Top equipment-driven rental trend: Get online to expand presence and profits

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Top equipment-driven rental trend: The industrial revolution 4.0 is shifting the balance from in-store to online selling for both retail and commercial businesses. If you’re focused on equipment-driven rental and services, there are several strong reasons why you should be tailoring the online model to work for your business. Along with increasing rental revenues, you can expand customer reach, uncover new opportunities, and fit organically into the digital marketplace that’s becoming the first and only shopping place for millions of consumers and businesses.

The shift to online is already well-established for car rental companies—a prime example is one of our customers Europcar, which uses a global cloud platform and localized web pages for car rental transactions. All data is exchanged with the company’s back-end ERP system. In other online models, rental car companies exchange online presence via interfaces with third parties—for example, travel and lodging websites. As companies get bolder, we’re seeing diverse businesses utilize online platforms—simple web shops—where customers can place rental orders for equipment, tools, parts, vehicles, and services.

Top equipment-driven rental trend

What’s essential to online rental success is that your web presence be simple and easy to understand and use. At the same time, it needs to provide real-time information for pricing, availability, contract or order requirements, and the like. Your site should also include multiple payment methods and accessibility via mobile apps. And just as important, customers should be able to manage their rental transactions, communications, invoicing, and updates via browser or mobile device. Apart from pickup or delivery, actual maintenance or drop-off, there should be minimal to no need for manual process or human interaction. Even customer service can be managed through online chat, email, or FAQ.

It goes almost without saying that you will need a sturdy IT platform and equipment rental software that can accommodate online presence. The easier the online experience, the more complex things are “under the hood”—financials, customer records, scheduling, transport, contracts and service all need to emerge as an effortless part of the experience. Thanks to innovation and integration, that’s possible. Mobile platforms connect with all aspects of ERP and equipment rental management if you find the right solutions. If you’re willing to make a moderate investment, the benefits can be significant:

  • You’ll attract customers from the start—by treating equipment rental as an online commodity, much like retail, you’re moving into the mindset of today’s customer. They want the speed and ease that comes with an online, mobile shopping experience.
  • Working with mobile and cloud-based platforms gives you the ability to manage business remotely on the back end—just like your customers, you can handle rentals end-to-end from any location, using any device.
  • Online is a huge market that equipment rental can tap into for both growing customer base and increasing exposure. In particular, if you combine your own web presence with third-party website collaborations, the sky’s pretty much the limit for expanding your reach.
  • Leveraging analytics for online customer trends lets you target new demographics, audiences, and territories. Marketing and simply getting your name out can have all the precision of expensive strategic campaigns at a fraction of the cost.

Online shopping is one of the heartbeats for the Industrial Revolution 4.0—there’s no reason why you can’t look at equipment rental as a selling commodity and put out your shopping basket. We invite you to learn more about how HiGH Software and DynaRent are helping equipment-driven companies take on new trends across multiple industries.

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