The online rental industry is witnessing drastic changes in numerous product niches. Traditional brick-and-mortar rental stores are now taking the digital route to market and adapting technological innovations to streamline their business management, provide better services and access wider audiences.
The following statistics highlight the near future scope in various online rental niches.
|Online Rental Niche||Projection Year||Estimated Growth|
|Construction equipment rental||2026||$170 billion|
|Car rental||2027||$214 billion|
|Truck rental||2030||$204 billion|
|RV rental||2028||$810 million|
|Bike rental||2028||$11 billion|
|Boat rental||2028||$280 million|
|Dress rental||2026||$2.2 billion|
|Party rental||2027||$29 billion|
Online Rental Niches and Growth Projection
However, to enter the online rental industry, interested entrepreneurs are required to conduct the offline to online gap assessment and evaluate where they currently stand on the roadmap of a complete digital transformation.
While an end-to-end rapid transformation may not be possible, it is best recommended to start small with a simple online storefront. And, unlike the traditional custom development way, today there are several rental eCommerce software available to help you launch your online rental business.
Why Use Dedicated Online Rental Software?
Dedicated online rental software is an upgrade over the general eCommerce platforms that are often not properly equipped to launch an online rental store.
General eCommerce platforms not only lack the functionalities required to streamline rental operations but also lack the most basic rental features such as a booking calendar. Along with this, there are several reasons to prefer a rental eCommerce software over several general eCommerce platforms available today:
Dedicated Rental Software Cater to Various Use Cases of a Rental Business
Rental software is specifically designed and developed to conduct rental operations. Thus, they are tested and tried multiple times to help entrepreneurs launch frictionless online rental businesses and deal with various unique business use cases. Some examples of the use cases online rental software caters to are late product returns, late cancellations, product damages, etc.
They Are Your Sole Option for Maximum Efficiency
With the help of plugins and third-party integrations, it is possible to add basic rental features such as a booking calendar and rental invoicing in a regular eCommerce platform. However, with a few plugins and integrations, the eCommerce platform won’t be as effective as a dedicatedly developed rental solution. It will still lack major features, due to which you may have to manage various operations of your business offline or migrate to proper rental software afterward.
Top Rental eCommerce Software for Modern Entrepreneurs
As an outcome of the significant growth in the online rental industry, several software development companies launched their own rental eCommerce platforms. In our blog, we have reviewed and listed a few that we felt to be the most helpful for modern rental business owners. We have also mentioned the reasons why this rental software deserves your attention.
Our Selection Criteria
Features: Rental businesses are more complex than regular eCommerce solutions. They require a different set of features to be functional and fulfill customer demands. In this blog, we will be only including those solutions that have the most appropriate features to run a rental business.
Value for Money: Dedicated rental software is available as both SaaS and self-hosted solutions. The latter gives more value in the long run but SaaS is equally useful. So, the blog contains rental software that will provide you with maximum value for your money.
Limitations: Many software has limitations on scalability and they require you to purchase the most expensive package if you want business growth. We have only included the software that has the best scalability options.
No Clone Scripts: There’s a clear difference between rental software and a clone script of a renowned website. In this blog, we are only going to cover proper solutions.
YoRent is an online rental software that the company claims to be the next-gen solution for rental businesses and marketplaces. After a proper analysis, we noticed that Yo!Rent has a very versatile set of features to make it highly resilient.
Being fully customizable and fully scalable, Yo!Rent can be used to meet the various software requirements of numerous rental companies. It can be used to conduct rental operations from the startup level to the straight enterprise level without an issue.
As Yo!Rent is also a self-hosted white-label solution, it tends to be lighter on the pocket in the long run and is more secure. Businesses are required to buy a hosting server and set up the software. There are no recurring charges and the business owner obtains Yo!Rent for a lifetime.
Features of Yo!Rent:
- Rental security management
- Rental agreement management
- Late cancellations and late returns
- Advanced booking calendar
- Bulk volume discounts
- Request for Quote module
- Product Comparison
- Product inspection
- Rent plus sell
- Lifetime purchase
- Yo!Rent has open public demos that you can explore without signing up or providing any credit details
- Yo!Rent pricing is available on a quotation basis. Once you request a quote, the team will evaluate your business requirements, use cases, and additional customizations to provide a price quote.
Sharetribe is a rental marketplace solution that shortens the time to market and is helpful at every stage of the business lifecycle. Sharetribe has many essential features required to conduct online rental operations.
Available in two versions, which are Sharetribe Go and Sharetribe Flex, Sharetribe is a SaaS solution that business owners can directly set up. It is also easy to use and has no vendor lock-in periods. Meaning, business owners can migrate to any other platform anytime they want.
Enterprise-level businesses can also purchase Sharetribe to get a custom-developed rental business that fulfills their various unique needs.
Features of ShareTribe
- Booking calendar
- Advanced availability and management
- Flexible transaction engine
- Search filters
- Profile management
- Multiple sign-up options
- Commission management
- Sharetribe Go comes with a 30-days free trial
- Being a customized version, there’s no free trial for Sharetribe Flex
- Sharetribe Go’s charging starts at $79/per month for 100 users and goes up to $239/per month for 100,000 users.
- Sharetribe Flex starts at $299/per month with 1% transaction fees and goes up to $300,209/per month with 0.3% commission. However, Sharetribe Flex’s pricing depends on the total transaction amount per month and the latter is only applicable to large enterprise-level businesses.
