Boost your Ski & Snowboard Rental Business with a Rental Booking Website

Boost your Ski & Snowboard Rental Business with a Rental Booking Website

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Jake Burton Carpenter was a US citizen, born in Vermont, who enjoyed snowboarding in the sport’s early years; the ’60s period. Back then, we used to have different snowboard designs, called ‘snurfer’ boards, made by connecting two skis together. Jake was not only passionate about snurfing but also shaped it.  In 1977, he came up with a snurf board design that had bindings to secure feet. This design became widely popular as what we know today as snowboards, and Jake got global recognition as the inventor of modern snowboards.

In the same year, Jake launched his company, Burton Snowboards, which witnessed tremendous growth in the following years. Jake demonstrated his designs in various National Championships and expanded business operations to Europe, raising global awareness for the sport. In the 21st century, Burton Snowboards is still a leading player in the snowboard rental industry, generating an estimated $400 million in revenue per year.

One of the primary reasons behind Burton’s popularity is their unique value proposition. Snowboarding enthusiasts can simply rent or shop for snowboards and related equipment, and get them delivered to their doorsteps. Having a wide range of products for men, women, and kids, Burton’s primary target audience is entire families, tourists, and snowboard enthusiasts.

There are numerous other winter sports rental platforms like Burton operating in the market. Their primary products include rental skis, snowboards, and protective gear. Let’s understand everything you require to start your own online ski and snowboard rental business.

Table of contents

Ski and Snowboard Rental Industry: Outlook and Statistics

The entire winter sports industry is a massive economic driver with the US being the largest market for starting a ski and snowboard rental business. To get an actual idea about the scope of business in these industries, take a look at the following insights:

1. Skiing

  • The total number of skiers in the US alone is 14.94 million with 65.4 million skier visits in the period 2022-2023. This highlights the US as the top market for starting a skiing rental business,
  • The overall market share for the US ski and snowboard rental industry (combined) in 2023 is $292.4 million
  • There are a total of 2100 well-established ski areas in the world with 48% of them located in  Europe
  • Along with winter sports, the ski industry is also an important contributor to the lifts and elevator industry, generating demand for various types of ski lifts such as chairlifts, gondola lifts, etc.
  • The ski industry is also focusing on sustainable development by manufacturing skis from eco-friendly and recycled materials

2. Snowboarding

  • Originated in the 1960s as ‘snurfing’ and was added to the Winter Olympics in 1998
  • Has a huge economic impact. Snowboarding alone generates 30% of winter resort revenues
  • The top markets for launching a snowboarding business are the USA, France, Austria, Canada, Japan, and Switzerland
  • The rising popularity of winter sports, increase in disposable income, and favorable regional factors are among the primary growth drivers of the industry
  • Snowboarding also sparked a design revolution in the ski industry by inspiring manufacturers to develop shorter and more maneuverable skis

How a Website Can Transform Your Snowboard Rental Business?

In the ‘2020s, customers appreciate digital businesses more than ever. For them, on-click booking through a rental website is more convenient than manually reaching out to offline businesses and checking availability for snowboards. This transformation is also required to stay relevant and connected with customers.

Likewise, by establishing a strong online presence with your rental website, your business can benefit in many ways.

Benefits of Developing a Ski and Snowboard Rental Website

  • Accept Online Bookings

A digitally enabled world requires businesses to provide online solutions and services. These can range from having the option to shop online to receiving quick and reliable tech support. For a ski and snowboard rental business, going digital primarily means having the capability to directly accept bookings and reservations online. Building a ski and snowboard rental website with a booking calendar functionally will allow you to accept online rental orders and manage them accordingly.

  • Target Wider Markets

In the past two decades of digital businesses, you must have observed that all leading players are the first movers to transition online. One of the primary reasons that motivated them to develop their websites is that targeting wider markets becomes easy. There’s a large set of digital marketing tools available that businesses can use to target distant audiences and expand their operations to new markets.

  • Automate Operations

When managing business manually, there are higher chances of errors, leading to customer dissatisfaction and sometimes even monetary loss. The first benefit of automation that a rental website brings is the elimination of manual errors and streamlined workflows. Meaning, your website can handle multiple operations while you can get extra time to spend with family or follow your passion.

  • Reduce Operational Costs

Manual operations are more cost-inclusive than their digital solutions. For example, running a physical store requires you to hire a team to attend to customers, do inventory, do bookkeeping, and report to you. You will need to pay them hourly wages and incur the costs of utility bills, insurance, vacations, human resources, etc. In comparison, your rental website automates several operations and systematically reduces the overall operational costs.

  • Brand Building

In a non-commodity business, having a distinctive brand identity gives an edge over competitors. It simply makes your brand stand out from the crowd and helps establish trust. A business website is an essential component of brand identity as in the modern world, it is a strong way to communicate with your customers. It helps you tell your audience about your values and the things your business stands for. Thus, having a rental website is an essential component of your brand strategy.

