Customer Story, Skis, Bikes

Rentle helped Äkäslompolo Sportshop in doubling their revenue

Sportshop has used Rentle since summer 2019, making the company one of Rentle's first customers. We interviewed Sportshop's entrepreneur Jari Ahola and store manager Jarno Helassalo to learn about their experiences with Rentle.

Äkäslompolo Sportshop is one of the biggest bicycle rental businesses in Finland, located in the village of Äkäslompolo, right next to the Ylläs fell in the Finnish Lapland.

Since 1996, the full-service sports shop has served customers by selling and renting top-quality sports and outdoor equipment. You can find everything from mountain bikes to alpine and cross-country skis for rent, in addition to clothing and equipment from top brands to support active outdoor life in all seasons.

Location

Kolari, Finland

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4500 annual rentals

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3x more online bookings

Growing customer volumes revealed bottlenecks

Before Rentle, most of Sportshop's customers arrived at the store without a booking. The company also took reservations through their website via phone and email, but the numbers were marginal compared to the total sales volume. The operation was run without a specific rental management system, leading to slow rental processes and clumsy customer experience.

To serve a growing number of customers faster and better, something needed to be done to speed up the store management. Also, ecommerce offered the company an interesting growth opportunity they wanted to explore. Thus, finding an all-round rental software was a logical next step.

Without prior experience in using a rental management system, it was a bit of a question mark how much adjusting the existing processes and daily routines needed. However, thanks to Rentle's usage-based pricing, testing was risk-free, as there is no need to commit to long periods or make any front-loaded investments.

Rentle helps Sportshop with ecommerce and store management

The optimal solution that Äkäslompolo Sportshop was looking for needed to be fast and easy to use while being flexible enough to suit the company's needs. Rentle proved out to be just that.

With Rentle, Äkäslompolo Sportshop was able to turn their website into a complete online rental store and start accepting online bookings. The impact has been immediate - today 33% of the company's rental sales come through their website, which has led Sportshop to double its rental revenue (2019 vs. 2018) and continue its growth despite the pandemic. Jari Ahola points out that even though mountain biking is growing fast in the area, Rentle's role has been essential in helping the company achieve such numbers.

According to Ahola and Helassalo, their clients have been delighted and have found online bookings fast and easy. The benefits of online bookings have also been noticed in the improvement of internal processes.

 

"Compared to the number of online bookings that we got before, we have experienced huge growth after we started to use Rentle."

Results

Besides the staggering growth that Äkäslompolo Sportshop has experienced since starting to use Rentle and improve its online channels, the team has recognized a change for the better in the store.

Helassalo says that when customers book their equipment online, most of the time-consuming parts of the rental have already been taken care of when the customer arrives at the site. In the best scenario, the customer can just pick up the prepared equipment, when the time spent queuing and waiting can be counted in seconds.

Together with Rentle's powerful rental store management system, the shift of consumer preferences towards online bookings is saving hours of working time from Sportshop's team.

The staff can use the saved time, for example, to prepare the orders before the client arrives and provide more personalized customer service. Overall, all this helps Äkäslompolo Sportshop to provide better and faster customer service and improve the store management processes.

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