Use online bookings to grow your sales and secure revenue in advance

by Eliisa L.

16 September 2020
0 Comments

While it’s not always easy to foresee the upcoming trends and changes in the industry, it’s important to seek opportunities and ways to keep the cash flow going. The way companies run their businesses is constantly changing - everything is now online and accessible through different channels and platforms. 

In this article, we’ll go through the ways to grow the online side of your business and the different ways to grow your sales, all while meeting the needs of modern-day consumers.

Increase sales by accepting online bookings

From the customers’ perspective, it saves time, is extremely convenient, and usually more comfortable than queuing in a crowded rental shop. Online shops allow customers to easily access the store on any device from wherever, whenever - even when you’re not there to answer the phone or reply to emails. To make it even simpler: you’re losing sales without an online booking system.

Moving online helps you in your daily work. According to a study, 96% of businesses prefer to have their customers booking online because: 

⏰ It saves time.
💨 It helps reduce no-shows.
💰 You can handle payments in advance.
🤝 It’s more convenient for everyone.

You can schedule your work much better and make processing orders more streamlined. With the right software, the inventory is easy to manage, both for in-store and online rentals. This allows you to put all focus on better customer experience. By moving the rental services from phone and email to an online shop powered by Rentle, our customer multiplied their number of bookings compared to the previous year. Ultimately this doubled their rental revenue. 

Online rental shop and booking system

Generate more bookings through social media

Take advantage of your social channels and utilize it to your advantage to not only engage with your customers but also offer an easy and effortless way to book whatever they need. By combining your social media channels and discounts, for example, you’re encouraging your customers to go through with their bookings and pay in advance.

Driving traffic

Driving traffic from social media to your website might sound like a simple task but it takes time and effort to build an audience for your brand. In social media you must stand out from thousands of other profiles who are competing for the attention of your customers. If you think you can grow an organic audience by pushing sales all the time, you’re wrong. Focus on building your brand, audience, and community timely, compelling, and engaging content. The sales will come later.

👉 Find out how you can increase your bookings by using Facebook’s ‘’Book Now’’ button. 

Paid ads

Nike hasn’t published anything on their Facebook feed since January 2018. Let it sink for a moment.

Even though there’s still room and role for the posts on your feed, the organic reach is declining. For a small or starting brand, paid advertising is a must to get the word out. Supported by high-quality content, paid social media advertising supports both your sales and building your brand.

In addition, the success of your ad campaigns and return of investment is easy to measure. Paid ad tools provide you with more comprehensive systems to testing and optimizing your audiences and content. Furthermore, you can utilize your existing customer base and create similar audiences based on their social media profiles, meaning that you can potentially reach thousands of people who are like your customers but have not heard about you yet.

Remarketing

Remarketing is the process where you have recognized a person for example as a website visitor, and target her across multiple channels. Remarketing is a very powerful method to reach your customers and it is shown that remarketing ads receive more clicks and better conversion rates.

The thing is that people usually need multiple touchpoints with your brand before they’re ready to make a purchase decision. Once a person has shown interest in your business by visiting your website, they’re more adaptive to your messaging and closer to buying from you.

Ways to grow your average order value 

One way of growing your online shop’s average order value or AOV is through expanding your offering. While it doesn't necessarily mean growing your inventory, it has something to do with the convenience of navigating through the website and making the online shopping experience as effortless as possible. 

grow_your_aov

Bundle up products into sets

By expanding the offering and products, you save your customers’ time and effort, making the online shopping experience even more convenient. Spare your customers the trouble of figuring out what they need with ready-made sets.

Beginners’ set, kids’ set, or essential extras’ set - the customer is only one click away from having all necessary equipment. (and one click away from bringing you even more revenue).

👉Here’s how you write accurate product listings that sell.

Highlight premium products

People tend to want what’s best for them, so by making the slightly more expensive premium products more visible, your customers are more likely to also invest in them. The online shop’s design and embedding options are all thought-out to make it easier for you to highlight and promote selected products or sets.

👉 Here’s how you can embed your store to your website. 

Recommend additional products during check-out

Paired with highlighted products, you can grow your average shopping cart size significantly by recommending relevant, additional products during the checkout process. Recommending additional products optimizes the product discovery process and decreases the need for your customer to scroll through and search for products. This on the other hand improves the online shopping experience and even triggers impulse purchases. 

With clever recommendations, eg. a helmet and hot chocolate with skis, our client’s avg. shopping cart size have grown over 20%.

👉 Read all of our customer stories and their experiences here. 

Offer discounts & deals

While discounts are quintessentially the oldest trick in the book when it comes to driving sales and increasing your AOV, it works. Reaching new customers can be hard since unless they’re already familiar with your business, they might feel hesitant to pay the full price for your products and services. Promotions help change customers’ attitudes towards the purchases, while also creating a sense of urgency by having offers as limited-time only.  

Reward customers for booking online

Encourage your customers to go through with their online booking and paying in advance by rewarding them with small discounts or freebies. In addition to increasing sales, coming up with ways to reward recurring or new customers builds the relationship between the customer and the brand. This is also a great way to avoid no-shows - remember, a paying customer is a committed customer!

Online shop powered by Rentle offers an easy solution to this with the ability to set channel-specific pricing

Offer savings with bulk orders

Having to book large quantities of gear might feel off-putting and make your customers hesitate and consider if there are other, cheaper places. 

Whether it’s product sets, or a combination of products and services (like guided tours, for example), offer discounts and show how much the customer is saving by ordering more. This prevents the customer from downsizing their cart or abandoning it completely. 

Early bird deals

Early bird deals or season passes are a good example of how to secure revenue in advance and why so many resorts and shops do it. As mentioned previously, offering limited-time or limited-quantity deals creates a sense of urgency with the customers, making them commit to purchase well before the season begins. Of course, it’s also hard to turn down a good deal. 

P.S. Download a free copy of our e-book: E-Commerce for rental shops.

Eliisa L.

The storyteller that spends her time in the studio, outdoors, or creating the best, most relevant content for rental shops.

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