Compared with hotels, homestays have lower prices and more diverse environments, making them more attractive to platforms and users. During peak seasons, booking a homestay is one of the most important steps. The author of this article takes the three leading domestic homestay booking platforms, Tujia, Muniao, and Meituan, as examples to talk about the product thinking of homestay booking, hoping to help you.
Homestays are actually not a new thing, but in the past two years, homestays have gradually become the focus of the development of major platforms. Ctrip, Fliggy, Douyin, Xiaohongshu, Kuaishou, etc. all strive to make homestay business a growth factor for their platform business. .
For long-term investors, the demand side of Internet traffic has undergone significant changes in both quantity and quality since the outbreak.
The total volume has peaked and users have become savvy. A trend that has appeared in other industries seems familiar. The problem of Internet traffic needs to be solved by supply-side reforms.
Compared with hotels, homestays are more attractive to platforms and users. Compared with the investment scale of brick-and-mortar hotels, which is often in units of 100 million, B&Bs lower the barriers to entry. More importantly, the homestay has rich features to attract user traffic. The platform can get feedback when seeing the order data, and the traffic adjustment has become extremely fast.
The order data of the homestay reflects the user’s evaluation of the homestay. The order volume, complaint rate, and repurchase rate are the votes of each user on the homestay. Homestay reservations are very similar to product thinking that has been repeatedly mentioned in the past few years, but is extremely effective.
1. What is product thinking?
What is the product? A product is a carrier that meets user needs and solves user problems, and is a collection of functions.
What is thinking? Thinking is the way of thinking about problems. Different people have different ways of thinking about problems because of different experiences and experiences.
Therefore, product thinking is a comprehensive thinking to solve problems, and it is a process of further productizing problem solutions.
Above this, we also need to have a basic understanding of the product, the ultimate orientation of the product is the service, the audience of the service is the user, and the user is in different scenarios.
In this, we need to discover the real needs of the objects that the products serve, and have a series of solutions for manufacturing and operating “products” to productize certain products or services.
2. How does product thinking solve problems?
In recent years, the homestay booking business, which major platforms are competing to enter, has become a huge outlet, but it is not easy to grasp. Different from simply building channels to obtain traffic in the past, homestay booking requires major platforms to use “product thinking” to make content, think and solve the following problems:
How to determine the information needs of users?
How to make the homestay better reach users?
How to promote users to place orders and realize efficient realization?
Users choose homestay services and products mainly for two considerations: one is whether they can obtain usable value from the product, and the other is how much it costs to obtain these values. The former requires services and products to meet the needs of customers; the latter requires products to be easy to use and reduce users’ time and money costs.
In this sense, homestay products should have two basic conditions, one is to meet the basic needs of users, and the other is to have a low enough threshold for service and product use. Therefore, a competitive homestay booking product should have the dual characteristics of being able to impress and attract customers and keep pace with the times.
1. Iterative thinking: Tujia B&B turns to personal listings
Different from Muniao and Meituan, Tujia Homestay has been focusing on business travel users and self-built houses before, and has not paid much attention to individual landlords, resulting in limited personalization of houses, and not enough attention to user personalization and specialization needs. It is to provide services to users according to different travel purposes.
Tujia COO Wang Yuchen once said in an interview that Tujia has not made full use of the “thigh” traffic. Assuming that the homestay traffic on the Qunar platform accounts for 10% of the hotel traffic, the order ratio should be close to the traffic ratio, but now the order ratio has not reached the year-on-year level.
In order to increase the number of orders and acquire young users, Tujia Homestay is working on personal listings. After years of reliance on Ctrip’s traffic and Tujia’s shutdown of its self-operated business due to the epidemic, Tujia Homestay has realized that it will be difficult to drive user growth by making generalized general-purpose bookings for users. It is also actively innovating through product iterations. The iterative thinking here, for Tujia B&B, is more focused on iterative awareness, which is why the operation mode of Tujia B&B has changed from heavy to light in recent years.
In the iterative process, the user’s behavior will generate product data. Through the process of data collection and data analysis, the platform can obtain specific data results, and can clearly know that “the user’s behavior is like this”, through the user’s data , the platform can conduct product analysis, so as to carry out subsequent product iterations based on the feedback the data brings to the platform. If Ctrip’s user data is open and shared with Tujia, then Tujia B&B will take a lot less detours in iteration, and perhaps it will quickly realize the change from heavy to light.
