With a subscription service, you are likely to be giving away clothing worth a significant amount for value for a fraction of the cost. One thing to choose as a retailer is to determine whether you charge a security deposit or like in the case of Amazon, notify the consumer there will be a charge if goods are not returned within a certain time frame


Operationally, the rental will cause an array of process related and cost-related issues. Retailers will need to consider

1. Delivery and Returns Handlers: From an operations point of view, delivery and returns of rental items are likely to happen on the same occasion. Therefore creating the need to choose shipping handlers who offer this service; but also have a great delivery service and price.

2. DryCleaning: Rental would mean clothing would be returned, and need to be dry cleaned and sent out again.

3. Stock Management: Stock would need to be divided into rental and shop stock.

4. Quality Control: Quality control will prove challenging for retailers, as service quality will be at the forefront.

Customer Experience

For any retailer looking to venture into the rental, the customer experience should be considered of the utmost importance. If the offering and process are complicated from a customer perspective, uptake is likely to be lower.

From a customer perspective

a. The process of rental should be seamless and explained simply.

b. The delivery and returns process should be considered.

c. New Customer Acquisition should be carefully thought out, initial uptake of the process would need careful evaluation.

d. Clarity on process, important dates,

e. Clarity on what lines will be available for rental



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Flow: Insight into Compelling Online Experiences in Retail

Flow offers a unique approach to customer experience. It is a cognitive state colloquially known as being in the zone. One can achieve flow during a variety of tasks including while working, studying, playing a sport or admittedly during gaming. Flow online is often described as a state in which the individual is acutely engaged in the virtual environment.

Flow is intrinsically enjoyable and completely involves a person.

Flow in Online Retail

Flow in Retail Environments 

Customer experience is particularly complex in online retail environments due to the constraints of the virtual environment. Online customer experience is additionally more complicated due to the inability to physically examine or try on products. There is also the issue surrounding associated perceived risk which affects online retailers. Flow offers an approach to not only address customer experience but also gain a competitive advantage. 

The state of flow is known to have a positive influence on a customer’s intention to make an online purchase (Ding et al. 2010) and have a positive impact on attitude towards a retailer (Florshiem and Bridges 2007). Customers who achieve flow online are also more likely to return to websites and exhibit loyal behaviours (Ding et al. 2010). Flow has been shown to lead to desired customer outcomes, such as purchase intent, loyalty and satisfaction (Ding et al. 2010), affirming flow’s strategic importance in the context of online retail.

The Influence of Website Design on Flow State

Based on a sample of 3000+; several website design characteristics can positively influence the flow state in online retail environments. Product Presentation and Interactivity on a website can significantly affect the customer's flow state online. Additionally, product information, searchability, recommendations and availability are known to impact flow. Less critical but still important features from a flow perspective include customer support channels and type of support available. 

Characteristics of Flow

Csikzentmihalyi (1990) introduced the concept of optimum experience, known as flow, in the field of psychology, describing it as a state of effortless concentration. Flow occurs when a customer is genuinely enjoying their interaction with the website.Flow is an outcome when a task is challenging enough to balance the skill, the challenge is enough, so the individual isn’t bored but not so high that the person feels anxious (Csikszentmihalyi, 1977).

Characterstics of flow




- According to Forrester, 60% of Instagram users discover new products on the platform.

- Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter.

- Users spend 53 minutes a day on Instagram

- 80% of accounts follow a business on Instagram