ERA warns of challenges for non-digitalised businesses

By Belinda Smart13 October 2021

The ERA has warned that the “rapid rise in online business models” will create “significant ‎challenges for those businesses that have not embraced new digital ways of ‎trading,” as its launches a new project to examine digitalisation in the rental sector.‎

The association said the commercial landscape was being “transformed by the impact of digitisation and the ‎virtual delivery of products and services.”

“This transformation has accelerated ‎during the Covid-19 pandemic, with physical facilities such as shops, showrooms and ‎rental locations being either closed or severely limited in their ability ‎to engage with customers in a traditional business model.”

The ERA’s caution to industry follows the official launch of the new project at the ERA Convention last month. The project’s aim is “to raise awareness among rental companies ‎in Europe about the challenges of digital transformation and provide guidance on best ‎practice.”‎

“Digitisation is not just about transforming a business’s route to market. It is as much ‎about the collection, analysis and use of data, and using artificial intelligence to analyse ‎data, to develop tailored offerings and micro-target existing and potential ‎customers.” said ERA.‎

“The European rental industry is as much affected by this transformation as any other ‎industry. Therefore, digital transformation is a process that most companies ‎are currently undergoing or will be facing in the near future.

“At the same time, there ‎are good examples of companies that have started on the digital journey and which ‎could inspire others in the rental industry.‎”

The ERA’s digitalisation project will be steered by ERA’s Future Group, undertaken by sustainability strategy and innovation consultancy epi Consulting, and encompass engagement from all ERA committees. 

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