A highly renowned name in the eCommerce industry, Shopify is an eCommerce platform that simplifies it to launch online businesses, including an online rental business. The goal of Shopify looks simple, to help all sizes of entrepreneurs and vendors launch an eCommerce store easily and anywhere.
Just like Sharetribe, Shopify is a SaaS solution. Although it is not a proper rental software, rental functionalities can be added to Shopify with the help of third-party extensions.
The best part of using Shopify is that it comes with various themes that business owners can switch anytime, and they can also add custom landing pages. Being a globally-known eCommerce software, community support is readily available for Shopify.
Features of Shopify
- Inventory management
- Order management
- Automatic taxes
- Discounts management
- Google Analytics
- Traffic Reports
- Shopify comes with a 14 days free trial
- Shopify pricing starts at $29/per month and goes up to $299/per month. All its packages have varying transaction charges ranging from 0.5% to 2.9%
Booqable is a dedicated rental business software developed to facilitate and manage rental eCommerce operations. With a strong backend, Booqable is one of the most advanced and reliable rental systems available.
For better scalability, Booqable comes with both a desktop platform and a mobile app. What also makes Booqable reliable and highly efficient for conducting online rental operations are its inventory management capabilities and user-centric workflows.
Booqable is also a SaaS solution and has separate plans for Enterprise level businesses.
Features of Booqable
- Availability reports
- Shortage management
- Pricing structures
- Advanced pricing
- Performance reports
- Partial payments
- Both demo and free trial are available for Booqable. The free trial provided is for 14 days
- Booqable pricing starts from $29/per month and goes up to $249/ per month.
Arcadier as a rental marketplace solution focuses on providing rental businesses with scalable digital stores that are fast, easy to use, and bring business resilience. Being fully customizable, it can be used to launch diverse types of online rental businesses and marketplaces.
For proper selection, Arcadier also has a marketplace selector test. This test includes questions regarding the business model, software type, and customizations required. Based on your answers, Arcadier’s website suggests the right plan and package for the business owner.
Arcadier is a SaaS solution that comes with managed services including Operations & Scaling, Planning & Design, and Customization & Development.
Features of Arcadier:
- Calendar scheduler
- Rental add-ons
- Merchant-seller login portal
- Multi-seller checkout
- Price negotiation
- Arcadier comes with a 14 days free trial
- Arcadier is available at $99/ per month
There are many other rental eCommerce software as well that could have been on our list. However, being the most feature-packed and easy-to-use software, we put forward the aforementioned selections.
While our reviews or other critic reviews do help in selecting the right platform, the best approach is to view or try the platform yourself through demos and trials. Lastly, it is highly possible for you to prefer a rental business software not mentioned in our list. After all, any software that meets all requirements of the business and is easy to use is the best software for that business.
Why should I select a dedicated solution over custom development?
Running a business is not easy and with a digital model comes a whole set of new problems. Sometimes business owners encounter problems after they have set up their online store. With custom software development, you can end up in a situation where your store has no modules or features to overcome that problem.
However, with a dedicated solution that has been built after extensive research into your industry, you are very likely to find a feature to tackle the problem. Otherwise, you will need to customize your custom software, again and again, to add features for every new use case that you encounter.
Secondarily, the more recognized reason for selecting a dedicated solution over custom development is cost-effectiveness. Where dedicated software has fixed pricing, custom software is often charged on an hourly development basis.
- Which is better, SaaS or Self-Hosted?
Both Software as a Service (SaaS) and self-hosted rental stores have their own benefits. While the latter matches the requirements of an entrepreneur, the former can be more suitable for another.
Still, there are some points to consider before making a selection. In SaaS solutions, the business owner does not get the choice of selecting a secure or faster server. Instead, his online business is hosted on a shared server with many other businesses. This makes the business more vulnerable to cyber attacks, storage, and server problems.
On the other hand, self-hosted solutions leave the choice of the server to the business owner. He can either purchase a third-party hosting service or set up his own on-site server. This gives more security and freedom to the business owner.
In the end, it is safe to assume that SaaS solutions are more suitable for solopreneurs and for doing seasonal business, like selling Christmas gifts, Halloween costumes, and more. For established businesses and enterprises where the operations are going to last for at least a minimum of one year, self-hosted solutions are the best option.
- Can I migrate from one solution to another?
Business owners often invest in a cheaper alternate solution or makeshift software, thinking that they will later move on to proper rental software. But in the majority of cases, that does not help.
Even when migrating from one software to another, business owners face several challenges. The migration process is not as smooth as solution providers claim and due to this, there are delays in the launch, onboarding, implementation and even returning back to normalcy.
Moreover, some solutions also cannot be migrated to several platforms. Very few don’t have the option to migrate at all. So it is wiser to go for your first solution with proper thought, or you may require to reinvest your money in a rental solution again and start everything from scratch.
- How do I promote my online rental store?
The best part about purchasing dedicated rental software is that it comes with in-built marketing features. With the help of these features, such as meta tag management, social media sharing, discount coupon management, featured products, and custom banners, it becomes easier for a business to implement its online marketing strategy.
Not to mention, with the integration of tools like MailChimp and Google Analytics, you can create data-backed strategies and do so much more for promoting your business and getting your first orders.
Saurabh Thakur is an eCommerce analyst & blogger, who has been active in the eCommerce industry since 2013. He is passionate about technology and is always looking for new opportunities to help startups to establish their businesses online. He also has a good knowledge of branding & reputation management and has successfully delivered a wide range of projects in the past. Connect with him on LinkedIn.