There are products or services that are more often needed for a limited time only. So it’s not only more advantageous, but also more environmentally friendly, not to pay for the products per se, to own them forever, but to have access to them. That’s the sharing economy. Classic examples are cars, accommodation, or tools. And the list is growing.
As the »conscious consumption« social movement’s popularity increases, so does the need for users to constantly buy goods or services. This is especially noticeable among young consumers. But that doesn’t mean that they want to give up consumption completely, but that they’re making purchasing decisions more consciously. Brands are responding to this trend with various business models, such as second-hand or online rental services. The Otto Group and MediaMarkt from Germany have been paving the way for several years.
Today, we’ll explain to you with the help of further use cases, what is moving this young, dynamic market.
Sharing economy: sustainability and environmental friendliness as cornerstones
Although the sharing economy generally applies to every type of product, there are certain segments for which borrowing is particularly relevant, such as baby clothing that only lasts for a short time, gadgets that go out of date relatively quickly, or furniture that you only need temporarily, because you don’t have a permanent place of residence.
But which consumers are behind the trend? According to a SPLENDID Research survey, 42 per cent of German respondents say they chose to use such services for budget reasons. In addition, 35.6 per cent justify the use of these services with the desire to always try the latest top products. The main reason for just under a quarter of respondents is the awareness of sustainability.
Consumers have noticed that it’s possible to consume and use top-quality products without having to pay more. In this way, resources are used sustainably and less waste is generated. Taking on social responsibility is now a must for companies to win over consumers.
In this context, it’s a sensible step to cooperate with sustainable and ecological start-ups and to go new and safe, green ways.
Sharing economy: Online rental services for conscious consumers
Otto Now and Tchibo are expanding their current rental selection, improving their conditions, and working closely with experienced green start-ups to attract customers.
Tchibo: changing wardrobes and your conscience
The coffee roaster Tchibo has been following a similar concept for a year now. With »Tchibo Share«, the manufacturer loans children’s clothing. But it doesn’t care about the rental itself. Two small eco-friendly companies called Relenda GmbH and Kilenda operate the Tchibo Share Portal and their own rental store for children’s clothing, children’s toys, and maternity wear. They ensure pure conscience when it comes to shopping and satisfied customers.
Otto Now: a pioneer is adjusting its rental conditions
Otto Now launched its rental portal in December 2016, which originally provided electronics and unbranded goods. Since then, the online retailer, as well as its counterparts, is constantly expanding its selection to reach more potential customers. In addition to e-bikes or punching bags, baby and children’s room furniture also can be borrowed.
Otto has noticed, however, that its terms were too strict compared to the competition. In fact: Otto customers can borrow items from three months up to 24 months if MediaMarkt or Tchibo have shorter minimum rental periods. So the retailer continues to tighten its terms and has recently announced that its customers can also rent selected products for just a month.
Sharing economy: online rental marketplaces discovered this niche for B2B
Access instead of ownership has also arrived in the B2B sector. Contractors don’t always see the advantage of transporting large devices and tools to remote locations. They prefer to rent them locally because it helps them reduce costs and, in many cases, reduce the risk of ownership.
Online rental marketplaces have closed the gap between renters and customers.
For example, hagebaus baustoff-mill is working with online rental marketplace boels.de to offer a rental service. Within this partnership, boels.de is responsible for the good condition of the tools and equipment.
Finally, it pays to look at the largest construction machinery rental company in the DACH area. HKL construction machinery not only has a large assortment but also various acquisition options. Rent, buy (new and used goods), and services (spare parts or repair).
In the end, the question arises: how sustainable is your business and how does it fit the needs of your customers?
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