2. User thinking: Wooden Bird Homestay focuses on Simu Homestay
In the era of mobile Internet, the user’s product experience is often the key to the success of a product. As the marketing target of the platform, the user’s right to speak has gradually increased. The difficulty is that the platform must respect the needs of users, build a user perspective, and gain insight into the pain points of users. The biggest pain point of homestays comes from the user experience problems caused by different service standards.
Wooden Bird B&B is the first in China to propose the concept of B&B standardization in the public information. In 2017, Wood Bird B&B began to build Simu B&B in line with the service standards of four-star hotels. In the past, users’ thinking was usually narrow, such as providing products to users. If the users are satisfied, the service process is basically over.
Now the platform side is gradually realizing that after the user purchases the product, the relationship between itself and the user has just been established. A bad product experience will inevitably have follow-up compensatory services, and a good product experience also requires follow-up operations, that is, to obtain customer feedback to pursue a more extreme product experience. such a role.
On the basis of doing a good job of standardization and additional services, we should focus more on improving other attributes of the product, such as the aesthetic attributes of the product.
According to the 2021 annual report of Wooden Bird B&B, post-90s and post-00s account for 75%, and user thinking needs to be transferred to this part of the young user group. The aesthetic attributes and sense of experience of B&B products have been placed in an important strategic position, which is why Wood Bird B&B has been developing special properties such as wedding dress B&B and swimming pool B&B in recent years, precisely to meet the aesthetic requirements and values of this group. The underlying factors are consistent, and at the same time, this has higher requirements for the innovation of the homestay supply chain.
3. Scenario thinking: Meituan B&B builds local scenarios
The so-called scenario thinking is to think about how the product meets the needs of users in an actual and specific situation, rather than the wrong way of doing things behind closed doors in the office by talking about soldiers and imagining user needs.
Meituan B&B has a natural advantage in the scene. As a component of the Meituan system in the eating, drinking and playing scene, Meituan B&B has naturally become a service provider for local life scenes.
In Wang Xing’s view, the business characteristics of Meituan are largely related to location, either the location of the service provider or the location of the service demander. What Meituan needs to do is to connect the scenarios based on location (LBS). . In the “Food+X” local life scene created by Meituan, it has the characteristics of mass, high frequency, and high correlation with users’ daily life. The cost performance has also become an important measure in the local life scene.
But this is a double-edged sword. In the early days, lowering the threshold to provide homestay booking services did bring certain development and realization, and it also became a bottleneck for the development of accommodation products including Meituan homestays and hotels. In recent years, Meituan has continued to The special accommodation products such as high-star hotels and high-quality homestays are developed to meet the changing needs of consumers for quality consumption, but the labels of low price and low quality are difficult to tear off in a short period of time.
3. Product thinking requires +++++
Iterative thinking, user thinking, and scenario thinking are the three axes of product thinking, but the most important thing is user thinking, that is, from the user’s perspective, digging out needs and pain points.
Going a step further, the advanced state of the product is directly directed at the heart. As a comprehensive thinking for solving problems, the core goal is to make the product successful, and this requires the cultivation of business thinking.
Whether the provision of homestay booking service or product iteration matches the company’s business model, whether the resources consumed can generate suitable profits, what will happen to the user’s payment conversion, can there be a better plan, and whether this plan can form synergy with other parts effects and a series of business-related issues. It is no longer limited to pure product thinking. In the new stage of industry development, products and platforms that can do this will become more solid.
In the development of this year, homestay booking has released a lot of good signals. The author believes that as a platform, the exploration of products can be more divergent and bolder. Each player has their own specialties, and it is difficult for them to be comprehensive. Therefore, a good market ecology must learn from each other’s strengths and complement each other’s weaknesses and build on the basis of everyone’s resonance at the same frequency. If you want to stand out, you still need to provide better products.
This article was originally published by @小马看世界 Originally published on Everyone is a Product Manager. Reprinting is prohibited without the author’s permission.
The title image is from Unsplash and is based on the CC0 protocol.