Are you looking for ways to grow your shop revenue? Think you can’t compete with Amazon? Think again!
We have a simple and effective way for you to increase your shop’s revenue and profits – Gear Rentals. The rental market is growing exponentially, and the ability to rent out gear to customers is a massive advantage for local shops like you. Grow your ski, paddle and bike bookings with our How-To Guide.
Why Grow Your Rental Business?
Rentals are Amazon-Proof
Brick and mortar shops across all industries are feeling the impact of Amazon’s pricing – including the outdoor industry. By the middle of 2018, this e-commerce site was responsible for half of the online sales in the United States.
Do a quick google search on “compete with Amazon” and you will see it’s a hot topic. Books have been written about the subject, it dominates the retail news, and the articles on ways to compete with Amazon are endless. What was once thought of as just a minor shift is now recognized as an evolution in the way retailers must operate.
I have good news for you. This is where rentals come into play. I can’t emphasize enough how much of an advantage local shops have with gear rental.
Whether you have visitors in town renting bikes for the local trails, or locals looking to rent a paddleboard or skis to try out before they buy, YOU have the advantage now.
Amazon does not have brick and mortar shops, and there are no plans in the future to partner with any of their big box competition.
Renting out large pieces of equipment such as bikes, SUPs, and skis is not feasible for this giant e-commerce site, as the cost and headache of shipping to and from is just not worth the profit margin. Not to mention, many customers are looking to rent same day. This is your opportunity to fill this market need!
Drive Traffic to Your Shop
One fantastic thing about offering rentals is that it will drive traffic to your shop. If you offer rentals, you will attract a more diverse customer base. You will bring in visitors to your town who want to ride the local trails, beginners who are looking to try a new sport, and the seasoned adventurer who wants to try the top of the line equipment before they buy.
Once in your shop, these customers will likely do much more than just rent!
Rentals are Growing Faster than the Market
- Almost half of Millennials would rather rent than own
- Three out of four Millennials would rather spend money on experiences than things
- Affluent Baby Boomers are downsizing and looking to rent more and own less
- The rental sector is growing faster than the rest of the economy
- Companies like Rent the Runway, Zipcar and Netflix are toppling the ownership model
According to Forbes, a significant segment of both younger consumers as well as more affluent older consumers are choosing to have as much as they can while owning as little as possible.
Make sure your shop is at the forefront of this rental revolution!
Now that your new rental customer is in your shop, you can sell them helmets, gloves, camelbacks, PFDs, dry bags, and pretty much anything they might need for their adventure.
Make sure your shop carries a good selection of accessories, maps, and even snacks – they are renting gear for an adventure and it’s in your best interest to make sure you have everything they need to enjoy it.
Rental is High Margin
Renting outdoor equipment can be highly profitable for shops. Not only can you can set your rental prices and make dough renting out the product, you can also sell your demo gear at the end of the season. That’s double the cash for you!
Rentals can Drive Business in a Recession
Recent studies show that when a recession hits, outdoor recreation does not take a tumble like many other industries. The relatively inexpensive nature of outdoor recreation – camping, hiking, biking and more – means that gear rental can help insulate your business during the down times.
Additionally, when people aren’t in the financial position to spend thousands on buying new gear, they turn to renting the newest and fanciest equipment. So even if your sales plunge, you may be able to offset this with rentals.
How to Grow Your Rental Business
Allow Customers to Book Online
Did you know 40% of online reservations are made outside of business hours? Those are prime rental hours you’re missing out on if you don’t have an online rental presence! However, we understand there are reasons why you might not have expanded to online booking yet.
If you are a smaller shop, you might not have enough time or the staff to set up online rental. Maybe you have the staff, but you don’t want to pay for rental software. Software typically comes with monthly fees and small shops may not have the budget for it.
Fortunately, TripOutside.com has built a free booking solution to help our local shops that don’t have the budget for an online booking software.
Contrary to popular belief, when you allow customers to book online, your rental business begins to run smoother. You save time and effort in the shop and reduce phone calls. Online booking also helps you get advance reservations so you can better forecast inventory and staffing needs.
Feature Your Shop on TripOutside.com Marketplace
Have your shop featured on the TripOutside.com marketplace to drive incremental rental bookings. TripOutside.com allows outdoor enthusiasts to discover top outdoor destinations, compare rental prices, and book gear from the best local shops online quickly and easily. The site features shops that rent bikes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards, canoes, skis, snowboards, rafts, surfboards, camping gear and more.
TripOutside works with gear rental shops of all sizes, whether they have an existing online booking software or not, and provides an additional marketing channel to help shops rent equipment while saving them time and effort in the shop.
This video helps explain how TripOutside.com works: https://youtu.be/lNY8aREZDPk.
Measure Your Space
You will want to ensure you have adequate space for your physical inventory of rental gear. Be prepared for an increase in rentals by measuring how much space you can dedicate to them in the store, and potentially looking for a nearby backup location to store additional inventory.
We work with many shops that store extra rental equipment in secure sheds behind the building, moveable trailers or containers, or rotate between different store locations depending on rental needs.
Establish the Best Customer Service in the Industry
One of the best ways to compete with both online retailers and the shop down the road is to offer phenomenal customer service. Brick and mortar shops have the ability to provide stellar, face to face interactions that no online retailer can do.
Our most successful rental shops treat customers like they are guests in their home. Not only will it gain you repeat customers and referrals, but it will make your staff happier too. Win-win!