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Localization Strategy for Airbnb in Japan


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We analyzed AirBnB customers and Japanese Travel booking sites. To enhance the business of AirBnB, we propose the solid strategy.

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Localization Strategy for Airbnb in Japan

  1. 1. Localization Strategy for Airbnb in Japan Smith Andrew David Yoshimaru Junko Temple Univ.
  2. 2. Summary-1 • Japanese Travel Market • Different points in Japan • Seasonal Demand(Peak season) • High demand in Tokyo and Osaka • Net café and cheap places for young travelers • Customer Insights in global • • • • Price consciousness Connectivity and Communication Flexible Travel Niche • Analysis of web users in Japan • Analysis of hotel booking in Japan • High Demand for Quality from Japanese Service • Emergency support • Language support • Payment support
  3. 3. Summary-2 • Seasonal / Weekend Strategy • Critical needs for AirBnB • • • • Attractiveness for visitors 1-3 Localization Strategy for AirBnB Localization Plan for Japan 1-3 Conclusion • Appendix Competitors and Localization Models Competitors: Rakuten Travel 1-4 Best Reserve Localization model: Analysis booking websites in Japan
  4. 4. Japanese Travel Market Market size (JTB No.1 travel agency Forecast Dec. 2012) • Japanese Travelers 287 Million ( +0.3 %) • Foreign Travelers in Japan 8.9 Million ( +7.9%) • 00001&news_no=1635 Inbound Tourism • Visitors from overseas are increasing this year. • Especially the young travelers from overseas travellers are not good at finding budget hotels.. • Location and Experience is important.
  5. 5. Different Points in Japan •Seasonal Demand (Peak season) Live Events, Meetings, College entrance exam in Tokyo, Wedding party. •High Room demand in Tokyo and Osaka In Peak season and consecutive holidays, No budget rooms in Tokyo and Osaka High occupancy rate for hotels in Tokyo and Osaka Osaka Toky o
  6. 6. Different points in Japan • Cheap places for young people without a room are provided. People can’t find a good place to stay in Tokyo can use Manga café(Internet cafe) and Sauna are solutions for the people who can’t find good room after midnight. <Pros> Internet and soft drinks are provided for free Cheap and easy to use <Cons> Noisy and uncomfortable .
  7. 7. Global Customer Insights • Price consciousness AirBnB customers are experienced or young travelers who visit for personal reasons rather than business. Price is extremely important. • Connectivity and Communication IT skilled generation can be reached through various forms of social media such a Twitter or Line which are popular in Japan. • Flexible Travel Schedule Affordable rooms that allow plenty of time to stay and arrange plans. • Niche design of room, location, places and themes appealing to various hobbies and interests
  8. 8. Analysis web users in Japan Japanese trend Payment preference:57.7% of Payment done by credit cards. 47% is by COD, 33.9% by CS Credit cards Cash on Delivery(COD) Convenience store(CS) Bank or ATM Internet /mobile banking Additional chared to providers 2 Seconds is too long for Japanese users Akamai Reveals 2 Seconds is the New Threshold of Acceptability for eCommerce Web Page Response Times ress_091409.html sintokei/whitepaper/ja/h24/html /nc243140.html
  9. 9. Analysis hotel booking in Japan Net agency sales is increasing in Japan compared with data in 2007 and 2005 All Direct booking Hotels’ website Net agency Big Travel agency Small TravelAgency Hotel website:9.6% Net Agency:15.0%
  10. 10. High Demand for Quality from Japanese • Emergency support Japanese users are not used to staying in private houses in Japan. Users needs supports from hosts via SMS or Twitter or Line. • Language support Japanese people are sometimes not good at reading English documents. All reviews are English. So reviews should be translated into Japanese. • Payment support Young Japanese people don’t usually have credit cards. Payments from Convenience stores or mobile phone are more convenient.
  11. 11. Payment support is critical Ratio of Card holders among Japanese youth is lower than those who are aged over 30y. Payment at Convenient Stores Ideal Over 54000 stores are open 24 hours.
  12. 12. Seasonality / weekend strategy •Seasonality Strategy • Airbnb global website does not consider certain seasonal changes. • In Japan, the demand often fluctuates with the season. • In Spring all people have to go Tokyo for meetings and Entrance ceremonies. • Weekend strategy • Japanese demand is basically fluctuating by holidays and weekends • Young people want to travel during Japan’s frequent 3-day weekends for the following reasons: • Leisure : Tokyo Disney resorts, Tokyo skytree, Hot springs in Hakone • Shopping: Shibuya, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Odaiba, • Peak season in TOKYO, people have to shorten the travel schedule due to lack of rooms or expensive room charge. Critical needs for AirBnB
  13. 13. Attractiveness for visitors-1 • AirBnB site is attractive by utilizing excellent photos • Japanese people want to get more information from a Key message. • No.1 e-commerce in Japan, Rakuten onlineshop group uses Key message and appealing discount offers which are easily visible on the front page. Discount Event Discount coupons Small Photo
  14. 14. Attractiveness for visitors-2 • Mercedes’s site is modified to Japanese version. Many photos appealing More tex and info
  15. 15. Attractiveness to visitors-3 • Mercedes’s site is quick to respond to visitors’ needs. Support for purchase Popup! • Visitors to AirBnB already know where they want to stay. • Many photos are not needed for Japanese users on Top page.
