In the past, the rental market was restricted to a few high value-added items (such as cars and apartments) or occasional use products (such as wedding dresses). Today, the scenario has changed radically: there is a real “boom” of digital platforms dedicated to renting practically everything.
Everything: the list today includes cell phones, notebooks, appliances, fitness and beauty equipment, toys, games, computer materials, tools, heater, air conditioning, speakers, TV, coffee machine, heater and even air purifiers. .
The professor of the economics course at the Catholic University of Pernambuco (Unicap) Ana Cláudia Laprovitera explains: the consumer today is less concerned about having possession of the goods. It focuses more on the experiences that products and services can deliver.
For Cláudia Buhamra, professor and coordinator of communication and marketing at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC), this is the future. “We are moving towards the 5.0 society. The technology will be used for the well-being of humanity and should serve to offer more benefits and convenience even if the product is rented. It is the maximum satisfaction of the consumer’s need”, she explains.
The new work relationships, such as the home office, contribute to the strengthening of the trend. “An employee who will spend a short time working in a certain city does not want to invest in furniture or appliances. It is better to rent, because he knows he will be transferred soon”, exemplifies Buhamra.
Another advantage is that the consumer does not have to worry about the devaluation of the product, maintenance or subsequent sales process.
For it to work well, shared products must reach the consumer through the smartest and lowest-cost means. Therefore, disruptive technological tools are the instruments where, preferably, these business relationships take place, says Laprovitera.
What to know before renting?
Before closing a contract, it is necessary to check the modalities and lease time for each type of product. In addition, it is necessary to compare the purchase price and the rent, to define if it is worth the cost-benefit.
Buhamra suggests another caution: with the growth of this market, companies may not be able to rent more new products, depending on the prices. In this case, the price must be in accordance with the number of times the product has been rented.
Consumers also need to worry about the quality of used ones. “Sometimes it can bring a headache”, warns the UFC teacher.
Looking out for opportunities
The business is so promising that Magalu recently launched the Vaivolta pilot project. The proposal of the new service is, according to the company itself, “sell solution and convenience, not just products”.
According to the Director of Customer Experience at Magalu, Vinícius Porto, the service is aimed at those people who do not want to pay a high price on a good or will not use it as often, but want to have access to a high quality product.
“We were able to solve a specific consumer need. For example, that person who needs a toolbox to assemble something. Or a minibar and a sound system to have a party. That is, that type of equipment that he doesn’t have at home and that will be useful for just one or two days”, defines Porto.
According to him, the rent can also serve as a “test-drive”, to check the product before purchase. “We can create a need, presenting a product that we are going to sell later”, says the director of Magalu.
Vaivolta was launched in beta and, according to Porto, is outside Magalu’s platforms, such as the website or the super app. For now, it works in partnership with Housi, available to users of the Bela Cintra flagship and the Housi da Paulista unit, in São Paulo.
Who needs a jackhammer forever?
Another similar platform is Eloca, which serves not only individuals but also companies. The catalog includes, for example, medical-hospital equipment and construction machinery.
Commercial coordinator Michel Vida explains that this format is quite flexible. The customer can choose one-off rentals (pay a one-time fee to spend a period of 7, 15 or even 30 days) or recurring (keep the product for several months).
According to Vida, you can even trace a profile of the rental format versus the type of product. Party or medical products, such as orthopedic boots and wheelchairs, generate more one-off rentals. Electronics, home appliances and exercise equipment are the most sought after in recurring mode.
It was with an eye on consumer behavior that the businesswoman from Recife Vidiane Pinheiro decided to invest in the first toy and accessories rental store in the Northeast.
“The idea of LokToy came after I became a mother for the second time. The toys were accumulating, unused in a few months, after each stage of the children. They only took up space. Then came the idea of renting”, says Vidiane.
After two years of operation, the company was franchised and today serves not only Recife (PE), but also João Pessoa (PB), Maceió (AL), Salvador (BA) and Belo Horizonte (MG).
The virtual store rents everything imaginable for children from 0 to 7 years old, from baby bottles to jumperoo, a high added value toy that takes up a lot of space, but is used for a few months by the baby.
“We have every customer profile. Those who do not want to take up space at home, who do not have many resources to invest in a definitive acquisition and also those who want to take the test to see if their child will be interested”, says the businesswoman.