One of the biggest challenges we have as an online retail store is selling “high consideration items,” such as large furniture pieces, appliances, and smart home products – people want to touch it, feel it, sit on it, play with it, and experience it in person before spending thousands dollars on them.
So how do we solve this problem – without building physical stores?
By turning 4.5 million of Airbnb homes around the world into micro showrooms where millions of people can discover and have hands-on tactile experience with all things Amazon.
This project consists of 2 parts:
Part 1 – Host experience
How do we fill millions of Airbnb homes with Amazon products?
Part 2 – Guest experience
How do we create a delightful product discovery experience for guests?
How the hell do we convince millions of Airbnb hosts around the world to spend thousands of dollars and fill their rental homes with Amazon products?
Offer them simple turnkey solution packages that can help them maximize the earning potentials of their rental homes and make their hosting experience easier.
Furnishing packages – Various sets of furnishings based on property size, room type, price range, and style preference that can improve the quality of Airbnb homes and get more bookings.
Replenishment packages – Complete list of hosting supplies (e.g. toilet papers, soap, coffee, sheets, towels, detergents) can be automatically delivered to you periodically with 15% discount.
Smart home packages – Install smart door lock for guests to self check-in without hassle, smart thermostat to save energy, voice-controlled lights to provide additional guest convenience, and smart doorbell to prevent unauthorized guests from entering the property.
Once Airbnb host purchases a package, with just a few clicks, it can be turned it into an online catalog that they can share with their guests.
In addition to effortlessly improving the quality of their listings with better furnishings and getting more bookings, Airbnb hosts can now earn up to 10% of each sale when their guests purchase items from their catalogs.
To prove our hypothesis, we identified a struggling Airbnb host with a low-performing listing and gave it a complete makeover with Amazon products.
2 main goals of this experiment was to:
Observe and document the process to better understand the host’s pain points and discover improvement opportunities.
Measure the ROI of Amazon products.
From the host’s shopping experience to delivery, assembly, decorating, and cleaning, there were many areas where Amazon fell short of the host’s expectations. We will continue to make improvements in these areas based on our learnings and the host’s feedback.
Now we will be measuring the ROI of Amazon products for the next 60 days:
How much more will the host earn from bookings after the makeover?
How much more will the host save with Amazon’s replenishment packages?
How many guests will shop from the host’s online catalog?
You can see the updated listing page on Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/17962405
Once we fill millions of Airbnb homes with Amazon products, how do we create a delightful product discovery experience for guests without being intrusive?
By providing an enhanced guest experience – with the shopping experience seamlessly woven into it in AR.
From effortless self check-in process to on-demand movies and room services, voice-controlled lights, and up-to-date local guides curated by Alexa, Amazon can leverage its existing services and technologies to create an unforgettable guest experience.
Here is an example guest experience:
When you are near the Airbnb home you have booked, you will receive a notification.
When you open the notification, directions to the building entrance will appear in AR view using visual positioning.
AR directions will continue to guide you through the building and take you to the exact unit you have booked.
When you arrive at the door, security camera detects the motion...
...and authentication process gets triggered to unlock the door.
When you walk in, you will be greeted by Alexa, “Welcome to Amazon Home. Please make yourself comfortable. Use your device to look around the place to find helpful tips and interesting features.”
When you point your device at Alexa, you can see various helpful commands you can use around the house.
Say “Alexa, let’s chill” to draw the blinds, turn on the lights, and play some relaxing music.
You can relax and go about your day or continue looking around the house.
If you see anything that interests you, just point your device at it to learn more or purchase it.
Through this new shopping experience, millions of people will have hands-on tactile experience with Amazon products they couldn’t have otherwise.
You can access various contextual menus that offer different features based on your location in the house.
If you are hungry, use the app to order some food. It will be delivered to you in an hour, just like a hotel room service.
While waiting for your food to arrive, use the app to turn the TV on...
...and watch a movie.
Before going to bed…
…you can browse the listing catalog to learn more about any items you are interested in or purchase them.
When you are ready to go to bed, say “Alexa, good night.”
It will trigger the blinds shut, lights to turn off, and doors to lock.
Next morning, when you check-out…
...you will receive a thank you email with a summary of items you have purchased and interacted with as well as helpful tips on the items of your interest.
To prove to Amazon leadership that this idea is no longer a far-fetched dream, I took a week or coding class to put together a functional prototype shown below: