Rent the Runway is expanding into kidswear. REI is beginning to rent outdoor gear. Ikea is testing out rental furniture. Rental retail is actually taking off.
Welcome to the renewable , accessible rental retail eco-system. With pricing which puts a versatile couch, high tech mountaineering tent, and couture kidswear in reach, temporary is on trend, and very, very sexy.
However, the downsizing of fees does not indicate a corresponding downsizing of in-store communications. In actuality, display and signage are the best allies for helping shoppers comprehend their entire array of alternatives, including the route to possession.
A tumultuous icon in designer clothing
When Rent the Runway (RTR) launched in 2009, fashionistas looked askance at leasing high-end dresses. Fast forward a decade: Rent the Runway valued at $1 billion–includes a whopping 10 million members.
What changed? Well, to begin with, the world got warmer. Shoppers also awakened to what they were paying for an outfit they would use after, possibly twice. Ownership became less of something.
Instagram landed, also. As people posted more fashion shots, the pressure to change up wardrobes rose exponentially.
With climate change, leasing went from social stigma…to badge of sustainability. The RTR inventory grew to include daywear, shoes, and accessories. And today, with the launching of RTR Kids, RTR is grooming a new generation of loyal clientele. The RTR rental retail market has evolved from an occasional thing to a strong subscription service, where packages can be rotated monthly.
American Eagle sees the potential for leasing, too. The trend brand recently launched its own clothes rental subscription service, American Eagle Style Drop, which a loyal base of high schoolers, college students, and young adults may use to”lease, return, and repeat.”
Home sweet (sustainable) home
Rental providers have their sights set outside of your closet, too. In its new venture with Williams Sonoma’s West Elm brand, RTR is sticking its (high) heels into home decoration. RTR subscribers can fill their houses with West Elm quilts, blankets, and decorative pillows. Keep your large pieces as is–but change your duvets, shams, and comforters whenever the mood strikes. Past the whimsy and fun of it all, doing so lets you switch out wallpapers on your Instagram posts, without shifting locale (after all, so many selfies are snapped in home).
IKEA disrupted the furniture version when it landed on U.S. beaches in 1985. The newest outfits everything from dorms and post-college flats to kids’ rooms and holiday homes.
Specifically, Millennials and Gen Z’s are hyper-aware the environment pays a price when furniture has tossed aside during a move. “Rental retail meets IKEA’s three main strategic goals: being cheaper, more convenient and looking after the entire world,” noted IKEA finance leader, Juvencio Maeztu.
Into the great outside
You lease your car; why not your bicycle? You rent skis and boots; why not a tent and backpack? That is the thinking behind REI’s new foray into leasing outdoor gear.
According toBen Steele, REI’s chief customer officer,”In 2019, we see the enlarged rental and used equipment program as keeping us moving toward a sustainable and accessible outdoor future by providing new models of access to great outdoor equipment and apparel.” In its press release, the organization notes,”By elevating re-use as a core business strategy, REI also meets an increasing millennial consumer audience, 36 percent of whom say they’d rather rent than own a product.”
And there is a key chance for signage to help clients decide whether to purchase or rent. For some, the choice may be evident. Like the designer dress you would like to wear to that 1 wedding, so that your resident Girl Scout can find an ultralight backpacking kit for the standalone camping excursion. Signage may be the great equalizer in informing your shoppers–since they consider the advantages of buying, or simply trying.
Buyer vs. renter personas
Let’s break this down. Consider if –and how–the tenant persona differs from the purchaser character. Maybe both desire style, but the tenant is prepared to push the envelope farther than the purchaser.
By way of instance, does your shopper wish to change their appearance (think emerging actress, social media influencer( high profile speaker), or do they need something to call their own, forever? Does the shopper have a calm, measured,”investment” mindset, or are they coping with the stress of a looming”crisis,” just like a reunion trip from a former roommate?
Another way to check at personas is identifying who has the capability to move from renter to buyer, or become a hybrid renter-buyer customer. Here again, your signage must talk to these differing personas. By way of instance, if you’re ABC then purchase, but if you’re more XYZ, then leasing is the better option. RTR covers all its bases with its Attempt to purchase option. They give subscription clients who repeatedly rent the identical thing or hold onto it for months, the flexibility to produce the beloved piece a permanent part of the wardrobe–at a considerable discount.
So there you have three purchase versions, together with product information to communicate, store guideposts to set up, and sustainability ethos to market, it’s a great deal for your audience to digest, particularly the uninitiated. Look around you–your walls, hanging signs, and fixture toppers should be utilized to make the shopping experience as easy and informative as possible.
Rent and purchase: the Most Effective combination
Enticing displays move the needle on spending. Instead of a zero-sum game of just purchase or only lease, displays may be used for conversion. The reticence to purchase can be changed into the openness to lease. Instead of plunk $2,000 for a full-suspension mountain bike, check out your choices for only $90 per day and see which version and brand is most appropriate for you. And while you are here deciding which bike to rent, why not get the extras that are not rentable: bicycle gloves, water bottles, sunglasses, bike shorts, and, do not forget, a helmet. These incremental purchases accumulate. Then, when it is time to purchase, the first place a shopper will turn to is the area where they had their positive”shopping” experience.
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