  16. 16. Localization strategy for AirBnB Key words Detail Value for stay Provide detail filters for visitors. Distance from train or bus station is vital information. Discount offer Discount coupon or points for young generations Best rate offer Ask for the budget before selection Focusing on big cities Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and other big Major cities (Craigslist cities are referred). Select from Location Name or Station name Key words Place Responders to Customer Satisfaction Survey get rewards. Location Price Customers satisfaction Easy to find Product Best Recommendation from customers Last week/Month in Tokyo… Many photo on the top page is cluttered for visitors. Use seasonal events and words including hobby and station name. Registration Registration from twitter or LINE and Facebook is good for hosting or staying. Promotion
  17. 17. Localization Plan for Japan-1 Quick search Window Direct Links for Room suggestion Major Place Displayed • Major Location Name or Tourist attraction must be Displayed • Seasonal Photo is good for Xmas visitors. • Quick search Window must item for the city
  18. 18. Renewal for Japanese version-2 Localization Plan for Japan-2 Social tool bar Sort tool bar to find best rooms Average price suggestion Showing Price in Big size Font • Room’s photo is important content. All users want to know the price. So Price is displayed in large font where it can be quickly seen. • Host Language is important for Japanese. Basic setting for Japanese Language filter is required or should be displayed in normal setting. • Time it takes to the nearest station or tourist attraction should be displayed. • To share this page Social tool bar is required.
  19. 19. Localization Plan for Japan-3 To eliminate Language barrier Detail filter shown • Detail Filter must be shown directly. Japanese people want to control all filter items for booking to select Japanese speakers. • Access from the nearest station must be shown • For Japan, access to a convenient store is better for booking.
  20. 20. Conclusion: Focus • • Japanese Domestic market which is the key to success for AirBnB. • Use key words, Phrases and illustrated Maps rather than Photos. • Support young generations who don’t have experience. • Eliminate Language Barrier. • Provide Social tool bar for sharing the experience with friends.
  21. 21. Appendix
  22. 22. Competitors: Rakuten Travel-1 • Rakuten Travel is the No1 web site based Travel agency. • It was launched by another company (Hitachi Zosen), but Rakuten group bought this site in 2003. • This site attracts many customers by using many key words including Business travel, Luxury inn, Onsen (Hot spring), Tokyo Disney Resort, Family travel, Couple, Ski… • Customers can get some reward points for booking (Normally 1%, up to 10%). Mapp Key words
  23. 23. Competitors: Rakuten Travel-2 • Rakuten website design is excellent for travelers. • Japanese version contain much information including air and rail and rental cars. • Promotes many campaigns for the specific travelers. Hot spring campaign Discount coupon Recommendations
  24. 24. Competitors: Rakuten Travel-3 Sort tool bar Sort by Price, evaluation, and recommendation Easy access for Customer reviews Easy to wwitch back to checked hotel for selection Checked Hotels Customer voice
  25. 25. Competitors: Rakuten Travel-4 Social tool bar • All hotels are evaluated by hotel guests. • Customer reviews are easily accessible. • Customer reviews sometimes get responses from hotels. Evaluation Point Service Place Room Equipment Bath Food Comments from Hotels
  26. 26. Competitors: Best Reserve • Best Reserve was established by the founder of Rakuten Travel (which was called MyTripNet) after the Acquisition of Rakuten. He started this site which is similar to Rakuten Travel. Seasonal Campaign Mapp Recommendations
  27. 27. Localization model • is a splendid model for AirBnB • Amazon Japan sales are growing. • Attractive Key words and messages.
  28. 28. Localization • To increase customer loyalty, Amazon now provides discount points for all registered students. Student campaign Seasonal Campaign
  29. 29. Localization Amazon Student Student campaigns are supported by many sponsors which focus on young generations Student Rewards Annual charge for free trial (6 Month) 10% discount points 1500 points for registration Sponsors AN1VRQENFRJN5&pf_rd_s=right-csm1&pf_rd_r=01GS6E5NDC8HSXGTZVVZ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=151503769&pf_r d_i=489986
  30. 30. Worthy website of imitation • is good example for AirBnB Quick search from Illustrated Map Area Station/ Railway Map Railway Route Time to the destination Popup! • Many location/ Station name on next page • Many option for the selection
  31. 31. Analysis booking websites in Japan • provides good traffic data for AirBnB
  32. 32. Analysis booking websites in Japan • provides good traffic data for AirBnB Rakuten Travel Search Engine Is Top
  33. 33. User Interests of Rakuten Travel •SimilarWeb’s Analysis is heavy users’ interests of visitors to Rakuten Travel. Rakuten Travel Interests of Rakuten Users Big words are Travel, Shopping, Hotel reservation, Campaign, Japan
  34. 34. Social tools users of Rakuten Travel •Best social networks spreading the buzz and referring traffic in Japan is Facebook and Twitter. •In case of Rakuten Travel, this site has already have best reputation for the travel booking. The ratio of social network is not so high. •AirBnB have to attract visitors by spreading rumors and reputations. Top 2 Facebook & Twitter
  35. 35. Analysis other websites in Japan-1 • provides good traffic data for AirBnB Search Engine Is Top
  36. 36. Analysis other websites in Japan-2 • provides good traffic data for AirBnB Direct Link Is Top