Why You Should be Showing Live Availability on Your Website

When someone is making a rental booking, there are generally three things they want to know: Do you have it? How much does it cost? And is it available when they need...

When someone is making a rental booking, there are generally three things they want to know: Do you have it? How much does it cost? And is it available when they need it? Of course, the first two questions are easy to answer as most rental websites show this information. However, something that is often ignored or forgotten is showing live availability for products.

Live availability allows you to show customers exactly when your products are available and how many you have for any given date. This is vital in any temporary rental situation, and you will often see it on hotel reservation websites too. It is informative and offers customers an extra push to make a booking before the product or services become unavailable.

Why you should show live availability

Easy access to information

Customers love when they are presented with all the information they need to make an informed decision. This helps streamline the booking process because they know everything they need to know. It makes customers more likely to make a booking immediately, as they don’t have to hunt around or wait to find out more information; they can just make the booking.

Peace of mind

Part of customers getting all the information they need is reassurance that what they want is available when they want it. This allows them to book items for their desired day or work their plans around when you have the products available. As a rental business owner, it is your job to make it as easy as possible for customers to make confident decisions.

Find alternatives

Of course, some customers may need a specific item on a particular day, and if it isn’t available, they can check your other product’s availability. This means that they are still renting from you, despite not having the exact item they wanted available. Many rental businesses lose customers because they can’t provide customers with an alternative solution to their problems.

Creating FOMO

Fear of missing out (FOMO) can be created as live availability shows when and how much of a product is available. If plenty is available, your website visitor may wait to book later or with someone else. However, if they know there is limited availability when they want it, they will likely try to secure it immediately rather than risk missing out.

Fewer calls and emails

One of the biggest time consumers for rental businesses is dealing with customers calling and emailing to ask if something is available. You can skip this part of the process by showing live availability. You essentially shift this task over to your customer. You are streamlining not only their booking experience but also your internal operations.

Prevent double bookings

When live availability is enabled within Booqable, the stock items are automatically reserved. This means that they can never be double-booked, and you won’t be left with the headache of shortages. Not only will the customer be satisfied, but you will be saved from the ordeal of having to work out a solution or decide which customer you need to refund.

Shared availability

When you have a booking system with live availability, it means that your online store and in-store bookings share the same inventory. So, you will also have accurate information about what is available whether customers book online or in-store. This is a big advantage for not only customers but also yourself and adds to the prevention of double bookings.

Why you may not want to show live availability

Privacy

Some rental businesses choose not to show the availability of their products online because they’re concerned with privacy. They don’t want their competitors to see their availability or stock levels as they believe it will give them an advantage. However, it is possible to show availability without showing quantity, so you still get the above benefits.

Taking quote requests

If your rental business operates based on quotes, it can be a disadvantage to show live availability. This is because the status will only be true once all quotes have been processed and reserved. Therefore, the information isn’t always accurate at the time someone is requesting a quote through your online store. In this case, you shouldn’t show the live availability of products.

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A business owner using Booqable rental software