Nowadays, most rental businesses have a website. A successful website, however, requires more than a bunch of products, a pricing table, and your contact information. Besides showing visitors what you offer, you should make the ordering process as simple as possible.
In this article, we share six practical tips that can help you design a successful rental website. You can also use them to improve the website you already have. Whatever you do, by implementing the advice that follows, you’re one step closer to creating a high-performing storefront for your rental business.
1. Show high-quality product images
The most fundamental purpose of any rental website is presenting products. “A picture is worth a thousand words,” so make sure to include clear and descriptive product images. Including images not only makes your website look good but also sets the right expectations. A visual representation of your items prevents discussion and lowers the number of questions people ask. In turn, this takes away confusion and makes your team more productive.
2. Keep navigation simple
You want your customers to find what they need quickly. Your navigation menu is the primary way for visitors to browse your site and learn about your products. Therefore, we recommend making your navigation menu simple and intuitive. Use short and readable copy and avoid stuffing your menu with too many options.
There’s more to navigation than the menu. Using categories can also improve the usability of your rental website. It’s best to break up a large product list into smaller groups through categorization. When clicking the ‘Cameras’ category, for example, people should be directed to a page dedicated to cameras. Each category should have a separate page, which not only adds clarity but also improves performance in search engines.
3. Suggest related products
Showing related products on your product pages, also known as upselling, is a great way to increase your average order value. Amazon’s ‘frequently bought together’ illustrates this practice nicely. This popular sales technique persuades visitors to buy (and rent) additional items while they’re already in the buying mood.
Upselling can also point visitors in the right direction. Recommending a stabilizer that goes perfectly with one of your cameras is helpful for those who are not aware of the accessories they need. By adding related products to your webpages, people spend less time figuring out which items are a good match, improving the overall usability of your rental website.
4. Provide a clear reservation process
A huge part of building a successful rental website? Not overwhelming visitors with systems that are confusing and unnecessarily complex. There’s no need to build something custom. Keeping things simple allows your customers to make reservations quickly—and increases the number of people actually finishing the checkout process.
The more information you share upfront, the less time your team spends answering phone calls and emails. By being transparent, you avoid common queries like “Is this product available,” and “How much will this cost?”. You can bypass these questions by using a rental system that shows the availability of your items and calculates prices automatically.
The systems you use to accept reservations are up to you—but if you want to get the most out of your rental website, simplify and clarify wherever you can. It’s best to stay away from PDF catalogs and urging people to get in touch for more information. Instead, using a dedicated rental system streamlines your reservation process. Lastly, don’t forget to include a call-to-action like ‘Add to cart’ or ‘Rent now.’ Providing clear next steps is crucial for any successful rental website.
5. Collect the right information
If you want your team to fulfill orders more efficiently, consider collecting relevant information during checkout. The more you know, the less time your employees spend chasing customers. To get their details, use checkout forms to collect a person’s full name, email, address, and other information you need to process rentals.
6. Connect with your rental software
For your rental business to be efficient and scalable, you need to streamline the reservation process. Connecting your website to your rental software helps you do that in a couple of ways:
- Whenever you adjust your inventory by adding new stock, changes are automatically pushed to your website. It’s a simple way to reduce the time you spend maintaining your product pages.
- Orders placed in your webshop automatically carry over to your rental management system. There’s no need to create reservations manually, and all the information (including the data collected during checkout) is already there.
- Having the availability of your items update automatically helps you eliminate overbooking. As you accept reservations, your rental management system takes care of that.