The Otto Group has begun testing a new business model allowing customers to rent products such as TVs, washing machines, computer tablets, coffee percolators, drones and e-bikes via the new ottonow.de web site, the company announced Monday (December 12). The offer is available immediately.
Testing customer readiness
Otto Now benefits all those customers who wish to use but not to own their products. The model allows students to rent a washing machine for their flat share instead of rushing off to the nearest launderette. The rental fee is shared for the duration of the flat-share or the desired length of the product lease. Families with children or early adopters, who start using a product or technology as soon as it becomes available, may find the Otto Now model attractive. Marc Opelt, Executive Vice President Sales, said Monday: “The idea of ‘owning’ the product for a certain period of time and just renting it has reached a new level in Germany. Now is the right moment to test the readiness of consumers for rental offers. True to Otto’s agile project procedure, the team is testing the results live in an early market phase so that a beta version of Otto Now can be seen today.”
Multimedia products, gadgets and sports products
Otto Now is offering new products that have been professionally cleaned and work fully. Personal data stored on certain products is removed and the factory settings are restored. Multimedia products, gadgets and sports products are being offered initially. The rental fee includes an all-round service with free delivery, installation, repair and collection for a three-month minimum lease. When the minimum lease term has expired, the contract can be cancelled with one month’s notice. Maximum lease periods are not foreseen nor are there plans to let customers buy the rented products. All the returned products are examined, any required maintenance is done and the product is prepared as new for another rental period.
Sharing economy in Hamburg
Hamburg leads the way in the sharing economy with web pages such as 9flats, mytaxi, lifethek, according to hamburg.de. The city has plenty for those interested in sharing with offers like the book bus or insurance bonuses. Nearly every product and service nowadays can be obtained from sharing circles across Germany and internationally. At present, Hamburg’s mobility mix consists mainly of motorised individual traffic and plenty of shared transport offers with providers such as Stadtrad, DriveNow, and Car2go. The Jaano roller provider is waiting for clearance.
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