The addition of a firearm rental fleet by the retail and range operator is primarily done to increase sales. Using rental guns as a means to help customers decide which firearm is best for them – and ultimately drive the sale to completion – is the most common practice as it relates to using rentals to improve sales numbers. When a shooting range implements technology that is able to capture relevant data on the rental firearms, the historical data and analytics may prove to have as large impact of an to the bottom line. Though the shooters patronizing a range are obvious beneficiaries when firearms are made available for rent, some of the real value of maintaining a rental fleet is the insight to consumer trends and rental use that are gained by the shooting range operators when rental metrics are tracked.
The most useful information about rental firearms for a retail and range operators to have access also tends to be the most difficult to collect. Even for gun stores that operate a POS / inventory management system, collection of such data can prove to be very difficult, if not impossible, particularly for those with POS systems that are not shooting sports specific. Fortunately, firearms inventory and range management software designed to address the needs of operating a shooting range will include the tracking and collection of such valuable rental data.
Firearm rental management software will be able collect both the amount of times the firearm has been rented, as well as to whom it was rented. Understanding what firearms an individual has regularly shown interest will present a sale opportunity for staff when the shooter visits the range. Globally, rental statistics can be used to identify changes in model interest and should be used to modify inventory to reflect what customers are seeking and potentially buying. Range and retail development consultants, such as those at Point of Impact Group, often will use rental data captured from the POS to inform decisions about inventory and model selection.
Many distributors and manufactures have realized the impact rentals can have on sales numbers and have created firearm ‘rental programs’ to incent shooting range operators to carry a broader selection of models in their rental fleet. The rental programs offer retailers and range operators the opportunity to purchase firearms at a discounted price if the guns are used specifically as rentals. Though the firearm is owned by the retail FFL holder, there are restrictions imposed by the manufacturer / distributor on then a firearm purchased from a rental program may be made available for sale by the retailer. Typically, the gun must remain in the rental fleet for a particular amount a time, usually one year. Using range management software to track when the firearm was brought into the rental fleet, and in turn, when the sale restriction expires so the gun can be made available for sale, will help range operators turn the inventory as soon as they are able and make the most from the Range Rental Programs they are participating in.
For shooting range operators, rental statistics, such as the number of times a firearm has been rented or the number of rounds that have been fired through a gun, can prove to be very useful as it relates to maintenance and care of the firearm. The ability to track and monitor usage of specific guns grants the shooting range business owner the ability to set use thresholds for gun cleaning procedures and scheduling. Systems that are capable of logging and tracking the dates of previous cleanings administered to each gun will further increase rental gun maintenance proficiency and will extend the life the rental firearm by ensuring proper care is given to each rental gun.
Using a firearm rental data to influence how a store engages with the customers adds an additional layer of value to operating a rental fleet but is only possible when data and analytics are available. Consider implementing range management software to make the most of the earning and cost savings potential of a firearms rental program
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