Today, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia are multi-millionaires, but only ten years ago, the two had trouble paying their rent in San Francisco. Then one day in the summer of 2008 the idea came to them: They would rent air mattresses for people to sleep on in their apartment and offer guests breakfast AKA a bed and breakfast. A few weeks later, one of the world’s most valuable and transforming startups in the world was officially founded: Airbnb. The company is not only the world’s largest platform for the rental of private rooms and apartments, it is the global tourism provider of the Internet age.
The company succeeded in shaking the established hotel industry and changing our travel habits through sharing economy principles. The effects of this shake-up were and are enormous. Reason enough to take a look at the present and future of Airbnb.
Now that the good weather has come to stay, it is the moment to tune private gardens and houses to enjoy the outdoors. The search for colourful flowers and appropriate flower pots is endless. Balconies are decked out with trendy decorative objects. New furniture is needed for spending the most memorable nights by moonlight and grills are the star products.
Many of these purchases are made online but how solid is the digitalisation of German DIY stores? How is the DIY online sector evolving? Who are the leaders and what are the pain points?
The buzzword Artificial Intelligence (AI) is passing from hype to reality and it is expected to become not only a game changer but also one of the main global economy growth drivers in the years to come. The different AI technologies already put in place by traditional companies as well as the increasing number of AI start-ups that successfully offer value added through these AI technologies, already give us a glimpse of AI’s full potential for consumers and also industries.
The Internet has been made not only for B2C purposes. The expansion and growth of Amazon Business and Alibaba proved it. It was a matter of time that B2B companies also embraced the digitalisation of marketing and sales and influenced how sellers and buyers interact. According to a Forrester Research, 93 percent of B2B buyers prefer to buy online once they have decided what to buy.
In this context of digital transformation, leading B2B companies now give high priority to e-commerce and m-commerce, and use the same weapons as their B2C counterparts to continue growing and offer value added.
The smartphone has become an extension of our bodies. It is always travelling with us. No matter where it goes, people always find a place for it: in their pocket, in their handbag or even carried by hand. For this reason, the smartphone becomes an essential trip companion when individuals are going on holidays. The entire customer life cycle is influenced by the power of the smartphone. Everyone is becoming a connected traveller.
Are the airlines, travel platforms, and also online travel agencies (OTAs) aware of it and acting accordingly to gain new customers and to stand out from the crowd? Are they implementing features and promoting campaigns to win the mobile piece of the cake?
After having seen the global fever caused by the release of the videogame “Pokémon GO” for Android and iOS last week, one could become conscious about the great potential of AR technology and to what extent digitalisation has taken root in our daily lives.
Nintendo has been able to put together a wide range of available technologies already integrated in the smartphone, like GPS and cameras, aiming to use the smartphone as the master key that seamlessly links the real world with the virtual world.
The result is well-known. The fact of bringing AR to a mass audience and giving them the opportunity to familiarise with its functioning and to experiment while playing, will have crucial future implications for the development of this promising technology.
It seems to be trend as the moment, that old, well-established companies banding together in order to finally be able to challenge the large tech conglomerates. So the Pangea network, consisting of CNN, The Guardian, The Economist, The Financial Times and Reuters, is supposed to be standing against Facebook and Google.”United we stand” – that’s what the German banks are also thinking as they plan a conference on PayPal at the end (!) of the year.
Although the general mood is anything but positive. There has already been talk of a flop before it had even got started, which the banks could also do without. It isn’t even the late start of the proposed service which at fault in all this misery, but the banks’ lack of flexibility in these times of digitalisation. Could an online payment services from the German credit institutions become more successful than PayPal?
Social CRM, personalisation, behavioural targeting, big data – it feels like not a week goes by, especially during the CeBIT, without a new buzz word on the topic of digitalisation. Every term focuses on a partial aspect. At the end of the day, the common denominator is that they all aim to address the customer more effectively and personally. The customer experience is the sum of all the buzz words.
The digitalisation of the purchasing process makes it possible to tailor all processes to the customer experience consistently. Data allows the customer journey to be represented digitally, measured across all channels, and analyzed. At least, it is technically possible; trouble free implementation is still a fantasy of the online marketer. However, the plethora of communication channels results in a faster customer connection than ever before. The decisive factor is whether or not a company does something with this, and how organisations react to customer requirements which have come to light.