Written by: Beth Hamilton, Product & Marketing Manager
I had the pleasure of spending the Canada Day long weekend in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. It’s a small province in Eastern Canada that boasts incredible seafood, everything Anne of Green Gables, and pristine beaches (check out the beautiful landscape below).
This trip, my girl friends and I chose to rent an Airbnb cottage outside of Charlottetown, just a 15 minute drive from the beach or downtown. This being my first experience with Airbnb, I was curious to see how everything would work.
Being a group of young women looking for a fun weekend, we were looking to stay connected and share pictures of our exciting weekend plans. Within minutes of arriving and unpacking our cars, we were trying to access the WiFi. A board in the common area told us the network to connect to and provided a password to access… It took us each at least 4 tries to enter that password correctly before we could get online. This got me thinking: why is it that Airbnb hasn’t caught up with a hotel-like sign-on process?
Travelers these days are accustomed to providing details (or their first born) to gain access to WiFi during their travels. And yet, it still doesn’t appear that Airbnb has any WiFi authentication tools to provide their users with an easy sign on process. On top of that, Airbnb is missing out on statistics and valuable business information from their guests because everyone staying may not necessarily be included on the reservation during the booking process. They’re missing out on valuable analytics, the ability to send marketing or post stay emails that could ultimately help increase their repeat business. In a world where 61% of people would choose Airbnb over a mid-range hotel (see the study done by Ryerson University), they’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Providing the user a customized portal to connect to the Internet and provide them with a customized landing page upon sign-on provides the guest with so much convenience, and allows Airbnb the ability to monitor and manage their networks. And providing hosts with an easy-to-setup WiFi kit ensures that guests have a seamless and consistent experience with every property that they visit. Losing a guest because one host isn’t able to supply reliable Internet could be an unnecessary loss. This convenience for guests and hosts is soon going to be an expectation – do you think they’re keeping up?
After all, what do people interact with more than the Internet nowadays?