Airbnb Uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Transform their Business, Are You?

By BDO Digital| July 12, 2017

We’re living in an age of great disruption, and we’re seeing it play out all around us. While large hotel chains like Hyatt and Wyndham were tinkering with reservation apps, Airbnb disrupted the entire industry in just a few years with a simple idea paired with the right technology and approach. And even after they earned their spot as the world’s largest accommodations provider, this savvy startup continues to fend off competitive threats by continuously looking for new ways to differentiate through technology.

How Airbnb Uses AI to Remain on Top

In a recent article, Airbnb’s VP describes how Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become the leading technology that is providing measurable and impactful ROI to their business.

Here are some of the ways in which Airbnb is leveraging AI and Machine Learning to optimize matches between hosts and guests – a key point of competitive differentiation that has made it possible for them to remain the fastest-growing hotelier rival.

  • Predictive Search: Providing search results that are tailored to the customer and the host of the property.
  • Predictive Pricing: Dynamically suggesting pricing to hosts that will lead to more placements rather than pricing reactively.
  • Customer Profiling: Collecting 100 or more key attributes about their customers that feed the models that they’ve built.

By leveraging AI and Machine Learning, Airbnb is able to ensure customers find the exact accommodations they’re looking for at a lower price point than anywhere else. With an impenetrable business model like that, it’s unlikely customers will look elsewhere. That is, until the next disruptor comes along.

What Lessons Can We Learn from Airbnb

What Airbnb has shown us is that that disruption can happen to anyone, at any time. To remain competitive, you must be willing to move beyond your comfort zone. And once you get there, you can’t become complacent and slip into a new comfort zone.

This degree of radical experimentation has typically been reserved for startups who lead the charge in innovation. However, research indicates that even well-established companies who, in the past have struggled to become more dynamic, are now exploring the value of what emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning can deliver. Despite the mid-market’s tendency to avoid radical business re-modeling, there appears to be a growing desire to not only counter the threat of disruption, but to actually become the disruptor themselves.

Artificial Intelligence for the Mid-Market

Despite the common perception that artificial intelligence is far too complex for mid-size organizations to take on, it’s entirely possible to scale your approach to build resilience and competitive advantage for the fast-moving digital future. Often times, this means partnering with a group of experts who can provide a clear, often staged approach to building an AI solution that focuses on the business first, and then identifies which technology investments will have the greatest impact on achieving your goals.

If you would like to learn more about how to incorporate AI into your business strategy, contact us to learn more. 

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