Last Updated: 15th Feb, 2021
In the post-Airbnb world, the range of things you can borrow or lend online has stretched far beyond beautiful rooms to include cars, boats, pets, dresses, and even bikes. In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic further led to a reported increase in consumer demand for bikes and biking gear. This resulted in the emergence of whole new business models; the most prominent being the peer-to-peer bike rental model.
After conducting an in-depth study of the business model of peer-to-peer bike rental marketplaces, FATbit’s team of analysts curated a list of the key website features required to build a stellar bike rental marketplace. You can read that and other key findings of our analysts below:
There is a huge demand for bike rentals across the globe and the peer-to-peer business model connects bike owners with consumers demanding a used-bike. Checkout the following figure to know how the P2P bike rental business model exactly works.
While bike owners make money by renting their equipment, prospective rentees get a bike for their various needs at a very reasonable price. Although listing a bike on P2P marketplaces is usually free, the platform can levy a service charge from rentees while booking the bike.
Apart from the above-mentioned revenue streams, the business owner can also charge vendors for uploading listings on a monthly/quarterly/yearly subscription basis.
To help entrepreneurs launch a successful bike rental platform, business analysts at FATbit Technologies spent many hours studying user experience, functionality, and revenue models to create a stellar marketplace. First let’s learn how such platforms make money and then go through features which have the potential to make a marketplace popular amongst the targeted audience.
Many startups want to be the Airbnb of bike renting by capitalizing on the business potential in the bike rental industry. With the right website and mobile technology, there are opportunities for startups to enter the industry and establish a name. Main competitors in this niche marketplace are:
Most peer to peer renting services flourish on a combo of powerful features and user experience. Your website in that aspect needs to be beautifully designed with all the required information and navigation links. Let’s take a look at various functionalities and UX elements for a better understanding:
This is one of the critical areas on the website as you want maximum number of people to sign up on your platform. If your service is great but the signup process is long and tedious, then you may lose out on many prospective users. To ensure that the overall process is smooth, you can incorporate a popup, preferably with the option of social login, for signup, rather than a dedicated page.
Most of the peer-to-peer platforms give special importance to the social media platforms. As this service is all about renting and meeting new people, you should also focus on social engagement. Right on the homepage, you can show the latest tweets by people who have used your service as a rentee as well as a bike owner. In addition to that, you can also show prominent news websites that have covered your business model.
Whenever you build an online peer to peer bike renting network, always make provision for a social engagement section and features.
When web users explore a new website and start to gain a basic understanding of how everything works, they also encounter many questions. That’s where the Help section comes in. A help section should cover all the common queries web users are likely to ask and provide links to all the knowledge base sections on:
If the user is somehow unable to get their queries resolved via a knowledge base, then, you can even add the option for them to contact the support services and email their respective questions. We at FATbit believe that this section is vital for a bike renting marketplace solution.
As the overall business model of a bike rental platform is based on finding bikes, you have to put a lot of effort on its search capabilities. The search functionality of the website must have the autocomplete feature and should be created with concepts of UX in mind. As discussed earlier, a good bike rental marketplace should definitely have a prominently placed search bar on the homepage.
As your business grows, it’s always nice to consider adding more varieties of items on your website. Besides bikes, you can start offering snowboards and surfboards.
A bike rental website helps people connect with trusted bike owners in their nearby regions. As bike renting service might be new to some visitors, you should place a dedicated section which explains the website to bike owners as well as the rentees.
The overall process for renting a bike can include:
In order to boost user confidence, you can also add a testimonial section which shows the latest tweets from rentees.
The listing process can also be managed in the same manner:
There can also be a reviews section, which showcases reviews from bike owners. This is highly beneficial in building trust among new users.
You need to keep the overall process of listing a bike easy and simple. The forms should just ask for some basic details about the bike, which are vital from the rentee’s prospective:
Bike owners can also be given the choice of saving the form and editing it at a later time. Additionally, you should also incorporate options like informing the bike owner about all the insurance policies and guarantees provided by you. This increases user confidence in owners about sharing their bike with a stranger. Finally, opt for a marketplace software which simplifies bike listing and renting.
Other than browsing through the list of all the bikes, the only option users have is to use search. Nowadays, search has become one of the most important features in eCommerce platforms with a sizable inventory. As soon as the users search for a particular location, they are taken to a page that displays all the best matches for that respective search query. Some features suggested by us on the results page are:
This platform is all about finding the right bike. This is why you should provide an advanced filter where users can screen results further.
When you want to buy a particular product, it is vital that the product page offers you all the information you want to know about it. Following suggestions by FATbit would help you develop an optimal bike listings page:
During our analysis of several platforms, we found that rentees often have some queries that they want to clear from the bike owner before renting. To assist rentees with such queries on your platform, you can adopt a unique booking model. Under this model, the rentee cannot book a bike right away. The rentee gets the option to communicate with the bike owner before finalizing a decision.
Rentees can also have a direct conversation with the bike owner to gather more information about the bike. If the owner agrees to the booking, then, the rentee can go ahead with the payment. This is an innovative feature created to make bookings hassle-free.
As the overall process of booking involves approvals from bike owners, rentees can have the option to make multiple bookings. Additionally, if need be, rentees can also cancel any reservation before the payment. The booking page should describe all the information related to booking and payment process.
The dashboard is often touted to be the backbone of every eCommerce website. This is because dashboards provide control to the marketplace owner, bike owner and rentee over their most important actions. On a dashboard, all information needs to be organized in such a way that users can handle the basic tasks with ease. The dashboard should display all the booking requests as well as bikes listed.
In order to reach mobile users, you need to make your website responsive. you can also create dedicated apps for Android and iOS.
Now that we have listed the features that your bike renting website or app cannot do without, let’s have a look at some essential areas you need to take into account:
We have incorporated some unique ideas in order to make your website stand out. If you are planning a peer-to-peer bike renting platform like Spinlister, Rentbikenow or Spokefly then, these features are a must for you. In addition to these features, improvements suggested by FATbit can help you create a successful bike renting marketplace website.
Just buying an ample marketplace system will not guarantee success; you also need to make sure that it is feature-rich as well as flexible. Discuss your website and application requirements with a team of UX designers and developers to launch a website.
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