Living in the 21st century, many people have experienced being online. One of the most convenient ways to get information is by searching the internet. Whether using a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet, you’ll be able to get your hands on much-needed information in a matter of seconds. Buying, Selling, and Renting items online has also risen in popularity.
Based on research, around 69% of Americans have experienced eCommerce, and 25% shop at least once a month. The global online shopping market nearly hit 4 trillion in 2020, and in the U.S. alone, we’re expecting to have 300 million online shoppers by 2023. Seeing these numbers, we can determine that people are rapidly adapting to the comfort of online accessibility, which includes online rental services. A rental company would often partake in these opportunities to increase scalability and be part of the future.
Why Should AV Equipment Rental Business go Online?
The simple answer is that because it is a service that can sell. Anything sold online can take a piece of the pie of over 4 trillion people indulging themselves in eCommerce. The lengthier explanation is that it comes with improving accessibility, scalability, and overall customer experience.
One thing to remember when going online is that you must be ready for a possible surge of people trying to gain access to your service. Before the internet was born, people usually learned from books and through the experiences of different individuals. If you want to know where to find a specific shop, you can either ask a random person you meet or look for a directory. It was the most reliable source of data back then.
Nowadays, thanks to the internet and search engines, information that previously took hours to learn can be acquired in a matter of minutes. Applying this concept to AV equipment rental businesses, the first action of a consumer would often be to look for a shop online to rent a piece of equipment.
An advantage of businesses going online is the opportunity to reduce costs. Many companies must maintain a low burn rate, which usually involves rent, repairs, inventory, salary, etc. Even with human resources, stock, and services investments, businesses do not receive their desired profit.
With a rental eCommerce store, a company can reduce spending on store upkeep. As a result, online shops are more affordable to maintain and require lesser investment than physical stores. Going online is also an excellent option for individuals and startups who want to earn income but does not have significant capital.
Going online usually means going non-stop. In a physical store, companies are bound by human limitations. On average, rental stores are open 8 to 12 hours a day; this changes because online stores can accept requests for quotations without the need for human intervention. Clients can fill out forms through a computer or a mobile device with the needed specifics, which includes the required equipment from the list.
Applying the concept of eCommerce to AV equipment rental takes it to the next level by giving the customers the power to reserve equipment whenever it is available on the website. Through an eCommerce website, the rental company can efficiently manage their product to provide the number of stocks available in real-time, modify the rental price of each piece of equipment, and stipulate the rental terms and conditions.
Better Customer Support
Although customer support can be fully automated, companies might want some sort of human interaction to develop lasting relationships with their clients. Such activities involve replying to your customer’s reviews, comments, suggestions, or even giving them a callback. The more automated approach requires a robotic chat support system installed on your website to answer frequently asked questions and accept information based on a specific workflow.
Companies going online also have the opportunity to increase customer satisfaction through automation by integrating all the required process flow for a rental. This feature is precious for customers who are pressed for time and do not want to go through the hassles of driving to your physical store just to sign a contract.
Businesses found online do not have to spend a lot of money to advertise their product. There are several affordable ways to promote a product or service through online platforms. This way, you will no longer be bound to a specific area or timeframe, such as those expensive billboard or television advertisements. Instead, you can reach your audience globally through different advertising channels online, such as google ads, social media, youtube, etc.
Even though your product or service is confined to a specific geographical location, clients need to know that there is a way to access your service even before they arrive at your site. It is especially true for AV equipment rental as some clients who plan to organize an event nearby but are from different states or countries would instead rent than haul all their equipment from hundreds of miles away.
Higher Profit Margins
Having your business online is similar to opening a shop in the most crowded location in the world, where people never sleep, and there is no downtime. Gone are the days when you are limited to a few individuals who visit your rental store. With a good website, thousands of people can see your online store at once. Profit can potentially skyrocket as you expose your products and services to an unlimited number of interested people.
On the other hand, there is more competition, like being at a tradeshow with different shops offering the same product. However, with creativity and good advertising, your company can reach higher profit margins compared to solely relying on a physical store that can only entertain a few people at a time.
Whether you are a startup planning to open an AV rental store for the first time or someone who’s looking for a solution to expand their reach, going online is one of the best approaches you can try. It offers a lot of possibilities, especially when it comes to increasing your company’s visibility.
Some businesses might think it’s too troublesome to step away from their comfort zone. However, learning from the mistakes of a few companies that failed to uphold the culture of innovation, entrepreneurs now try to step back and think if the change is worthwhile.