In order to starting an equipment rental business it is important making a great first impression on prospective Customers to getting the rental (or sale). Making a website that offers an eCommerce ordering experience for your equipment rentals requires extra considerations to covert a visitor to a renter.
You will find TONS of free themes in a variety of different libraries, and you can even hire a freelancer to create one for you (for a price). Or, you can go to the fully custom route, where you have direct control over the entire Customer experience.
In this article, we will review the Pros and Cons of each options and also what you needs to starting an equipment rental business:
DIY/Free Themes route
If one has the time and ability to create their own experience, this is where most businesses will start. Many free (or low cost) themes offer the ability to update colors, labels, images and more to match your business’s brand.
This is a great option for a lot of website types, but a rental business is different than most other retail companies. Most themes can present a product for a price. Most cannot handle the nuances that go into booking equipment rentals, like:
Real-time availability checking. Most themes offer only to options for product availability (in stack or not). Rental business inventory changes daily (in stock, out of stock due to another customer’s rental but will be back in stock at a future date, or out of stock/unavailable due to maintenance, etc.). As availability changes depending on the rental start date and rental duration, the vast majority of themes can’t handle equipment rentals.
Additional line items at order checkout/payment. Retail website themes usually provide a subtotal, taxes, shipping and total. Equipment rental businesses require the flexibility to configure many more line items than are typical, including deposits, down payments, delivery/shipping, optional damage waiver, gratuities for drivers, extra mileage, dynamic sales taxes, etc.). Ensure that you choose a theme that can handle the unique needs of running an equipment rental company.
Hire a Freelancer
Hiring a freelancer will save you a lot of time if you don’t have the interest or time to do it yourself. There are many freelancer marketplaces (like Upwork.com or Fiverr.com) where you can find, interview and hire a designer for your website build.
Unless you want a simple “billboard” website (i.e., just a catalog and contact page), but sure to ask about their experience with integrating tools (like payments, scheduling, CRM) into the sites that they build. This will help you quickly weed out the more junior options in favor of someone who has more experience in the profession.
Freelancers will often start with a theme which they can modify to make it “work” for your business. Themes come with standard “placeholders” that can be updated to reflect your business, like homepage images, about us pages and more.
Freelancers can perform the day-to-day development, but will also require more guidance from you in terms of the “flow” you want for your customers, and like some country-customization for your business. Be sure to ask how many revisions are included in the price you are quoted (as many are simply looking for a “quick buck” and are not interested in regularly updating/maintaining your new site.
For a complete “white glove” experience, consider the RentMy Web Services team to build and maintain your eCommerce Equipment Rental website. RentMy is specialists in eCommerce for rental businesses worldwide.
The Pros at RentMy have built thousands of websites for all types of equipment rental companies around the world, so they have experience with the unique operating requirements from country to country and even state to state.
The Rentmy Team knows the right questions to ask when building your website (including truly understanding your order workflow), and with your input will create a completely custom online booking experience, synced with your real-time inventory management system. Click here to schedule your private, no-obligation design consultation.
As it becomes more challenging to hire great staff, a RentMy eCommerce website (whether you build your own, hire or freelancer, or partner with RentMy Web Services to launch your website, offering online ordering will dramatically improve order conversions while freeing your staff from the “do you have X on this date” forever.