Consumers Are Renting Everything: Where Does Retail Fit In?
A study by Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business claims that the tremendous growth of what’s known as the sharing economy, or the idea of fractional ownership, can be attributed to the advancement of information technology and the evolution of web 2.0. This combination “enabled the development of online platforms that promote user-generated content, sharing and collaboration.” The drivers of increased fractional ownership are clear and continuing. Early traction that came from casual peer-to-peer sharing strategies have grown into highly structured sharing businesses.
One of the fastest-growing sectors of the sharing economy is anticipated to be “rental retail.” Rental retail is any store, online or brick-and-mortar, that offers items for both sale and rent. Although widespread adoption of sharing behaviors may appear to threaten traditional buying behaviors, this trend actually represents tremendous opportunity for both traditional and online retailers that make rental part of their business models. To enable this evolution, best practices and intuitive new rental management tools will help retailers easily capture unrealized growth by simply renting out the goods that they’re already in the business of selling.