Renting is a hot and growing eCommerce trend. Being driven by Gen Z and millennials, the shift from buying new products to consuming used goods stems from a found value and sustainability in using peer-to-peer sharing platforms. The advantage of starting an online home business stems from the flexibility it offers. You can start part-time around your current schedule and take the time to build your brand and grow from there. You can launch a small business around your professional and personal life as a side hustle project and, if you thrive, take your business full-time as a home-based career. Use the following guide to help shape your RuckifyStore.
Find your product niche
Look around your home and select the items you are considering renting. Is there a desired need for these items within your community? Is there a theme? Think of your home as a store, identify your rental objects based on categories and group them as such. If you are going to create a brand, your product inventory should have a flow and an overall concept. This concept becomes your “niche” – together these objects will create experiences for potential renters, and spark a desire or need for your peers to rent from you.
Know your target market
This will be the market that is interested in your rental products. Choose a target audience that will find value in your products — but that is currently not being reached in your community. You’ll use this targeting in determining your brand’s look and feel tone, and overall point of view. Remember, you want your rental store to be the trusted platform for the neglected clients in your category.
Building your brand
Once you’ve completed your “market research”, nail down your branding. Branding is going to give your service or product a unique recognizable identity through the use of symbols, logo, name, and design.
When you think about it, you’ve already built a brand — you! Each person has a name, face, style, and way of communicating. We create different impressions on different people and have a reputation built by the opinions of others. Similarly, businesses have names, logos, products, voices, and reputations that makeup who they are and how they are perceived by consumers.
“you want your brand to inspire a feeling. you want to sell people on a lifestyle, and not just a product or service”. – Paige Cody (TreeHouse Episode5)
The first impression your rental platform gives off should mimic the feeling a user would get if they were to walk into your home and shake your hand. This is achieved through visual consistency created through color choice, font, imagery, filters, etc. That way you will harness the desired feeling and create a lasting visual experience for your consumer. Let it relate to the kind of experience he/she will get through renting your products. Start by choosing your business’s name and tagline (slogan) and business logo.
“Staging” your RuckifyStore
Once you’ve narrowed down your store name, you need to consider how you would like to visually represent your brand. In particular, your colors and font. Stage your RuckifyStore as you would your home — giving off a feeling that is reflective of the experiences built using your products.
Although it isn’t an exact science, color psychology is a great informative tool that you may use as a guide for choosing your brand colors, especially when creating your business logo. Your color selection will help define your brand’s “style”, conveying the feeling you want to get across your target market. It’s important to make your color scheme consistent across your entire page. Think even as far as the backdrop behind your product photos – make sure it is clean, crisp, and “on brand”.
Your photo quality is pivotal in relaying your message across and closing rentals. It is the only visual representation of your product, so it has to be awesome! Try posting several high-resolution images of your products from various angles, including finally, a photo of the product in action. Action shots are a visual representation of a customer’s potential experience — so make them count! Click here for a video tutorial on product photography.
Writing an appealing product description that resonates with your potential renters is much easier said than done. Think transparent, descriptive, and concise. They should be a reflection of your business’s overall persona and maintain a tone that mimics that. If your brand is professional, use more formal rhetoric in your descriptions. Or, if your product page is creative and quirky, make sure your lingo is casual and fun. Stay inline with your brand.
Include keywords that your renters are likely to search for when looking for one of your inventoried products online. Naturally, incorporate them into your descriptions for that SEO (search engine optimization) boost, and watch how they will help drive traffic to your page.
Create a competitive pricing strategy
Do your homework! Research other renters and sellers in your category sharing similar services or products. To compete, generally, you want your rental rates to be 5%-10% lower than your competitors. Remember, prices are not set in stone. Be competitive, but make sure you are earning a profit at the end of the day. Alter your rental rates throughout the year (i.e. lower the cost of renting your kayak in the fall when demand slows down). Stay competitive and you’ll become the trusted rental platform for consumers.
Get out there and get started!
The more you learn about how to start an online rental business, the better you’ll do. This article offers you the basics of creating a rental store on Ruckify, and now it’s time to go out and find what works best. Test new tactics and make adjustments. Consider marketing strategies and social media to promote your store. Never get complacent. If you keep learning you’ll find a method that works for your brand, even if it takes a little time.