New-Age Rental Business Ideas in Sharing Economy for Digital Entrepreneurs

New-Age Rental Business Ideas in Sharing Economy for Digital Entrepreneurs

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Last Updated: August 05, 2022

A concept that has been going on from centuries in the offline world has now come as a storm in the online world. People through broker or middleman have been renting out property and equipment from a very long time.

Entrepreneurs with this idea started online businesses of renting houses, cars, etc. The sharing economy has grown tremendously in the 20th century as people prefer to rent out products for a short duration of time rather than buying.

The rental industry has changed people’s ideology over time in many industries like hospitality and transportation. It has given these industries a new venture to branch out.

What we will cover in this blog post:

What are the Growth Opportunities in Sharing Economy?

The rental industry is rapidly growing as a platform that provides temporary access to various assets. This industry which was valued at $19 billion in 2017 is expected to be $59.4 billion by 2022. In areas where the sharing economy is already booming, growth in rental services is exceeding both Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and infrastructure construction.

This is particularly true in the US, where rental has been expanding at annual rates of between 5-7%. The number of adults (in the U.S) using the increasingly popular renting economy is 73.7 million in 2019 and is likely to increase to 86.5 million by 2021.

Which are the Profitable Business Models in the Sharing Economy?

Online Vehicle Rental Business

vehicle-rentalCars for Rent

The Growth of Vehicle Rental

The spending power of each person is not equal, some people manage to buy a car, others don’t. Now as technology has evolved most of the industries, it has also changed the working of the vehicle rental segment. People can now rent a vehicle according to their specific requirements.

Latest in the industry

Companies like Turo have made it easy for anyone to rent a car of their choice. Much like how one searches for clothes or other essentials on ecommerce websites, users can search for cars by entering their choice for features, make, color, transmission, and much more.

Revenue and Growth Stats

  • Revenue in the Car Rentals segment amounts to US$26,873m in 2019. In global comparison, most revenue is generated in the United States (US$10,289m in 2019).
  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2019-2023) of 3.4%, resulting in a market volume of US$30,686m by 2023.
  • User penetration is 1.7% in 2019 and is expected to hit 1.8% by 2023.
  • The average revenue per user (ARPU) currently amounts to US $213.42.

Online Equipment Rental Business

equipment rental imageEquipment for Rent

The Growth of Equipment Rental

A person goes into a local shop, checks if the required equipment is available and then rents it for a set period. However, the customers did not always find the equipment they needed at the time they desired. So with technology came the equipment rental businesses.

According to the online equipment rental industry guide published on, growing population and urbanization have led to a proliferation of construction activity, especially in developing countries. As such the demand for different types of construction equipment such as scissor lifts, boom lifts, forklifts, and excavators has seen a sharp increase. But heavy equipment doesn’t come cheap and its value is always depreciating after the purchase, so it’s often preferable to hire equipment. 

Burly is the perfect example of an online heavy equipment rental marketplace. It lets equipment owners make money by renting out their equipment to construction companies. With technology, the company is able to make the equipment rental process a whole lot faster, easier, and less expensive compared to traditional rental yards.

Latest in the industry

Many big brands that offered their products offline have shifted their efforts in renting out their products to people who do not want to own these products. Some of the products that can be rented in this niche are tools (any kind of tools and electronics), medical equipment (also include wheelchair rental), medical supply, tech hardware, sports and outdoor (also include camping gear), home appliances, washer/dryer, heating, and air conditioning.

Online Interior Decoration Rental Business

interior-rentalInterior Decor Items for Rent

The Growth of Interior Decoration Rental

People, especially millennials, have started moving to different places for many reasons. They also prefer to travel light and take the least number of furniture items. The place where people wish to settle, they prefer to rent furniture and interior decoration material. This niche has huge potential as people are moving more and more towards renting furniture than actually buying it.

