Rental fashion startups rent out branded and designer clothes for a period of mostly 4 days. In this article, we are going to analyse digital marketing strategies used by rental fashion startups. To do this, we are going to look at 5 Indian startups operating in this industry:

Unlike other fashion startups, they have low margins since they are providing only rental services and not selling any product. Moreover, they have to provide both ways shipping and dry cleaning services free of cost. Let’s look at their digital marketing strategies.

Digital marketing strategies used by fashion rental startups

The major traffic sources of these startups are shown below:

# Company Name Organic Search Traffic Social Traffic
1
Flyrobe
68%
2%
2
Stage3
48%
14%
3
Rent It Bae
83%
0%
4
Rent an Attire
74%
0%
5
Stylease
69%
2%

(Data source: similarweb; Date: Jan 2020)

The data table shows that all 5 of them are getting traffic organically from Google. So, they must be doing search engine optimization (SEO), the process of making your website Google friendly to rank higher in search results. Let’s find out more about SEO.

Fashion rental startup’s SEO strategy

# Company Name Organic Search Traffic Non-branded organic traffic
1
Flyrobe
237K
58%
2
Stage3
15K
45%
3
Rent It Bae
5K
75%
4
Rent an Attire
3K
54%
5
Stylease
2K
87%

(Data source: SEMrush; Date: Jan 2020)

We find a company’s SEO efforts by looking at their non-branded organic traffic.

Non-branded organic traffic is the number of visits from search terms which didn’t have the company’s name. For instance, traffic from the keyword “rent a dress online” is non-branded.

On the other hand, traffic from the keyword “rent a dress online Flyrobe” is branded traffic for Flyrobe.

So, non-branded traffic is the result of genuine SEO efforts, and that is why it is considered the best metric to understand a company’s SEO performance.

The data table shows that all startups have high non-branded organic traffic. This is a good sign for them because their SEO efforts are working and generating a lot of traffic for them on keywords like “rental dress” and “rental lehenga”.

Digital marketing strategy rarely used by fashion rental startups

Surprisingly, apart from SEO, they don’t have any other major traffic source. Let’s find out why.

Social media advertising or Facebook ads used by fashion rental startups

Let’s take a look at the first data table again.

You will observe that only stage3 is getting traffic from social media channels. This traffic is coming from Facebook ads. Check out some of their active Facebook ads below.

Facebook ads seem to be working well for Stage3. But, we can’t understand why other startups are not using them. It can be due to lack of resources.

Search engine marketing or Google ads used by fashion rental startups

Our data shows that none of these startups uses Google ads either and it can be because of the following reasons:

  • Low search volume: The idea of renting clothes online is new in India and therefore the search volume for these services is low. Not a lot of people search for these services.
  • Competition from local businesses: A big proportion of people who search for rental clothing services go for local businesses.
  • Competition from big brands: Well established brands like Manyavar and Tatacliq are bidding actively on their keywords even when they don’t provide renting services (check out google shopping ads on keywords “rent clothes online”).

To clarify, the fashion rental industry in India is so small that e-commerce brands are advertising on their keywords without facing any competition. It’s like they don’t even exist. This is not the case in the US market where fashion rental brands like Rent the Runway is known as a disruptor of the fashion industry like Uber and Airbnb, and have created its own market.

(Image source: CNBC)

Social Media content marketing by fashion rental startups

These startups are not posting engaging content to attract their target audience on social media too. As a result, their content is not reaching enough people. The data table shows the estimated Facebook reach of their posts.

Conclusion

The state of fashion rental startups is not good. They might be doing well on the ground with traditional marketing but on the web, they are relying only on SEO to get customers. But, we can be wrong and if you find something contradictory in this article please let us know in the comments.

Also, if you like to collaborate for anything at all, don’t hesitate to reach out.

More Digital marketing Strategies For Start ups

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