Trying out a new sport is a great lifestyle choice but not always an affordable one. A family going on a ski vacation for example, needs a lot of expensive gear including skis, poles, and appropriate clothes/safety equipment. Likewise biking, sailing, or camping can be expensive if people opt to buy the required equipment. Meanwhile, sports equipment rental software provides a more economical alternative for renting out equipment for short-term use.
Renting is a fast growing trend with approximately 36% of millennials choosing to rent rather than own a product. Customers are increasingly looking to rent sports equipment to satisfy their adventure seeking spirit or desire to learn a new sport. This is where your sports equipment rental business comes in.
What does the sports equipment rental landscape look like?
According to a report published by Allied Market Research last year, the global sports equipment and apparel market was valued at $470.40 billion in 2019, and is projected to grow to $817.17 billion by 2027.
The recreational rentals industry is seeing a growth spurt due to the changing spending habits of millennials who are prioritising experiences over material things. These changing habits are pushing the sports rental industry to adopt new trends such as high budget rentals and improved consumer experience.
For example, sports equipment rental businesses that offer one-of-a-kind and high-quality rentals are gaining more customers. An adventurous tourist might be drawn to a transparent kayak canoe that provides a glass clear view of the underwater world below.
Similalry, you can differentiate yourself by providing excellent customer service thorugh efficient booking and payment processes. A sports equipment rental software can streamline these and many other processes for you.
Here is how sports equipment rental software can help you optimize operations and gain a competitive advantage.
1. Easy-to-use order and inventory management
Let’s start with the benefits of automation. Sports equipment rental businesses have multiple workflows that can benefit from automation. Hiring a large number of staff for tracking and managing sporting goods has its own ebbs and flow. If they are using manual systems, it is time-consuming with a higher likelihood of human error. That is why it is essential that you provide your team with an intuitive and easy-to-navigate rental software. A diverse tool that offers up-to-date tracking and maintenance of all your sports equipment.
Sports equipment rental software offers automated order and inventory management. Since it is cloud-based, you can get real-time updates on when new equipment is added, when a customer books it, and when it’s ready for maintenance.
Use the software to ensure that the right items are available at the right time so you don’t miss out on orders. For example, the peak season for surfing in Hawaii is between March and May, and that is when the demand for surfboards and wetsuits increases. A rental software enables you to track your inventory across multiple locations and always be on top of stock consumption and replenishments. Set up stock alerts and you will have plenty of surfboards available during the high season so you can cash in on the high demand.
2. Seamless Maintenance with availability calendar
Being a sports rental business owner, it is crucial to continuously check and monitor the maintenance of your sports equipment. A little mismanagement can lead to customer dissatisfaction if they rent out a damaged item.
Use your sports equipment rental software to remain on top of maintenance issues.As an example, for items that need monthly or weekly upkeep, you can create recurring services and even assign team members for these tasks.
Want to inspect equipment as soon as it is checked back in? Use the service triage option in your rental software.This feature is particulalry useful in ensuring equipment is always in good working order before checking it out again.
Equipment malfunction is alway inconvenient, particularly when accompanied by high repair costs. To avoid such problems, you can use sports equipment rental software to create a preventative maintenance plan. You can set date reminders and email updates for current and future maintenance of your equipment.
Preventative maintenance combined with an availability calendar helps with visualizing necessary information in order to make timely decisions. It shows service events on your dashboard, allowing you to see whether an asset has been serviced or is nearing completion.A well-maintained equipment builts customer’s confidence and maximizes your ROI.
Read more: Service and Maintenance in EZRentOut
3. Convenient accounting integrations and payment solutions
It is easy to streamline bookkeeping with rental software.Your revenues are recognised as per accounting principles, and the revenue recognition feature gives you the option to account for sales on accrual or cash basis. All you need to do is set up rental pricing and it automatically calculates rental fees when a customer books an item.You can also provide the option of paying online with integrations payment gateways like Authorize.net, Stripe and PayPal, that enables you to track your payments and invoices.
Business owners often struggle with filing taxes.With ease of setting up and reporting taxes in rental software, it is just a click away.You can flexibly sync taxes from QuickBooks/Xero after integrating it in rental software.
Read more on setting up taxes here.
4. Showcase with Online Rentals store
Consumers in the United States spent 32.1 percent higher on internet purchases in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same in 2019.The Covid-19 pandemic has also immensely diverted shopping behaviors to prefer shopping online. The image below shows the increase in online shopping by age group during Coronavirus lockdown.
Sports Rental businesses can go beyond brick-and-mortar storefronts by setting up Webstore for customers to rent out and pay online. You can showcase your sports equipment with high-quality pictures and make it customizable according to your business model.
A rental store on-the-go will attract more customers and benefit your business in boosting sales revenue. Let’s take the example of a family visiting their freinds in Glendale, California. They decide to go ice skating but don’t have the required gear – ice skates, helmets, and other safety items. Your Sports Webstore can be the solution they’ve been looking for. They can easily access your website and rent out the ice skating equipment.
A personalized layout for your rental webstore can further enhance customers’ shopping experience. Insights into customer buying habits can help retain them by offering high end alternatives similar to the ones in their carts.
5. Customizable Reports and Invoicing
Use the data in your software to run business reports that provide useful insights about sales, profit and growth. You can analyze and strategize your business performance based on trends shown in reports.
Let’s say you want to run a report on orders. You may use AND/OR filters to see orders with active or completed statuses as well as orders with net sums greater than $500. The function can then be set to a net quantity of orders, and you can opt to sum, count, or average all orders based on the requirements.This way you can generate and save any reports based on the current position and predict future trends.
Invoices are evidence that services have been delivered and payment has been made between customers and business. It also helps in tracking past sales and maintaining finances accordingly. Rental software offers you to create invoices mentioning order numbers, items and amounts. To monitor and record monthly or weekly accounts, you can print a single invoice or a combined statement of all invoices.
EZRentOut, a cloud-based equipment rental software can help. EZRentOut offers companies in numerous industries seamless rental management along with a host of other features. You can integrate your website with our EZR plug to keep track of all your rental Assets and operations. Try us out today!