With online buyers hitting 1.6 billion by the end of 2017, rental businesses have quickly embraced the e-commerce platform. With a rental webstore, clients have an accessible, cost-effective and convenient alternative for renting. E-commerce sales keep increasing every year and a majority of buyers now prefer buying online over having to make a long trip to the store.
If you want to increase profit margins, reduce business operating costs and increase your sales, build your online presence and start an online rental store right now! Moving your data to the cloud provides access to real-time and accurate data and makes it easier to set up a webstore as well. Let’s see how an online rental store can benefit your business.
More personalization and better targeting
Digital marketing models are better at synthesizing, collecting and using customer data. This is particularly true for retention strategies like customer loyalty programs where you can easily track buying habits. Insights derived from consumer data help companies enhance their marketing and promotional efforts.
The major strategies for increasing online rental sales include upselling and cross-selling. Upselling is when webstores suggest better or high-end alternatives for the products present in the customer’s cart. Cross-selling suggests additional products related to in-cart items to add greater value to their final purchase.
You can promote cross-selling by including options like ‘you may also like’ or ‘perfect match with’. With an online rental store, cross-selling and upselling becomes easier as your customers are not put off by pushy sales representatives. Add-ons only become a part of a valuable shopping cart process when customers aren’t pressured into buying anything.
Several other marketing initiatives will also be worth your time and resources. Pull in customers with time-sensitive offers, unique promo codes or call-to-action.
Lower costs across the board
It is no secret that the cost of setting up an online webstore is much lower than that of brick-and-mortar setups. In an online rental store, the entire sales system is automated. This means you save up on staff, electricity, rent, and other costs which nibble away at your finances.
Companies with webstores often integrate chat-bots for on-spot live customer help and save money that could have been spent on in-house staff. It is true that some initial costs are associated with setting up a website and integrating a Shopify account with it, but these costs aren’t comparable with that of running a physical store. You can also use equipment rental software solutions that come with an in-built Webstore!
A low-risk investment saves you money to pour into other avenues like expanding your rental product range and modifying your website.
Scale easily and expand to other markets
It is easy to isolate frequently rented out items with a rental webstore so you can ensure optimal stock levels for them. Amazon’s shopping website scales their product range by closely monitoring top-selling products. This enables them to diversify their product range into many sectors.
The marketing team also benefits from a webstore by noticing rental trends and adjusting their campaigns and ads according to them. Create personalized campaigns for seasonal offerings and promotions and quickly adjust them according to customer responsiveness.
Additionally, expanding into other countries and regions is considerably easier with an online domain and allows you to explore new markets and expand your brand recognition. Grow your business by doubling your profits, sales and customer base.
Operate around the clock for a seamless customer experience
A rental webstore has the potential to increase profits and sales faster as it is live twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week. Online customers can make bookings any day and at any time. They can also view products in any part of the world without paying extra charges so you can use this advantage to expand your customer reach.
Several consumers now prefer making purchases online for the convenience and ease of the experience. Owing to similar incentives, rental customers avoid parking, traffic, and pushy sales representatives and instead book products from the comfort of their home and have them delivered to their doorstep.
With your rental webstore set up right, the ease of browsing, searching, and ordering overshadows the extra shipping cost. This is particularly true when you offer live chats that answer customer queries 24/7.
Grow quickly as a result of an efficient cash flow
In the rental industry, it is quite common for people to make bookings and not show up later. Companies lose out on money this way because someone else could have rented out the same product for that duration. With multiple payment options available on online rental stores, both the customer and company enjoy smoother transactions. Customers can also be made to prepay at the time of booking for high-risk rentals. This improves your cash flow particularly since it makes it less likely for customers to terminate rentals.
There are many reliable payment gateways that you can incorporate with your webstore like Authorize.net, PayPal, WordPay, and Sage Payment solutions. These make sure your transactions are processed safely and successfully so your company receives timely payments.
Easier to operate even during a pandemic
If there’s anything that COVID-19 has taught us, it’s to always be ready for such widespread disasters in a way that doesn’t affect business. A great way to ensure that your company continues operations even if there’s a pandemic going around is to open up an online rental store.
Having a webstore makes it easier for customers to browse through items from the safety of their houses instead of coming in and unduly putting themselves and your employees at risk. Once they place an order, they can either choose a slot to pick it up from your store or simply have it delivered. Either way, both options limit interactions and protect everyone from unnecessary exposure.
Moreover, the COVID-19 lockdown prompted several companies to shut down their stores. This meant the businesses had no way left of taking orders and maintaining a positive cash inflow. In such situations, having an online rental store helps bring in some orders to keep the business afloat doing such troubling times.
Save time and improve flexibility
Once you have set up your online rental store, running it will be much easier and time-efficient. The entire process of ordering and payment collection becomes automated. This means more time for performance analysis; track how successful your sales are and which offers might be profitable to launch. A rental webstore provides you with better product visibility, letting you tap into new customers and opportunities.
You can also instantly update your online rental webstore as often as you like. Companies can change the displayed product prices by simply editing the price field for a product. Easily promote the ‘deal of the week’ on your front page without having to print and feature expensive ads. With greater feature space online, you can display as many products as you want and rent out as many products as you like. You can even keep non-seasonal products available at all times.
Bonus: Here’s how to optimize your webstore!
Here’s a bonus for you: an infographic on how to optimize the online rental store once you have it up and running!
Investing your time into an online rental webstore will pay back
As we’ve seen, it is extremely low-cost and low-risk to start an online rental store. As long as you choose your products wisely and have a concrete business plan, you have a lot of potential for high ROI and passive income in the long run.
Regardless of the nature of your rental business, we believe all rental stores should feature an online webstore because it helps increase brand outreach and adds greater value to the consumer’s experience – that too, at a very low cost to you!
We’re EZRentOut, an online rental software used to manage a webstore along with customers, orders, and payments from one centralized location.