Airbnb recently held a contest based on Instagram inspiration. Users were called upon to share photos that put a "cool, innovative twist on a summer cliché", and then tag it "Airbnbfun.
The winner of the contest, who won a whopping $2000 travel credit with Airbnb, was featured on the brand's Twitter stream, highlighting their penchant for personal communication. Along the lines of social media effectives and tactical promotion, Airbnb's new Social Connections feature allows users to sync their Facebook accounts with their existing Airbnb account. Once connected, the tool shows if users' friends have previously booked a place they are currently considering. This feature is particularly important because it taps into social currency and word-of-mouth recommendations, the most powerful drivers of online sharing and commerce. Using tailored search functionality, the Social Connections feature showcases the top-rated rentals within a user's social network. Thus, users feel safer and more confident booking with Airbnb, knowing people in their social networks have endorsed certain spaces. 4. Establishing Trust and Security for consumers
Some researches show that Airbnb is increasing and developing some moves to make the consumers safer. There’s probably no company built more on the notion of trust than Airbnb. After all, you’re sharing lodging with a stranger. Today, the company is trying to turn some of that trust into a systematic certainty by rolling out a new security requirement. Airbnb is launching a page on its site for users to verify their accounts in two steps, both online and offline. For online verification, they need to verify their Facebook or LinkedIn pages. If they aren’t on either, they are required to point to three positive reviews from Airbnb. If they don’t have those, and aren’t Facebook or LinkedIn members, they can contact customer service to figure it out, says Jakob Kerr, Airbnb’s communications manager. As for offline verification, they need to scan their state-issued identification card, or confirm some personal info like entering the last four digits of their social security number or confirming a home address from years back. The idea is to pull away the veil of inauthenticity.
The thinking goes that it will put users at ease when browsing the site, and it will give owners peace of mind to know that people are accountable, and they are tied to their real personal information. For now, the verification process is mostly opt-in, though a random 25 percent of Airbnb users in the United States will be required to complete the verification before they can make reservations. Eventually, the goal is to get full participation, but Kerr says for now the company is rolling it out incrementally but plans to launch it internationally by year’s end. Of course, trust is a two-sided thing. By giving Airbnb scanned ID information, customers are implicitly trusting the company and its own security standards. “We understand we’re asking customers for more of their personal info,” says Kerr, but he continues, “We view trust as the fuel of the sharing economy as a whole.” (Airbnb, 2012) He promises all of the data will be encrypted, and only seen by a small number of Airbnb employees. He says those employees are regularly audited to ensure their integrity. It’s easy to see why a verified account would put users at ease. Airbnb has taken its lumps with trust and security issues in the past. The company first began to address concerns in in earnest in 2011, after a host reported a guest ransacked her home. Airbnb launched what the company called “Operation: Trust,” implementing new features like a 24-hour customer hotline. 5. The future of Airbnb
When I searched for additional information, I read that one of the goal of Airbnb was to expand in terms of core service they want to offer. Airbnb delivers personalized, local experiences, powered by the crowd. They provide that personalized experience at the local level of properties and experiences available to rent, but have an inventory that ps the globe. In fact, the New York Times has reported that Airbnb is putting 200,000 heads in beds per night, and they’re still in their formative years. It’s local and specialized, and often less expensive than hotels. (New York Times, 2011) The future state of Airbnb could go beyond just beds, disrupting eBay. This is a massive marketplace that can add any product mix that the crowd wants. I imagine the next natural phase for Airbnb is to help restaurants, local retailers, and artisans to provide services to guests at Airbnb facilities, and then to everyone else – all at the local level. Their main focus is crowdsourcing marketing. By listening to the customers’ demands, Airbnb will try to expand and offer the customers a “one stop” website where they don’t have to go from website to website to purchase different products but gather as many products or services as possible to ease the shopping experience for the customers.