Latest in the industry

Many businesses have come up in the interior decoration rental segment. They now provide items on a monthly rental basis. Packages are set up according to an item which is being rented. Long term renting has become a trend in this industry. Some items can be plants, furniture, household appliances, and more.

Revenue and Growth Stats

  • The total revenue in 2019 for furniture rental is: $723 million
  • 895 businesses are currently operating in the furniture rental

Online Clothes Rental Business

clothes-rentalClothes for Rent

The Growth of Clothes Rental

A person would want to wear a Louis Vuitton tuxedo for his best friend’s wedding but would not want to spend thousands of dollars on one event. A trend amongst millennials is to wear designer clothes to a special event, but most don’t want to repeat the dress for other parties. The whole idea behind clothes rental is to utilize the worth of branded clothing by renting them to other people.

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Latest in the industry

Many businesses which can generate profits in this niche have been subjected to a centralized business model. The owner of the website has an inventory of the clothes and rent them to multiple people.

Even large enterprises are using this model and making their expensive clothes available on rent. Some businesses in this industry are also utilizing the subscription-based revenue model to yield continuous income. The items that can be rented in this niche are dresses like formal wear, traditional dress, wedding dress, fancy dress, and more.

Recommended to read: How To Start An Online Dress Rental Business – Understanding The Business Model And Website Features

Revenue and Growth Stats

  • Online clothing rental market is expected to reach $ 1,856 million, globally, by 2023.
  • According to a new report published by Allied Market Research, titled, online clothing rental market by end-user and clothes style: global opportunity analysis and industry forecast, 2017-2023, the global online clothing rental market was valued at $1,013 million in 2017, and is estimated to reach $ 1,856 million by 2023, registering a CAGR of 10.6% from 2017 to 2023.
  • North America leads the online clothing rental market, followed by the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Asia-Pacific which is still in its latent phase of adopting the rental clothing trend is expected to grow at the highest CAGR of 11.4% mainly.
  • Women end-user segment accounts for the highest market share accounting for nearly 58%, however, the men end-user segment is projected to witness the highest demand during the forecast period.
  • Overall, the ethnic wear segment possesses higher market share and is expected to witness considerable growth, owing to their frequent use in festivals, higher cost of the rental, and greater maintenance costs.

Online Camera Rental Business

Online-Camera-Rental_BusinessPhotography Equipment for Rent

Growth of Camera Rental Business

Owning an expensive camera these days adds to the overhead cost of maintenance. Generally, people find it a costly affair to own multiple lenses, cameras, and other accessories. Consequently, it gets tough for an individual to have a collection of all the purpose-specific equipment.

Pertaining to this, an Online Camera Rental business can be an effective solution to provide customers with the latest cameras, lenses, and other accessories.

Scope Of Camera Rental Business

The camera is used on multiple occasions and professions. Some of the leading tasks where the camera is used are

  • Weddings
  • Sports photographers
  • Business photoshoots
  • Wildlife photography
  • Fashion portfolio shoot
  • Vlogging etc.

Social media is on the rise and the user count has increased rapidly. All the professions that require cameras usually prefer advanced tools for the best results. Since it becomes difficult to have the latest gear all the time, renting is the perfect option for professionals.

When starting a camera rental business, you need effective business planning, defined revenue streams, and software that is reliable, secure, and user-friendly.

Reports and Stats For Online Camera Rental Business

  • As reported by Statista, the cinema camcorder is the most rented camera equipment followed by Mirrorless and DSLR cameras. 
  • According to Dronerush, a high-end consumer camera drone costs around $1800 which is a costly affair for most professionals. So, there is a vast scope for rental businesses dealing with camera gears.
  • One of the biggest names in the online camera rental industry, Lensrentals was started in 2006 with a single camera, and currently has revenue of $19 million.

Online Accessory Rental Business

accessory-rentalAccessory for Rent

The Growth of Accessory Rental

There are items that complement the main product and are needed only for a short period. Such items are often left in storage rooms after one-time use. People have started utilizing the full value of the products as the condition of these products wears off after some time.

