How Rent The Runway Put the Rental Fashion Industry Under the Spotlight

When teenagers mention fancy events, the first thing that comes to the mid of their parents is: where to rent the clothes from. Be it high school prom or a family wedding, teenagers all over US have been dragged to traditional mom and pop stores to rent out a suit or a gown. Across decades, this industry has made fancy dressing possible for all budgets and all events, thanks to the highly skilled tailors in each store who would take your measurements and return with a bunch of dresses which almost always magically had that your perfect outfit.
While this industry has an air of familiarity and nostalgia about it, Rent the Runway sought to retain all of that and just expanded its presence online. Figuring out the logistics of this wasn’t easy, neither was the reaction of the customers to the novelty of this model. What was RTR’s secret to success then? By focusing on building fulfilment and logistics process that enhanced the customer experience, collecting valuable data on their customers, and leveraging that data to create partnerships with designers, RTR has managed to retain the loyalty of customers as well as give them a high-fashion experience. This has even grabbed the interest of young working professionals who would love to wear big labels for important events but are not in a stage to splurge on buying.
The numbers speak for themselves. This 2009 launch has managed to come up with one of USA’s most successful eCommerce subscriptions and has even built the country’s largest dry-cleaning facility. This goes on to show how serious they are about providing nothing less than the best experience for their customers. This transcends into their delivery process, where every dress meets a standard set of checks to ensure it is in perfect condition while being delivered. Every rented piece goes through a fulfilment centre of the RTR, where the following steps take place:
§  Stock: Rented items are put in bags and bar coded.
§  Inspection: Employees thoroughly scan every dress for spots, rips, tears, and unusual smells. Any items that don’t meet the quality-assurance standards are sorted into bins and moved on to cleaning or repairs. There are even employees who specialise in stain removal
§  Steam cleaning: In the largest dry-cleaning facility in the US, RTR has automated steam-cleaning machines that are used for regular cleaning and steaming.
§  Mending: Sewers and seamstresses fix tears, reattach beads, and secure straps or sequins, recording the repairs in a garment’s information file.
§  Shipping: Each order is checked, assembled, and bagged for shipment.
RTR truly takes the customer experience to another level by paying attention to small details. It is true that most of us face problems trying to guess our size by looking at websites. To eliminate this, RTR ships out two sizes of every model rented, to ensure the customer does not have to go through the hassle of re-ordering a different size and thus capturing that part of the market which was earlier hesitant to rent clothes online because of sizing issues.
It is true that understanding the customer’s needs and rallying the entire organisation towards the goal of customer satisfaction is what takes a business to great heights, and Rent The Runway is a great example of that.

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