No doubt the economical strand of the country is enhancing exponentially and with the rising disposable income, India is poised to be one of the fastest developing countries of the world. But with this, it doesn’t get arguable that Indian customers are still price sensitive and wants to save maximum over purchases of goods and services.
Irrespective of our economic stature, we Indian love debating with shopkeepers to save as much as possible. Same trend has been observed when it comes to eCommerce purchases. Consumers spend long hours browsing over categories that offer huge discounts. Betting big of the above mentioned factor, eCommerce companies such as Snapdeal, Amazon or Flipkart etc. have invested heavily in providing attractive discounts and promotional offers to acquire more customers.
Changing the regulars, Indian eCommerce space has a new threat to tackle and its the rising preference of renting over buying. Yes, online renting is the new buzz in the e-town these days. Already there are a lot of websites that offers renting of cars & bikes, apparels, books and many more. The year 2015, saw a splurge in online renting space as a lot of startups emerged striking eCommerce sales by offering customers to pay mere 25-30 percent of the product cost.
Here is a list of 5 renting marketplaces that have given a stiff competition to the big boys of eRetail:
Automobile is the most happening segments in today retail market. Digital purchases have transformed the industry to a new level. Creating a buzz in automobile rental space, Zoomcar is a self driven car rental startup that aims at saving cost and hassle of owning a car. The company offers a hourly, daily and monthly car rental service showcasing a wide array of SUV, Luxury, Sedan cars as per customer’s need.
Launched in the year 2012, the company plans to increase the number of cars available on its platform from 2,000 to close to 15,000. It is currently operational in cities like Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Chandigarh. The Bengaluru-based startup has created a niche in almost no time and now plans to expand its services to 25-30 more cities in the coming 12-18 months.
IndiaReads.com is an online book rental platform. Shipping to over 500 cities across India, IndiaReads.com is currently India’s biggest online Library. Started in 2009, IndiaReads is first of its kind eCommerce portal that offers affordable, cheaper and reliable reading platform to readers in India.
The company has a massive inventory offering its user’s over 1.8+ million titles from different writing genres like fiction, romance, self help, and autobiographies. Today, the company claims to have over 1lakh corporate users, nearly 60 thousand retail customers and counting.
Creating a buzz in jewellery renting space, Eves24.com aims to capture the high-end jewellery renting space with its Jewel Library Service. The start-up with 2 years of operation already has a local customer base in place. Mostly conscious ladies who want look best on every occasion be it wedding, receptions and parties etc.
For the higher priced seldom worn jewellery, customers can pick up sets either for three or seven days for weddings and functions and return it duly to the company. The only thing the customer needs to pay is a usage fee, which is either five percent or seven percent of the product value, depending on whether they are picking it up for three or seven days. Currently the service is limited to Mumbai only but the company has aggressive expansion plans on the go.
Mumbai-based online fashion rental service, is taking the fashion and apparel world by storm. Launched in September last year the startup claims to have transacted with 1,000 customers already, and closed 2015 with 100 customers on a single day – when it was just 15 weeks old.
With more than 40,000 app downloads and 14,000 active users on a monthly basis, the startup has created a niche in the renting space. Flyrobe is a brainchild of three IIT-Bombay alumni, Shreya Mishra, Pranay Surana and Tushar Saxena. The startup is operational in Mumbai and plans to expand into five other cities by the end of 2016.
Renting furniture might sound a bit ambiguous, but believe me it’s happening now! Startup called ‘Furlenco’, rents out premium furniture with matching furnishings and decor on a monthly subscription fee. The service also includes free doorstep delivery and installation making it extremely convenient and hassle-free to furnish your home.
The three-year-old start-up, which was founded by former Goldman Sachs VP, Ajith Karimpana, raised $6 million in series A funding in March 2015 from Lighbox Ventures. So far, the company has raised 40 cr funds and aims at a massive expansion PAN India. Currently the start-up is operational in Bengaluru and Mumbai and claims to have about 1,600 customers in Bengaluru only.
The reach of the internet across the country has made these rental business models possible that otherwise wouldn't fly. Many market pundits have even predicted that a significant portion of goods bought will be rented out in the coming 3-5 years. The model so far sounds good on the surface and has also got a noteworthy kick-start posing a big threat ahead of eCommerce majors with a punch line of ‘why buy when you could rent’.