  • For Securing Investment

Technology-based businesses have a high potential to scale, grow, and disrupt the market. For this reason, they are able to attract investors. In the beginning, you may be bootstrapped but as you scale and want to expand your business, you may need investment. For securing that investment, having a highly functional technology base can help. A rental website can help you prove the scalability of your ski and snowboard rental business to investors along with displaying your resilience.

View Demo for the Industry’s Leading Rental Store Software

Ways to Develop a Ski and Snowboard Rental Website

Mostly, page builders and custom development come to a founder’s mind when thinking about web development. However, both these approaches are a bit irrelevant when building a rental website because of the following reasons:

Issues with Using Page Builders

  • When using page builders, founders have to develop the solution themselves. The only thing that changes is that you are shifting from custom programming to the drag-and-drop method. Meaning, that if you are not sure about the features or are unaware of UI/UX industry standards, the end product can lack essential features.
  • A rental website operates differently from a regular ecommerce website. Just to accept orders, you need a rental calendar that will display product availability to customers and accept rental date inputs. Additionally, you need a dedicated rental invoicing system that can generate invoices after calculating several variables such as the rental days, security amount, daily or weekly price, etc. It is not possible to find such rent-centric features in a page builder.

Issues with Custom Development

  • While the custom development approach gives you the maximum flexibility in developing a website, the entire development process can last for months or even years. This takes away any early adopter advantage that you may have. Lastly, custom development is also very expensive, including hourly development rates ranging from $20-$100 per hour depending on the country of development.

The solution: Using Readymade Rental Software

In 2024, there is a more efficient way to develop a rental website that includes using a tried and tested readymade software. A readymade rental solution is inclusive of all essential features required to conduct online ski and snowboard rental operations. Moreover, as everything is available right out of the box, the overall development timeframe and Time-to-Market are bare minimum. Unlike custom development, you also don’t need to pay hourly development costs.

What to Look for While Selecting a Snowboard Rental Software?

There are numerous ski rental software and snowboard rental software available in the market with each having its own benefits. However, only some rental software are revised with the modern market dynamics and can promise a highly convenient rental experience. To find out such competent ski and snowboard rental software, you can take care of a few things.

1. Ease of Use

As per McKinsey, users expect software-based customer experiences to be on par with those provided by the leading players. This is where ease of use plays a major role. A user-intuitive interface is not only essential for customers on the front end but is also equally important for the back end managing business owners and admins. The key things that matter in the user interface of a rental software are how easy it is to navigate through and how simple are the workflows. Similarly, business owners should be easily able to navigate through multiple settings, such as viewing and editing listings, orders, webpages, and more.

2. Features

As described above, rental websites are different from regular eCommerce websites. As they have a different workflow that includes distinct backend operations, such as processing rental dates, tracking overdue returns, and managing rental security, your ski and snowboard rental software requires a dedicated rent-centric set of features. Some of the features that you should look for in your software are:

  • Booking calendar
  • Tiered daily, weekly and monthly pricing
  • Rental invoicing
  • Agreement management
  • Rental security management
  • Document verification
  • Product inspection
  • Rental buffer period
  • Inventory management
  • Order management
  • Product Comparison
  • Overdue returns
  • Late returns management
  • Late cancellations management
  • Request for Quote
  • Rental add-ons

3. Customizability

Although numerous rental software are already available in the market, due to time constraints, it is not possible for them to provide features to cover every new use case or facilitate every new rental business idea. As a result, it is highly possible to find a few features that you require missing in all rental solutions. The only solution to this problem is to opt for a customizable rental software. This way, you can get the software provider to custom develop the code for all missing functionalities and help you accurately materialize your business idea.

4. Scalability

With time, your business will grow. When that happens, you will be dealing with hundreds or probably thousands of new customers and transactions every month. Unfortunately, not every rental software is scalable enough to support this growth. As a result, you may need to reinvest in some other software. Thus, the best precaution against the scalability issue is investing in a highly scalable solution. To ensure this, make sure there are no restrictions on the number of listings, transactions, and users.

Also, it is a common practice in the market to provide software solutions whose only top-tier versions are scalable. This is especially true with SaaS solutions. Meaning, while you can get started with a base package, to accommodate growth, the software will require you to upgrade to premium packages, increasing your overall investment in rental software. It is best advised to ignore such solutions.

5. Long-Term Value

Selecting a software base for any business takes multiple decisions. Not to mention, the time and money that you invest separately. After so much effort, it only makes sense for the software solution to provide long-term value. However, this is not always the case. There are many ski and snowboard rental software available in the market that do provide value in the short term, but soon become unusable due to missing features, heavy upgrade costs, and low scalability. On top of it, SaaS solutions also have recurring costs that make it impossible to reach a break-even point for your software investment.

Thus, to find out the actual value of your software, calculate its total ownership costs for a minimum period of at least 5 years. Include any upgradation costs and scalability costs that will be directly paid to the software provider. Also, making sure that your software has all the required features in the first place to start your business is an effective method to ensure the long-term value of the software.