Latest in the Industry

Businesses are not just renting out single items they have a decentralized model where all the categories of items are present. Jewelry rental website has become immensely popular but they will be profitable only in the centralized model. Items that can be rented in the accessory rental industry are Camera Lenses, Festival Items – Lights, Christmas tree, Jewelry, etc.

Revenue and Growth Stats

  • Total Revenue that accessory rental gathered  in the year 2019 – $6 billion
  • Number of business in the accessory rental – 12,644
  • Annual growth of accessory rental in 2014 – 2019 – 3.1%

Capture the Opportunity by Launching a Niche-Specific Rental Website with Yo!Rent

Other Rental Items

The Growth of Other Rental items

Other than the above-mentioned items there are more items which can be rented. These items were being rented in the offline world but they have shifted online according to the demands of the users.

Latest in the Industry

There are a lot of things that can be rented and some of them are caskets, animal/pet, portable toilet, cake, baby toy, and more. Entrepreneurs have to make sure that these items do not involve emotional value because people do not prefer to rent items which they are emotionally connected to.

Revenue and Growth Stats

In 2018, the German video rental market generated revenues of roughly 190 million euros, according to the Society for Consumer Research.

How to Plan the Perfect Strategy to get Started in Sharing Economy?

Research your market thoroughly and test if you’re useful

Businesses in the sharing economy are dependent on the renters and rentees to make the website profitable. An entrepreneur might be sure that his/her website will bring ease in the area of operation, it is important to take note of the demand and supply of the products in the target area.

Due to the complexity in the rental industry, the entrepreneur has to research and analyze both the customer and the supplier side. Make sure you conduct extensive research to study the market. If there are enough customers in your area make sure there are enough suppliers too.

After thorough research, make sure you test the market too. Start with a minimum viable product (MVP) and launch it in the market. Check if people are volunteering using it. Doing so will help you identify problems that you can rectify later.

Note: There are some products which people do not prefer to rent out or use. Many factors influence product selection, some of the factors including emotional value, hygienic reasons, etc.

Make sure you offer the right value to the user

Airbnb does not need to spend a massive amount of money to entice property owners to list on their website. The owner will prefer to list themselves as they will be earning extra money. Answers to questions like “What’s in it for me?” should be elaborated on the website to enable visitors to understand the value. It is an essential element to consider before creating a content strategy for your brand.

Build your trustability

In the sharing economy, the trustability of your business is directly proportional to the success of your business. Honest and transparent reviews are important to improve the trustability of your business. Provide quality products and customer service and you can easily win customers trust. Furthermore, customers must be able to voice their concern and give feedback.

How can I build a Rental eCommerce Website?

You can select either a custom or off-the-shelf solution. Launching your online rental website through a market-ready platform like Yo!Rent can add competitive advantage while building a rental ecommerce website from scratch will take a few months.

It is a platform through which entrepreneurs can easily launch a website. Important multivendor capabilities, including renting and selling, that are needed to make the website profitable are already present in the platform. Furthermore, entrepreneurs can customize the platform according to their business needs.

Final Thoughts

In Europe, where economic growth rate is lower, rental has still been expanding at around 3% each year, and more in some countries – the highest growth in European countries occurred in France (5.7%), the Netherlands (5.2%), and Spain (5.1%).

Based on figures published by the American Rental Association (ARA) and the European Rental Association (ERA), the global rental growth rate is around 5.0%. That’s for a market that is valued globally between US$90-100 billion, with approximately 80% of that generated in Europe and North America.

Insights on Rental Industry for 2019 – 2023

Choosing the right technology partner is the most important aspect of a successful business. Yo!Rent is an online rental marketplace system which can help entrepreneurs launch a multivendor website. It is customizable according to the needs of the entrepreneur. Other benefits are – self-hosted, licensed based system, free 1-year technical support, and many more. Check the demo now or schedule a one on one demo to know more about the system.

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