Rentals have seen a significant shift towards online booking platforms, and rental marketplaces offer undeniable visibility and convenience. However, relying solely on these platforms can be limiting. By embracing the advantages of having your own rental website as well as being present on these platforms, you’ll be well-positioned to thrive in the competitive world of rentals.
Combining the strengths of both rental platforms and your website can lead to a more sustainable and profitable rental business in the long run. So, why settle for one when you can have the best of both worlds? In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of having your own rental website for bookings in addition to being present on rental marketplaces.
Diversifying your booking sources
Rental marketplaces like Sharegrid, Outdoorsy, and others have revolutionized online rental bookings. These platforms provide a broad audience and make it easy for renters to find your listings as they do all the marketing for you. However, this increased visibility comes with drawbacks, and you shouldn’t be solely depending on rental marketplaces as your only source of rental income.
If your entire booking process is tied to a specific platform, you could find yourself in a precarious situation. Having your own website not only acts as a safety net but also comes with many additional benefits. Most importantly, it gives you control over your booking process and ensures you are independent of one platform for new customers or serving repeat customers.
Maintaining control over your brand
Your website is your online storefront, allowing you to showcase your brand’s unique identity, story, and offerings. On rental marketplaces, your listings may blend in with others, making it challenging to stand out. While having your own website will allow you to create a memorable online presence that reflects your brand’s personality.
You can design the layout, imagery, and content on your rental website to match your brand’s aesthetics. This not only helps build trust but also encourages repeat bookings from satisfied customers who appreciate the consistency of your brand. It also allows you to direct traffic to your own booking platform rather than relying on them finding you on a marketplace.
Streamlining the booking process
When customers visit your website, you have the opportunity to streamline the booking process, making it as easy and user-friendly as possible. This level of control is often limited on rental marketplaces, where you have to adhere to their predefined procedures. Making it much easier to convert people searching for the equipment you rent into customers.
Integrating booking software like Booqable into your website allows you to manage reservations, track inventory, and handle payments efficiently. You can also create a more personalized booking flow that suits your customers’ needs better. This customization helps to provide a seamless experience that encourages visitors to become customers.
Leveraging customer loyalty
Another powerful advantage of having your own rental website is the ability to establish and nurture customer loyalty. You can offer repeat customers special discounts or perks for booking through your website rather than through a marketplace. This incentivizes them to return, reinforcing your brand and fostering long-term customer relationships.
Loyal customers are not only more likely to book with you again, but they can also become your brand advocates. They may leave positive reviews, refer others to your services, or engage with your content on social media. These actions can significantly boost your online presence and credibility, ensuring your rental business stands out among competitors.
Managing bookings with Booqable
If you’re using Booqable to manage your rentals, seamlessly integrating orders received from rental marketplaces like Sharegrid is important. One effective way to do this is by adding orders from marketplaces to Booqable and tagging them with the source platform. For instance, orders originating from Sharegrid can be tagged with “sharegrid.”
This tagging system helps you track the effectiveness of different platforms and adapt your marketing strategies accordingly. You can identify which platforms generate the most bookings, which have the highest customer retention rates, and which may need more attention or optimization. In addition, you can follow up with them and encourage them to book directly.
In conclusion, while rental marketplaces can be a great source for expanding your reach and acquiring new customers, they should complement, not replace, your own website for bookings. Having your own website empowers you to diversify your booking sources, maintain control over your brand, streamline the booking process, and leverage customer loyalty.
In essence, rental marketplaces should be seen as a complementary asset to your own rental website. By harnessing the strengths of both, you’ll maximize your reach, customer engagement, and profitability in the dynamic world of rentals. So, don’t limit yourself—embrace the full spectrum of opportunities to thrive in this competitive market.