When it comes to rental booking, there are three things in general that people want answers for: Do you have a certain product? What’s it’s fare? And is it available on their preferred date and time? It is easy to answer the first two questions since most rental websites show this information but what rental business owners often overlook is showing whether the product is available when they need it or not. But if we tell you, this live availability feature adds a lot of value to your rental business and helps elevate your sales.
Live availability enables you to inform clients when and how many of your items are available on any given date. The key term to note here is "live”. Live implies that your inventory levels are updated instantly when an item is sold. This guarantees that your inventory levels are always updated, even when distributed across numerous channels. It is essential in any temporary rental arrangement, and you'll see it on hotel reservation websites as well.
The live availability feature proves to be informational and encourages people to make a reservation before the product or service becomes unavailable. It allows customers and corporate personnel to view what items are in stock in real time.
Before going into the details, let’s have a look at what could happen if you don’t take care of it:
Suppose Davd was planning a family trip and hired a car from you for a specific date. Now, after 3 days, he is getting an email which says that your booking is canceled because someone has already hired the item. David didn’t know it before and got relaxed expecting it to be delivered. Now that he knows, he got frustrated and decided to never use your business again. Here you see, you lost a customer because you weren’t able to keep your inventory updated.
It seems a tiny feature but can make or break your business!
Why is live availability essential for a rental business?
Customers can easily check item availability
Customers appreciate it when they are given all of the information they require to make an educated judgment. Because they know all they need to know, this speeds up the booking process. Customers are more likely to book right away since they don't have to look for more information or wait for it; they can quickly book.
Peace of Mind
Customers need confirmation that what they want will be available on the date and the time they want it. This allows people to reserve things for a specific day or fit their schedule around when you have the products accessible. It is your responsibility as a rental business owner to make it as simple as possible for clients to make confident judgments.
Of course, some clients may want a certain item for say a particular car on a given day, and if it is not available, they can check the availability of your other products of the same category on the spot. It’s better than waiting for the item to get canceled at the end.
We can conclude that updating inventory in real time means there’s a high chance they would still rent from you despite the fact that you don't have the specific thing they're looking for. Many rental companies lose clients because they are unable to give an alternate answer to their customers' difficulties at the right time. You can compensate the customers after their plans are ruined.
Having live product availability can cause FOMO (Fear of Missing out) since it reveals when and how much of a product is available. If there are a lot of items available and the specified date is not mentioned , they may conclude that it will stay available on your website and might choose to book later. Once they log out of your web app, no one can tell if they are coming back or not. But iIf they know there will be limited supply when they want it, they will likely strive to obtain it as soon as possible rather than risk losing it.
Reduced Queries via Phone or Email
Dealing with clients via contact or email to answer if something is available or not consumes a significant amount of time for rental businesses. You can bypass this step by showcasing live availability on your website. This way, you essentially delegate this duty to your customer. With a live availability feature, all your customer would do is see and book on the spot. Not only are you improving their booking experience, but also your internal operations.
Avoid double reservations on same item
When you enable live availability in Rides Rental software, the stock items are immediately reserved. It means they can never be double-reserved, and you won't be plagued by shortages. Not only will the consumer be satisfied with your services, but you will save the hassle of figuring out a solution or deciding which customers to repay. Good service always brings more clients.
When you have a live availability booking system, it means that your online shop and in-store reservation system share the same inventory. As a result, whether clients book online or in-store, you will have precise information about what is available. This is a significant benefit for both consumers and yourself, and it contributes to the prevention of multiple reservations.
The Core Requirements for Live Inventory Availability
If you desire live inventory availability on your rental website, your web app must match the following criteria:
Inventory accuracy starts with robust perpetual inventory management tools in your inventory monitoring software and finishes with robust inventory control methods.
Reporting out-of-stock goods as available is a greater concern than reporting in-stock inventory as unavailable. The latter may cost you a sale, while the former may cost you a customer.
Speed of Data Synchronization
Keeping inventory levels in sync across all of your selling channels is a difficult undertaking. This is especially true for unique or high-volume items.
Linking Vendor Inventory
When suppliers and other vendors are taken into account, inventory control becomes more difficult. In that scenario, inventory needs to be reported across multiple locations to ensure real-time product availability.
Tracking Lead Times
When offering inventory from suppliers, retailers must inform customers when they can expect the item. In some cases, suppliers will guarantee same-day delivery if you order by 2 pm.
However, the information can't always be tracked in all software systems.
Here are a few inventory management tips to help you simplify your operations and sweep out some of the mess:
- Rental Business strengthens with a strong inventory management system that communicates smartly with your booking cart, if appropriate.
- Use your rental software's reporting tools to get up-to-date information on which SKUs are active and which goods appear to be stuck on the shelf. Getting rid of some of the dead weight can assist reduce workload and clear out some of the goods in the warehouse. Rental software provides a plethora of functionalities that automate routine tasks.
- Run a profitability analysis on your items. Growing your number of items can definitely have a positive effect on growth of sales, but it doesn’t necessarily equate to increased profits. Make sure that you’re carrying products that are profitable and removing items that don’t pull their weight.
- Use the data from your inventory turn to place high-moving products close to your picking and staging area, thus limiting the time to pick.
Why might rental business owners not want to show real-time availability?
Because they are worried about privacy, some rental companies prefer not to display the availability of their items online. They don't want their competition to know about their availability or stock levels since they feel it will provide them a competitive edge. However, you may advertise availability without providing quantity and still gain the aforesaid benefits.
Accepting quote requests
If your rental company is focused on bids, showing real availability might be a disadvantage. This is due to the fact that the status will only be accurate when all quotations have been evaluated and reserved. As a result, when someone requests a quote via your online store, the information isn't always correct. In this instance, you should hide your live availability.
The best rental software with live availability feature
Rides Rental Software creates a bespoke website for you that helps your consumers to locate you online first and foremost! Once on your website, our technology allows your customers to book rentals directly through your website, check live rental availability, see real-time rental rates, buy addons or upsells, and, of course, book their reservation online from any device!
Not only that, but we make it simple for you to manage those reservations, add rental units, offer more rental choices, manage your clients, and much more directly from your website's admin panel.
Want to start a rental business but don’t know where to begin? Rides Rental Software is your complete rental solution, aiming to provide everything a rental company needs to streamline the rental experience for both your business and your customers.