SWOT Analysis of Airbnb

Airbnb is an online platform that connects customers with each other looking to lease or rent hotel rooms, apartment, hostels etc. It started in 2008 in California and is now working in around 190 countries.
Conducting a SWOT Analysis for Airbnb reveals what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are for Airbnb:

Strengths

1. The user friendly website helps fascinate the buyers into easily locating the place they want to rent.

2. Strong, innovative advertising is one of the biggest strengths of Airbnb and also one of the reasons for its success. Airbnb is a master of branding and UX. (Ben Davis, 2016)

3. Airbnb markets their platform as the one offering extra benefits for the hosts as well as guests. This includes hosts meeting people from around the world and guests getting rates much lower than hotels.

4. Airbnb is also offering insurance to its guests, thus ensuring the factor of safety for those guests who are concerned about their security in a new place (Jean Folger, 2016).

5. Airbnb has established its brand name as one of the leading businesses in the hospitality industry.

6. Airbnb has a vast range of listing of lodging from around the world as their portfolio. 

Weaknesses

1. The reputation of Airbnb is always at stake as their image is dependent on the hosts and if the hosts happen to do anything wrong, it affects their brand image.

2. At times, Airbnb’s expansion can result in the violation of tourism laws of some countries.

3. Similar businesses are present in the market and they do not work on new services to remain competitive in the market.

4. It is impossible for Airbnb to provide complete security to their sellers or buyers because of the online platform.

5. Airbnb is mostly available in bigger cities so the service is not available to those traveler who prefer to experience the rural areas of any country.

Opportunities

1. Airbnb can explore into offering new services along with rentals in order to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

2. Expanding their services into wider global territories as well as rural areas of the countries that they are currently operating in.

3. Collaborating for social causes as part of the CSR activities, for instance offering rentals in the time of crisis in any country.

4. Partnering with tourism companies, by offering a complete package to travelers and expanding their business.

5. The tourism industry is contributing vastly to the growing economies around the world, which expands the opportunities available to Airbnb.

Threats

1. Laws concerning the tourism industry in certain countries hinder their operations in that country.

2. The business is vulnerable to illegal listings on their website, which can harm the company’s brand image.

3. Increasing costs of service industries around the world may decrease the profitability of Airbnb.

4. Many competitors entering in the industry with the same model pose a major threat to the business of Airbnb.

5. The business model of Airbnb provides a high authority and bargaining power to the people selling their space, which leaves the company dependent on the suppliers.

References

About Us. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from https://www.airbnb.com/about/about-us
Folger, J. (2017, March 6). The Pros and Cons of Using Airbnb. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/032814/pros-and-cons-using-airbnb.asp
Econsultancy, B. D. (2016, September 1). 10 examples of great Airbnb marketing creative. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from https://econsultancy.com/blog/68225-10-examples-of-great-airbnb-marketing-creative
Wheeler, D. (2015, May 4). 4 Digital Marketing Strategies: An Airbnb Case Study. Retrieved July 28, 2017, from https://www.searchenginejournal.com/4-digital-marketing-strategies-airbnb-case-study/95007/

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