Trends: What Will Matter for Rental Businesses in 2022?

Over the past couple of years, the global situation has seen striking changes in how people run their rental businesses. At times it was challenging to keep up with what was next,...

Over the past couple of years, the global situation has seen striking changes in how people run their rental businesses. At times it was challenging to keep up with what was next, but as things begin to settle, there are some clear takeaways about what rental business owners can expect as we head into 2022 and beyond.

The pandemic has changed the way customers interact with businesses and what they expect from the experience. In this report, you will discover six key rental business trends that will affect you over the coming months. This includes what customers are looking for, the role of effective planning, and how you can make the most of the current environment.

These insights will assist you in future-proofing your rental business.

After looking at data from industry analysts, six rental business trends stick out the most. They will help you understand how to invest your time and energy in 2022. So let’s take a look at six things rental business owners should keep in mind while planning their business activities over the upcoming months.

Improve customer experience

Something that all entrepreneurs know and live by is that memorable experiences build loyalty with customers and keep them coming back. Therefore, it makes sense that one of the top priorities for rental business owners in 2022 is improving their customers’ experience when booking online through their website.

Customers value the ability to find the information they need about products quickly without contact with a real person. 79% of users who don’t find what they are looking for on one website, will go on searching on other websites. This means not only should product descriptions be detailed and accurate, but you should also have professional and accurate pictures of your products.

In addition, localization is essential for rental customers as they look for an experience tailored to them. For businesses who experience local custom, this means including mentions of where you’re based. In contrast, for companies that attract international tourists, the content needs to be inviting to those who are looking to visit the area.

Finally, customers place a high value on reviews and social proof. So, you should make them accessible and visible across your website and encourage customers to leave them after renting from your store. Reviews help customers to feel comfortable that they are making the right choice because others had a great experience with your business.

Focus on online bookings

Many rental businesses are keen to hold on to their brick-and-mortar store, but the trend has been towards online bookings over the past couple of years. The importance of being accessible online cannot be overstated in 2022. The amount people spend on mobile commerce to fulfill their needs rather than visiting physical locations, is expected to increase by 22.3 percent this year.

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Considering why people prefer to book rentals online, it’s clear that it is becoming more critical. Hence, rental business owners plan to increase investment in their online store and evaluate its design. This includes looking at how visually appealing it is and whether it’s mobile-friendly since we know most people use their mobile devices to shop online.

It is an excellent time to review how your online store operates and improve it to drive more bookings. This can mean making minor tweaks or getting a complete redesign to help customers book easier. A great way to start is by looking at examples of great rental website design to get some inspiration for your online store refresh.

Increase social media efforts

Social media has been increasingly important to small business owners as more people spend a significant amount of time using it. In 2020, everyone was forced to reduce advertising in physical locations and focus more on digital marketing efforts. Many rental business owners have seen its benefit and intend to increase their efforts in 2022

Estimates suggest that social media ad spend increased by 15% in 2021 for a total that was double what was spent in 2017. However, increased spending has meant increased competition, making it hard for small businesses to compete. So, it has been essential to find better ways to market on social media that require less investment.

For rental businesses, it is more effective to focus on a multichannel organic approach to building an audience and brand awareness. Of course, social media ads can help bolster this growth, but it’s important not to get stuck in an arms race with competitors. Time is better spent on organic approaches like content marketing, which will have a better return on investment.

Optimize equipment utilization

For rental business owners, there is an increased focus on the utilization of their equipment. It can often be hard to ensure that products are booked up fully throughout each day. This leads to less space for bookings, which means fewer revenue opportunities. However, you can optimize your equipment utilization by spending just a few minutes a day planning.

Often, if a customer calls or emails to make a booking, you will choose the first available stock item. The same can also be said for bookings made through your online store. However, by taking the time to look at your calendar and see which equipment is under-utilized, you can optimize your bookings so that each item is fully-booked out.

This increases your revenue and increases the usage of your products. It also means you can reduce spending on new inventory because your existing stock items are being utilized more. Not only does this make planning more straightforward, but it also ensures that your rental business is operating more sustainably, which is becoming increasingly important.

Speed up pickups and returns

Rental businesses often have quick turnaround times between bookings, so it’s essential to ensure quick pickups and returns are done. This can be difficult, but it is achievable as long as you are willing to adjust your pickup and return workflow. These are minor and can quickly be learned and implemented within your rental business.

Planning is the most critical aspect of any part of a small business, and it pays to get it right. By preparing products that have been booked ahead of time, you can save precious time when customers come in to pick up their orders. This can be assisted by implementing a barcode system that will allow you to quickly build orders and mark items as picked up and returned.

In addition, taking payments in advance reduces the amount of time customers have to spend in-store. This can be achieved by allowing customers to pay when they check out online or by sending payment requests in advance. Combined with the above steps, your pickup and return processes can be significantly simplified.

Invest in sustainability

For small business owners and customers, it is becoming increasingly apparent that consumerism has a considerable impact on the health of our planet. As a result, we know we must move towards the “circular economy” model, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible.

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This is why rental businesses need to invest in sustainability and encourage this behavior. Internally, this means ensuring all equipment is well-maintained and taken care of to extend its life and get more use before replacing it. Meanwhile, rental businesses should be sharing the benefits of renting something over buying something new with their customers.

Developing your sustainable practices is worthwhile, and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can begin with simple steps like educating customers and promoting sustainability messages on social media. Then, you can work on finding sustainable sources for products and look at what your replacement processes look like to reduce waste.

Make 2022 your best year

As a small business owner, you know better than anyone that staying in business requires you to adapt, evaluate, and fine-tune things constantly. The rental business trends for 2022 outlined in this report can help you determine the best areas to focus and invest in this year. So, take these insights and make this year your best.

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