Pricing on the Airbnb mobile app
From December we upgraded our integration with Airbnb to overcome issues with pricing accuracy. Thanks to these changes bookings have jumped over 160% in the first two months of 2019 compared with last year.
A number of clients have pointed out that low default prices are now showing in the Airbnb mobile app. To put this in context we thought that it was best to explain how much work has been done by Airbnb and SuperContol to get to this point:
Airbnb uses a nightly pricing model. The majority of SuperControl clients use prices based on the length of stay. Meshing these two models together has been a major technical challenge for all parties. There have been three steps since 2017 to get to the current integration:
- With the original Airbnb API we were forced to send restricted pricing for certain lengths of stay, typically 3 and 7 nights. While this gave some pricing accuracy it was not a satisfactory solution because many prices were significantly too expensive and business models were limited
- Airbnb then added the ability for us to send discounts. This allowed us to send a high default price and then discount to get an accurate price. While prices were generally accurate, the high default price was a major barrier to conversion.
- After a lot of work in 2018 Airbnb upgraded their systems to let us send accurate prices. We moved to this new model from December and immediately saw an increase in the volume of bookings.
The changes that Airbnb made to facilitate this final step were significant and involved many interlinked systems. Getting this live before the peak period of bookings in January was a priority for everyone.
The original scope of the Airbnb project didn’t take into account the price display on the mobile app. Given the scale of this project and the number of people and systems involved it isn’t surprising that something was missed.
Our Airbnb contacts are very aware of the frustration that this problem is causing potential guests. We can assure you that the right people are aware of this in the Airbnb head office and their technical teams are currently planning the required developments.