Build your Ski & Snowboard Rental Website with Next-Gen Solution

Steps to Launch a Ski & Snowboard Rental Website

Here’s how you can develop a ski and snowboard rental website by using a readymade rental software.

Step 1: Select an Impressive Domain Name

The domain name with which users will recognize your brand, needs to be highly impressive. It can be indicative of your rental service, for example, ‘rental.burton.com’. Such a domain name not only helps customers remember your store but also links you with the rental service and makes you more memorable for renting out skis and snowboards.

A few more rental domain name examples:

  • https://rentalkosova.com/
  • https://rental.muqawil.org/
  • https://rent.sellmyrig.com/
  • https://wrentit.co.uk/
  • https://rentthis.com/
  • https://prorent.market/
  • https://simplyborrowed.co.nz/

*All these domain names are already registered trademarks of Yo!Rent-powered rental stores and solely shared for reference purposes.

Note: When selecting a SaaS-based rental software, many business owners make the mistake of selecting the free subdomain generated by the software. That subdomain remains a property of the SaaS company, thus, automatically binding you with the software. This causes migration or scalability problems at a later stage. A simple solution to this problem is to get your own domain that you can use for years.

Step 2: Get a Rental Software

A readymade rental software is the modern alternative to custom development and page builders that we discussed earlier. What makes rental software highly suitable for conducting online ski and snowboard rental operations is that they have been developed after taking into account the several use cases of a rental business. Right from accepting online orders and managing rental security to keeping track of overdue returns and inventory, everything can be managed easily with a rental software.
Most importantly, you don’t even need to have any technical knowledge in order to use the rental software nor have to build your website from scratch.

Step 3: List Products

After installing the rental software, do some primary configuration such as setting up your business logo, contact information, and bank details. You can also start listing your products on the website which will be displayed on the product pages, homepage categories, and at various other sections of the website. Listing products may take some time depending on the size of your inventory. For this reason, it is wiser to list your primary products first.

Step 4: Start Renting

With the help of the features readily available in the software, you can start renting out skiing and snowboarding equipment. In the beginning, you can promote your business amongst your family and friends and also use social media ads to generate leads. Attending snowboarding meetups and joining online groups can also help you promote your business.

Some additional tips to help you successfully run an online ski and snowboard rental business are:

  1. Charge a rental security amount for reimbursing any damages. If not possible, then use credit cards for payments.
  2. Directly state your rental terms and conditions on the website. This will help you prevent any future altercations with the customers.
  3. Do routine maintenance of the equipment to increase longevity.
  4. As customers in rental businesses often don’t mind renting used equipment, providing clean equipment is the key to ensuring a positive customer experience.
  5. To boost your business, you can display your marketing collateral at ski resorts.

Our Recommendation: Yo!Rent Rental Software

Based on the aforementioned information, we need a rental software that is highly scalable, customizable, easy to use, and comes with dedicated features to help you launch a robust ski and snowboard rental website. As per our recommendation, Yo!Rent rental software precisely meets this criteria.

About Yo!Rent

Yo!Rent is a self-hosted rental software that comes with a lifetime usage license. It has been built by industry experts who are familiar with the various use cases and challenges of the rental industry and thus, is able to streamline numerous rental operations for business owners. Additionally, the fully customizable nature of Yo!Rent gives you the flexibility to add any new features or integrate your favorite business tools in the software.

Key Features of Yo!Rent

  • Booking calendar
  • Rent plus sell
  • Request for Quote module
  • Inventory management
  • Order management
  • Rental agreement and eSign
  • Document verification
  • Product inspection
  • Late returns management

As Yo!Rent supports unlimited listings, transactions, and user profiles, it can accommodate business growth right from the startup level to the enterprise level. With Yo!Rent’s 20+ payment gateways and multi-lingual support, it is also easy to expand your business operations to new markets and regions. Lastly, to ensure uninterrupted business operations, Yo!Rent comes with one year of free technical support.

Book a One-to-One Demo Session for Yo!Rent

Conclusion

Skiing and snowboarding are the two most popular and forever winter sports with everlasting demand. This means that there will always be innovation in the industry, followed by fierce market competition. Many new players will enter the industry with their unique value proposition and even challenge the current leading players. One way to be quick on this route is to capitalize on digitalization and launch online rental stores. The value proposition of your ski and snowboard rental store should be carefully set after closely analyzing the market trends. For any assistance in marketing and management, you can use your rental software’s built-in features and modules.

Disclaimer: The Blog has been created with consideration and care. We strive to ensure that all information is as complete, correct, comprehensible, accurate and up-to-date as possible. Despite our continuing efforts, we cannot guarantee that the information made available is complete, correct, accurate or up-to-date. We advise - the readers should not take decisions completely based on the information and views shared by FATbit on its blog, readers should do their own research to further assure themselves before taking any commercial decision. The 3rd party trademarks, logos and screenshots of the websites and mobile applications are property of their respective owners, we are not directly associated with most of them.


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