The rental economy is soaring to great heights. A few verticals such as clothing, adventure gear, office equipment, car rental, etc have garnered widespread popularity. If reports are to be believed, the furniture rental market is expected to increase by $800-850 million from the current size by 2024. Needless to say, millennials from across the world are the driving force as they are bucking the norms of traditionally owning furniture & are instead opting to rent.
As people continue moving to cities & different countries for studies, jobs, better opportunities, etc., renting furniture is a perfectly poised choice. After all who would want to be saddled with a big couch in their living room if one was to move across the oceans.
Top Players in the Online Furniture Rental Industry
Furniture rental platforms are appealing to the ones who are on the go. Researchers have also found out that the customers are willing to change their behavior and rent furniture if the environmental damage is reduced. Here is a list of the top players in the Online Furniture Rental Industry:
Online Furniture Rental – Business Model
The business model of Online Furniture Rental works on the collaboration of rentee, renter & admin. The rentee(s) (website visitors) send a furniture rental request by paying a basic rental fee to the website owner. The vendor accepts the rental request & the furniture is dispatched to the rentees address.
The rental fee (after commission deduction) is credited by the admin to the vendor as soon as the rental request is accepted. A security deposit is however kept by the Admin which is refunded to the rentee upon a safe return.
Depending on the business’ ‘Terms and Conditions’, deductions can be made in case of a delayed or damaged return. The following video by CORT demonstrates this workflow well:
Also read: How to Start An E-commerce Business From Scratch
Online Furniture Rental – Revenue Model
A furniture rental marketplace garners revenue from various channels, listing items on the website by a vendor & renting them generates money. A few other revenue generation models are as follows:
- Commission: Commission is earned on every transaction taking place on the website from the cost at the time of rental payments.
- Advertising: Advertisers can be invited by the marketplace owners to place ad copies on the website. The cost of advertising can be based on clicks/views.
- Featured Listing: Vendors can list their furniture on the header, homepage, or separate Featured Listings Section where vendors get to bid their products in the listed Featured Listings.
- Subscriptions: The owners can also create various subscription plans which will open another revenue stream for the marketplace owner.
Online Furniture Rental – Key Features
It is imperative for an online furniture rental marketplace to have the right set of features for business growth. Consider the following features for building your online furniture rental marketplace:
1. Categories To Simplify Browsing & Search
Every visitor has varied requirements and so simplified search options improve user experience. A website like Cort offers 3 options on its homepage – Furnish Your Home, Outfit Your Office, and Plan Your Event hence giving ease to users for simplified search.
2. Move-In Packages Dedicated To Specific Target Audience
As the name suggests move-in packages are tailor-made for specific audiences such as students, military officials, professionals who move to places. The packages can be broken down into sub-packages covering all basic requirements, especially for students.
3. Various Filters To Find Most Relevant Results
An eCommerce website without a filter option would be the biggest jeopardy of the era. Audiences should be able to find items they are searching for with the help of keywords. The filter palette should also contain options such as location, budget, material, color, brand name, etc.
4. Wish List To Store All The Favorite Products
Everyone has their favorites & having a wish list that stores all your favorite items is a blessing. Hence, it is a very practical solution to various use-case scenarios for users with various options to trim down their selection for purchase.
5. Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ) As First Line of Support
FAQ section allows visitors to find answers to their queries which could be related to a purchase, payment options, order refund, order delivery, etc. Certain questions like: ‘How secure is the platform?’ ‘What’s the return policy?’ ‘Is there a security deposit?’ etc. can ease the burden of your support staff.
6. User-Generated Reviews To Build Social Proof
Reviews are given by users act as actual proof of purchase to website visitors. Reviews are pivotal in decision making to users before making an actual purchase.
7. Related Items To Enhance Engagement & Product Discovery
The beauty of eCommerce websites is often surprising discoveries of products. While users search, based on keyword suggestions often open a plethora of products. Tags such as ‘You May Be Interested In’, ‘Similar Items’, ‘People Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed’ broaden the horizon of product discovery.
8. Advanced & Multiple Payment Methods For Higher Conversions
Variety has always been attractive to users & since eCommerce has come a long way from traditional COD to digital payments, offering various payment methods translates into more transactions & hence higher conversions.
9. Order Management For Centralized Control
For any eCommerce website, order management is crucial. It allows the admin to keep a track of all orders, their processing, packaging, shipping, etc. The admin can quickly retrieve the order details if there is a case of dispute from either owner or rentee.
10. Offers & Discounts To Drive More Sales
Increased traffic leads to an increase in sales. Offering a discount attracts more potential customers to the items in your store. Hence putting a heading banner with a discount tag will definitely increase sales.
11. Airtight Security Set-Up
As numerous transactions take place on famous eCommerce websites, security from cybercriminals is paramount. So while creating an online furniture rental marketplace having air-tight security features like two-factor authentication, SSL certificate, & the use of firewalls is not a choice but a necessity.
The freedom & flexibility which comes from renting furniture according to the latest trends and personal taste is unparalleled. A choice of lifestyle, sustainable living with a low carbon footprint & a minimalistic approach of millennials has led to the proliferation of the online rental industry.
Setting up an online furniture rental marketplace isn’t complex if you have the right technology partner. We at FATbit Technologies have helped a number of rental businesses, with our perfect solution Yo!Rent. Get in touch for more information.
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