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Social Distancing Strategies for Rental Businesses Navigating Covid-19

Author: Marissa Lown-Klein June 11, 2020 · 4 Min read
Social Distancing Strategies for Rental Businesses Navigating Covid-19

Many places in the world have been shut down for months due to Covid-19. With people staying indoors as much as possible, most businesses were restricted in day-to-day activities or temporarily needed to closed their doors. Arguably, rental companies were among the most impacted.

Luckily, the world is gradually starting to open up again! 🎉

People are venturing out again as the number of Covid-19 cases is going down. In most places, people can get together in small groups and small-scale events are starting to happen again. Good news for the av, party and event industry.

Tourism is also picking up as borders are reopening, which is beneficial for the bike and recreation industry. On top of that, we keep getting closer to developing a vaccine against Covid-19.

Closing the social distance

We all know new rules and regulations will affect our day-to-day activities. Each country has slightly different ones, but they all aim to keep us safe and stop the spread of Covid-19. In most places, this means people are wearing face masks and stick to social distancing regulations. 😷

However, we expect that the rental industry will come back strong. The so-called access economy will start playing a more significant role as consumers will favor renting (access) over buying (ownership). The access economy is already gaining popularity due to financial reasons, convenience-related benefits, and increased environmental awareness. We believe the last three months will accelerate the rise of access over ownership.

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Strategies for navigating Covid-19 regulations

In this post, we will share some tips to navigate the current situation and look ahead to post-Corona times.

1. Pickup and drop-off points 📍

Keep groups of customers from entering your store by setting up dedicated pickups and drop-off points for your rental products. These points enable your customers to pick up and return your items without too much personal contact.

You can also adjust your opening hours and pickup/drop-off windows to keep your rental store from overcrowding.

2. Offer delivery and collection 🚚

Another way to prevent overcrowding is to deliver your products to your customers’ doorstep. We already notice that deliveries are becoming increasingly popular in the rental industry, especially now.

To keep up with support this trend, Booqable is working on supporting deliveries better in 2020.

3. Require (online) reservations in advance 📅

Whether you usually take orders by phone, walk-ins, or online, get your customers to reserve in advance as much as possible.

Bookings in advance give you more control over the number of people in your store and help them stay for a shorter time. Additionally, you will also get a better view of future pickups and returns.

4. Plan cleaning times between orders ⏱

Plan time for your products to be cleaned and disinfected between uses, especially the larger ones that may need extra cleaning. This buffer also helps prevent overcrowding as you have more time between reservations.

Within Booqable, you can add padding time to your products to give yourself more time before or after an order.

5. Promote contactless payments 💸

Have your customers pay through an online payment method to reduce physical contact. You can require payment at checkout for online reservations, or send payment requests along with a quote, invoice or email. Your hands and your customers’ can stay clean and contact-free.

This year, Booqable will introduce more payment gateways and payment terminals(!) to better support contactless payments.

Bonus tip: Booqable integrates with Stripe and PayPal for online payments. In addition to all major credit cards and PayPal, you can accept local payment methods like iDEAL, Bancontact, Sofort, and more.

If these times gave you more time off than expected, we have some ideas for you too.

  • Now is the perfect time to check and update your inventory. Perform inventory counts, sell old stock, purchase new items, and anticipate demands and forecasts in your rental industry.
  • Now is also a great opportunity to test and implement new software, or get to know your current system better. 💻

Here at Booqable, we offer a free trial that allows you to discover what Booqable can do for your rental business. We have also updated our Help Center to help you better understand our features, and assist you in getting the most out of Booqable.

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