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 and clothing and equipment from top brands to support active outdoor life in all seasons.
Sportshop has used Rentle since the summer of 2019, making the company one of Rentle's first customers. We interviewed Sportshop's founder Jari Ahola and store manager, Jarno Helassalo, to learn about their experiences with Rentle.
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 its 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 a clumsy customer experience.
To serve a growing number of customers faster and better, something needed to be done to speed up store management processes. Also, online bookings offered the company an exciting growth opportunity they wanted to explore. Thus, finding an all-around rental software was a logical next step.
Without prior experience using a rental management system, it was a question mark how many adjustments the existing processes and daily routines required.
Rentle helps Sportshop with ecommerce and store management
The optimal solution that Äkäslompolo Sportshop was looking for must be fast and easy to use while being flexible enough to suit the company's needs. Rentle proved to be just that.
With Rentle, Äkäslompolo Sportshop turned its website into a complete online rental store and started accepting online bookings. The impact has been immediate—today, 33% of the company's rental sales come through its 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 found online bookings quickly and easily. The benefits of online bookings have also been noticed in improving internal processes.
Sportshop decided to try Rentle because the leap of faith was relatively small.
"During the test period, Rentle proved out to be a good service and the product developed constantly to the right direction. We didn't see any reasons to go back to the old systems and the pen and paper."
Sportshop didn't use rental software before Rentle, so the beginning of the journey required making minor adjustments to the daily routines.
The growing number of people booking online has required some changes, but the changes have been mainly for the better and made everyday life easier and more organized.
Learning and developing together
Helassalo and Ahola mention speed, ease of use, and flexibility when asked about the most essential features of rental software.
Like always in the software business, every once in a while, there are situations where Rentle doesn't have a feature to solve a problem.
However, according to Äkäslompolo Sportshop, they have been able to resolve these situations with a bit of creativity. And eventually, the feature was added to Rentle.