How To Create An Online Rental Store With Shopify – A Comprehensive Guide
Its no doubt that Shopify is a very versatile ecommerce platform and its been formed into sites that are not exclusively selling physical or digital items online. Some companies have used it specifically just to showcase their products, some even use it as an alternative to WordPress as a CMS or Content Management System. Others have used it to setup paid appointments to speakers and consultants. And something that I’ve recently been asked to create is a Shopify rental store.
If you are starting a Shopify store that will function as an online rental portal, then look no further! I’ve done the hard work of research for you so that you can launch your Shopify rental store in no time!
First things first – what are the basic functions that a rental store should have (that is not yet in the default Shopify setup):
- pick a date for renting the product
- ask more information about the product
- request for a quote for customized pricing
- generate invoices
- customized shipping rates
- customized product options
There might be other functions that you will need in your business when creating rental Shopify stores, but in general these are the main ones that rental business owners need in their website. We’ll look at each function in detail and how to implement them into a Shopify store through available apps.
Picking a Date or Date Range for Renting a Product
Customers need a way to set a date or a date range where they will need to item that will be rented. One of the most recommended Shopify app with this function is BookThatApp.
“BookThatApp lets your customers reserve time on your business’s calendar, right on your Shopify site. Now you can offer appointments, classes, product rentals, tickets, and more all in one place. Customers stay in your shop, and your third-party hassles are over.”
Ask More Information About The Product
Most of the time, customers cannot get all the information they need just from looking at the website. This is where we need to implement easy customer support contact methods for the customers.
There are a lot of options to do this:
- Get a direct phone number, a Skype online number, or use Grasshopper – As businesses shift to a more human-centered, relationship building approach to customer service, directly connecting with customers via the telephone continues to play an important role, perhaps even more so.
- Preferred Facebook Chat app – More and more people prefer messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger over email, phone, and online chat, when it comes to communicating with brands. People check their Messenger inbox everywhen and everywhere, they believe that Facebook messenger leads to greater and more authentic conversations. That’s why it is becoming a robust platform for social messaging and proved to be the future of engaging, nurturing, and selling to your customers (more Facebook chat options).
- Zendesk Chat – Zendesk Chat is the fastest way to engage your customers with live chat software. Try it free on Zendesk and put all your customer conversations in one place.
- Improved Contact Form – Install this app and you’ll instantly have a “contact us” page and popup form for your shop. Easily get messages from visitors and customers without editing your theme (other contact form options).
Request a Quote for Customized Pricing
Some rental companies – especially those with higher priced items – may want to have the “request a quote” option for their customers. This will be very handy if you are already expecting customers to negotiate a better pricing for bundled products, and then they can directly pay for the rented items directly from your quotation. Here are some apps that you need to check out:
- Globo Request a QuoteGlobo Request a Quote allows your customers to submit quotes for any product and bargain for the best price. If you agree with these quotes, you can turn them into orders!Would you like to receive requests for quote from your customers? Request a Quote app will provide you with this feature on your Shopify stores.
Your customers could click on request for quote button and fill in request for quote form. After they submit a quote, an email will be sent to you (store owner).
- Get a Quote & Hide PricesDo you offer any custom products or services for which prices need to be estimated? Do you need custom contact forms to receive quote requests from your customers?
With “Get a Quote & hide prices” application you can hide product price and “Add to cart” button and replace them with “Get a Quote” button. A customer will be able to send you the quote request using the custom-built contact form. You will receive all the quote details immediately on your email address.
- Quick QuoteFrom the normal Shopify cart, customers can request a quote. This will email you all the items requested. It will also create a editable quote in the app admin. From there you can send them back a quote response with pricing discounts and they can accept & checkout. If they aren’t ready to checkout they can also comment on the quote which will send you an email.
Shopify has its own free invoice generator that you can use to create invoices for your clients. Shopify’s online invoice generator makes your life easier when it comes to billing and collecting money.
