New era of rental eCommerce: introducing the new online store

by Rentle

28 January 2021
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2021 has taken off with some exciting news. Our latest product update includes a full online store makeover, with changes that will allow smooth and scalable ecommerce operations for businesses of all sizes. With the help from our CEO Tuomo and software engineer Juuso, we’ll walk you through the changes and how this will affect your business. 

What's been done?

Alongside the obvious visual changes, navigation-related updates and other improvements will improve and enhance the shopping experience for your customers. Keeping in mind the vast amount of changes and improvements made, here’s some of the more major highlights that we believe will have the biggest impact on your business. 

Smoother browsing & checkout experience

By changing the layout and highlighting the store’s offering we’re able to create an overall smoother and more general purpose browsing experience. Your customers now can explore and engage with your offering with less friction, allowing them to find new services and the products they need with more ease. This doesn’t stop there - with the significantly improved shopping bag, your customers will experience a much smoother checkout experience. 

Bringing the spotlight to the products

With the online store update we wanted the shops to be able to really highlight their products in the way they deserve to be highlighted. The renewed product specific pages are now much more rich in content and descriptions, supported by the clearer and more streamlined shopping cart experience. 

This also enables sharing specific product pages, which you can directly link from your website or other relevant channels. By creating separate, product specific landing pages we’re able to give you the opportunity to up your shop’s marketing game and create campaigns and social media posts with less steps to check-out. 

 

‘’On top of these, there are a lot of underlying improvements, starting from analytics you can access, upcoming features, filtering and so much more. We already have few spearhead projects where customers are connecting their retail products to be purchasable through this new online store - with realtime quantity updates.‘’ - Tuomo

Why did we redesign everything?

We’ve gathered a lot of valuable insight from our customers and their needs in ecommerce. These are our first steps towards those improvements and lay the ground for many major features we are able to introduce in the upcoming months.

Ultimately we want to help our customers to operate a scalable access-based business model both in ecommerce and in brick-and-mortar, regardless of whether you are a big or small business, existing retailer starting a rental business unit, or a seasoned veteran moving the operations online. 

''When COVID-19 hit the market, we made the decision to introduce a free ecommerce solution for rental shops. These updates are part of our continued effort on that part and something we will work on in the future also.'' - Tuomo

By creating this new all-round ecommerce experience, we believe it will help us make a faster, more significant impact on the market. 

Online store changes and improvements

We’re sure you’re excited to find out what exactly has changed in your online store, so let’s take a look. Our software engineer Juuso will walk you through the improvements and changes, followed by helpful tips to get your new online store outlook working and looking flawless. 

URL Changes

Your Rentle store's URL will change from rentle.shop/your-shop-name to rentle.store/your-shop-name, but don’t worry - customers visiting the old URL for your shop will be automatically redirected to the new shop. Your store’s base URL will no longer take users to a location selection page, but instead directly to browse your products at your main location. If you still want to direct users to a location-select page, the new URL for the location select page is rentle.store/your-shop-name/locations.

While the old URLs will be automatically redirected, these redirects will be slower than visiting the new URLs directly, and we would recommend directing your customers to those instead. 

If you have any other questions regarding the URL changes, our team is here to answer any questions: contact us via your store’s chat or email us at info@rentle.io . 

Product pages

products_jacket

Product images

First up, the new online store introduces improvements to how product images are displayed. Namely, product images are larger and much more noticeable than before - which is why you should make sure the quality of your images is up to par to make sure your online store looks as good as possible.

Tips: 

  • Make sure your product images are around 600x600 in size - smaller images may appear blurry on certain devices.
  • Square images (1:1) will work best, but wider or taller images will also work well - experiment with what is the best style for your products!
  • Whatever is your preferred image format, make sure it matches with other product images for a more consistent look-and-feel. 

 

Product descriptions

Product descriptions have some improvements too: support for longer descriptions and line breaks. To take advantage of this increased visibility of your product description, take your time to write informative descriptions that will speak to your customers. 

👉 Check out how to write enticing product descriptions.

Tips: 

  • Check that any longer descriptions behave correctly in terms of line breaks.
  • Add descriptions to any products which you feel could use a description.

 

Product variants

The logic for picking a product variant has slightly changed, which means you should make sure your variant configurations function as expected. Instead of picking a full variant, like in the old online store, your end users will now be able choose their desired variant one property at a time.

It is possible to have empty values for column values (like some variants in the above example have no value for “Length”), but these will still need to be selectable by the consumer, and will be displayed as “Any” in the online store. 

variants.2.0.compressed

Updated shopping bag

The shopping bag update now resembles a more classic ecommerce shopping cart, with intelligent up-selling and product recommendations. Whether your customer is using their laptop or smartphone to book equipment, the renewed booking will make the shopping experience much more clearer and smoother to operate, making the check-out process that much faster.  

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Other updates

Analytics

The stores will be able to link their existing Google Analytics to their Rentle store to collect the analytics data from their e-commerce stores.

We will support both Universal Analytics and the new Google Analytics 4 tags. In addition to the standard visitor counts and page-view events, we will also send more advanced Google Analytics e-commerce events by default, allowing you to see very detailed e-commerce reports straight from your own Google Analytics!

These include insights about the average purchase revenue, most popular products, etc. You can read more from: https://developers.google.com/analytics/devguides/collection/ga4/ecommerce 

Browsing

The update includes image gallery based browsing, with filtering via categories. Visual browsing follows the best ecommerce approach, and makes your offering more compelling and engaging for your shoppers. The focus is all about highlighting the products and making the search for products and services much faster, easier and more efficient.

Everything fits embedded views

With the online update, we also prioritized on making sure that embedding the online store to your own website works flawlessly and looks just as good. The updated online store adapts to different screen and embedding sizes, and we’ve made certain design decision especially for the embedded stores. You can embed your website either via iframe or one of our pre-made plugins - learn more here

The Future

So what does all of this mean for the future of your rental shop? All of these changes, and the ones to come, will enable you to reap all the benefits of ecommerce. Ultimately, the goal is to offer a solution that serves the needs of different businesses, no matter the size or the industry the business operates in.

On top of just being able to book your products, we wanted to offer a platform and an ecommerce store that can hero your products & services and showcase your offering in the quality it deserves.

‘’There are many more improvements that we will be rolling out in the near future. Some of them we promise to be game changing stuff that will bring you growth and competitive advantage immediately and in the long-term.’’ - Tuomo

As always, if you have any questions related to the online store update, or you want to get started with your store - shoot us a message! Our team is always ready to help you out with anything you need.

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