How to Stimulate The Business of Giving Clothes on Rent in India The trend of renting has now been well-adapted and people are now well accustomed to consider renting

By Shilpa Bhatia

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From short stay vacation rentals to renting a wedding dress, hiring a drone or that fancy Lamborghini Murcielago, the trend of temporary ownership is taking over the world.

Living in an overstimulated digital world where scrolling through your favourite feed is more addictive than you realize. The constant need to keep checking your phone leading us to FOMOs (fear of missing out). Gen Z is embracing the shared economy and it's certainly slated to grow. This leaves you to awe and wonder of a company who predicted all this and much more over a decade ago started out with extremely humble beginnings and scaling up to be a national brand.

In India, the trend of renting has now been well-adapted and people are now well accustomed to consider renting which is now technology-driven and readily available. According to the research reports, online clothing on rent market size is estimated to reach $1,856 million by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 10.6% from 2017 to 2023. A big question is that how will the existing players remain ahead of the curve in this segment. Sharing a few tips -

1. Educate them about the perks

The most important USP of renting business is that it gives the privilege to a customer to afford a 5000-9000 rupee shoe for just a wedding or just an interview for a job they might not even get. Catering to film stars, international clients and all the above mentioned, The Clothing on Rent is one such business who foresaw the needs and today it continues to spoon-feed its customers for multiple scenarios. But education about this requires some strategies, like comparing the designer-prices and how much the product is available for rent. Secondly, how the quality of the products available for rent is exactly the same and fresh. The message needs to be very clear that this is one such business that can resolve pain points and make life easier even for a short time at a low ticket price.

2. Easy to use e-commerce setup

Your website is a description of your services and the SKU's are the salespeople asking the visitor to check out the product, maintain an easy to use, a fast website which can be scrolled easily. Make sure to add all the available description, the fewer questions a customer has to ask the more accustomed the customer becomes to the product. Understand the needs of a young consumer who has social pressure to perform and look like one of the Kardashian's or Kapoor sisters but can hardly manage to spend the exorbitant prices on luxuries or glam looks, after understanding them your work is to make them understand how you can provide the luxury which is tailor-made, not at all exorbitant and easily available at the door-step.

3. Listing and Tracking

The most important segment is to do the listing of your business, for an e-commerce a major plus point is that you can run advertisements, mention your product in other platforms and invite the visitor from any part of the world. Which is not possible in an offline business, in-fact in an e-commerce you can track the demographics and psychographics of your customers, thanks to the google analytics. For example, if Delhi has the highest traction rate on your website then how about considering running the Google advertisements in the particular state more. And devising strategies to attract the customers from not so active states as well.

4. Build the Trust Factor

Add a lot of case-studies which are highly engaging, a lot many times a customer is aware of your product but it takes time to engage in your services. For example - a customer might have the perception that the dress is already worn by someone, or maybe they wish to do a reality check on whether a product is as good as it looks in the image. In that case, maintain a lot of customer diaries which is your result of the previous service. Secondly, start doing offline-meetups with the interested customers, where you can exhibit the designs. This can be an eye-opener for them and may open a lot of gates for your work.

Thirdly, video-interviews are a trend this season, make some of the great studio videos and disperse them with each and every customer, and future targets who will stand up from their couch and will be ready to vouch for the deal.

5. Influencer Marketing

Well this does not involve making the celebrities only wear your designs but there are famous bloggers and social media influencers, who can be contacted to wear and flaunt the trend. Make them use the appropriate hashtags and promote your brand in a better way, and maintain trends as this will inspire the prospective clientele to use your services.

Shilpa Bhatia

Founder, The Clothing Rental and Terra Inde

Shilpa Bhatia is the founder of The Clothing Rental and Terra Inde. The Clothing Rental is a Mumbai based renting platform, with an e-commerce portal and 2 offline stores in Mumbai.

Terra Inde is New York based platform that curates best Indian wear collection for the international audiences. 

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