Simply fill in the required information and create an invoice on the spot. You can save, print or email it directly to your clients. The Shopify invoice maker uses a professional layout that includes all of the necessary details for clean, consistent, and accurate billing practices. See a sample invoice here.
If you want more control or automation with your Shopify invoicing, you may also check these Shopify apps:
- Invoicify – Automatic invoices for your shop.
Invoicify is a fully automated invoicing solution that creates and sends an invoice for each order that is placed with your store. Simply select or create a template for your invoice, and Invoicify will handle the rest.
- Order Printer – Print invoices, labels, receipts, packing slips, and more.
Shopify’s Order Printer app is free and easy to set up. Quickly print custom packing slips, invoices, labels, or receipts for all your orders. Print documents in bulk or one at a time depending on your needs.
- Sufio: Beautiful Invoices – Invoices that tell your story. Compliant and fully automatic.
Let Sufio automatically create and send invoices for every order in your store. Have time to grow your business. All invoices are fully compliant with accounting legislation worldwide, and professionally translated to over 30 languages. Send invoices that help you stand out and build a powerful brand. Our invoices are professionally crafted by top print designers
Customized Shipping Rates
Sometimes, rental businesses need very specific shipping options based on price, size, weight, or location. Shopify’s built in shipping options might not cut it for these situations. Especially in countries where the Province rates are not yet available, its best to utilize Shopify apps to solve these kinds of issues. Here are some Shopify apps to consider if you need custom shipping options:
- Parcelify – Create powerful custom shipping rates with Parcelify
Parcelify is a powerful tool used by thousands of Shopify merchants to create custom shipping rates. If you have a shipping rate problem you need to solve, Parcelify can be used to solve it! With Parcelify you can control the price you charge your customers for shipping by creating custom rates based on rules and filters that you control.
- Better Shipping – Take control of your shipping rates
Better shipping lets you set suitable shipping rates so you are not out of pocket. Do you have specialty items that take extra care to ship? Do you have multiple suppliers who charge flat shipping for items? Use Better Shipping to set the shipping rate accordingly.
- Bespoke Shipping – Shipping supercharged
Offer per item rates, Combination pricing, wholesale/retail rates, hide rates when certain items are purchased. DIY or Fully Managed. Pack items with multiple boxes of different sizes, use multiple origin locations, time based shipping rates, local pickup, the list goes on! Bespoke offers a variety of integrations with 3rd party carriers, If yours isn’t listed, get in contact with us to discuss options!
- Shipping Rates Calculator Plus – A shipping rates calculator with geolocation on your cart page
By showing your customers the shipping information upfront, they are able to see exact shipping rates, minimising abandoned carts. Using precise geolocation to automatically show the shipping rates and estimates saves you and your customers valuable time. The app installs with one-click, requires no configuration and zero maintenance afterwards. It couldn’t be easier!
- Advanced Shipping Manager – Accurate Shipping Rates for Online Stores
Easily create shipping methods for every single one of your vendors! Don’t worry about different couriers, or flat rates, we can help! Want to markup your discounted FedEx rates? Want to offer flat rate, free shipping, and courier calculated shipping all in one app? Block shipping methods based on various criteria including: state / city / hazardous items / expedited only items and more!
Let’s check out current renting businesses using Shopify
- Mannequin Madness – Mannequin shop and rental store in SF Bay Area built on Shopify
- Playa Bike Repair – Company that mainly repairs bikes, but also rents them for Burning Man, also built on Shopify
- Happily Ever Borrowed – Bridal accessories rental company that has now expanded across US states. “Happily Ever Borrowed is the premiere online e-boutique that rents designer bridal accessories for a fraction of the retail price!” They have also utilized the Shopify platform for their rental busines.
- The Mobile Locker Co. – Portable locker rental for races and events. “The mobile locker concept came about from my experience as a runner. At races, I was always feeling frustrated when it came to storing my stuff. What was convenient wasn’t secure, and what was secure wasn’t convenient. “
I hope you found this Shopify rental store guide helpful for your business, and let me know how you are setting up your own online rental store, or if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below!