It's time for the first product update of the year, and we are pretty excited about it. In this product launch, we're introducing the first version of subscription rentals and much more.
To get notified of updates as soon as possible when they happen, make sure to subscribe to our Product Update Log.
Previously in Rentle, you have been able to make your products available for one-time rent or sale. Now we have added the possibility of selling your products on a subscription basis. The feature is available by default in all plans (Free, Basic, Grow, Advanced, and Enterprise).
This opens up a new dimension of selling durable goods with Rentle and equips merchants to meet the growing consumer demand for buying products as services.
What are subscription rentals?
Subscription rentals are a recurring revenue model where customers pay a regular fee monthly (or annually) in exchange for access to a product.
Basically, a subscription rental is just a long-term lease with payments spread evenly over the lease period. At the end of the contract, the buyer is obliged to return the product to the seller, as the ownership of the product does not transfer to the buyer.
Other standard subscription models are subscription boxes and membership models. However, these models are not supported in this release.
How do subscriptions work in Rentle?
The current (first) version of Rentle's subscription feature allows selling products as subscriptions. Compared to subscription box models, the assumption is that the product will return to the seller's inventory at the end of the order.
To start selling subscriptions, you must define subscription pricing for products in the product catalog. Creating subscription plans requires specifying commitment periods (=the minimum contract length) and a monthly subscription fee for each duration option. For example:
- 3 months – 50€ per month
- 6 months – 30€ per month
- 12 months – 20€ per month
Your customers can then subscribe to a product by choosing a contract period (a duration they commit to) and paying the first monthly charge during the online store checkout. The following payments will be automatically charged from the customer's payment card according to the recurring billing cycle.
The subscription ends at the end of the contract period. The first version does not include auto-renewal/open-ended subscriptions.
If you would like to learn more about creating subscription products as well as the requirements and limitations of the first version, you can head to our Help Center.
What improvements can you expect next?
We want to point out that the current version is still limited, and we are already working on subsequent improvements. Among others, the following updates will include:
- Open-ended subscriptions. In practice, this allows creating of automatically renewing contracts.
- Possibility to sell subscriptions in all sales channels. The current version only enables selling subscriptions in your online store.
- Better subscription management capabilities for both merchants and consumers.
Online Customizer themes and versioning
You can now manage your online store customizations via themes.
With themes, you can edit your online store on a location level, meaning if you want your location A's online store to look different and show different content from location B's, it is now possible.
The feature also supports theme drafting, so you can work on themes and save edits before publishing them to your audience. The existing customizations have been moved to this new theming system. Check out themes under Settings > Online Store or learn more about the feature from our Help Center.
Improved Customers view search
We have improved the search in Customers view so you can search customers easier with their names. The search now supports both partial name search and full name search. The search also supports searching by email addresses or phone numbers.
New opening hour settings
There's a new, cleaner UI for managing your store's business hours and exception periods. We have also made several bug fixes and minor performance improvements related to opening hours.
Smaller improvements and fixes
Admin improvement: Rentle admin side is now available in admin.rentle.io.
From now on, this will be the primary domain to access the admin tools. The old domain, https://my.rentle.shop, will stay in use and will be automatically redirected to the new domain in the near future.
Admin improvement: The search field for product packages and additional products now lets the user select only those products that are visible at the chosen store location.
Admin improvement: We have improved the visuals and accessibility for the search bars and filters in the upcoming and active bookings lists.
Admin improvement: Rentle Admin should load slightly quicker for slow or spotty connection users.
Admin improvement: We have increased the limit of units (for example, hours, days, or weeks) you can define for your pricing table rows. The new maximum is 999 units.
Admin improvement: Reordering of products, categories, delivery options, and stores now uses drag-and-drop UI instead of clickable UI.
Admin improvement: We have updated and given a facelift to the order payment summary view.
Admin improvement: We have made minor UI tweaks to the user permissions and restrictions view.
Online store improvement: If a shop has no logo defined, the online store now shows the store name instead of a blank field.
Online store improvement: We have added a link to the "About" page from your online store's sidebar. So that the about-page is easily accessible also on mobile devices.
Online store improvement: The booking calendar in your online store now shows the next open month by default, instead of defaulting to the current month, even if your store was closed.
Online store improvement: We have simplified how you can embed your Rentle store via the Rentle Embed Builder and fixed a bug with embedding the category view.
Online store improvement: When using the online store customizer to add custom content, you can drag and drop the sections in your desired order.
Fix: Previously, the "days (until store closing)" duration type did not count the first day if the store was closed on the start day of the booking.
This has been changed so that when this type of order starts on a day when the store is closed, the first day IS always counted.
This behavior remains the same if the store is open on the start day but the booking starts after closing. In this case, the first day IS NOT counted.
Fix: We have fixed an issue where the Rentle logo printed on order confirmations was, in some cases, too large.
Fix: We have fixed a UX issue when connecting a product to inventory.
Fix: We have fixed a bug with opening hours where removed locations caused the opening hours view to crash.
Fix: We have fixed a bug where consumers, in rare cases, could purchase recommended products with an unsupported purchasing model.
Fix: We have fixed a bug that caused the delivery option's tax input values not to save correctly.
Fix: We have fixed an issue where package lift tickets using Skidata integration did not work correctly with discount codes
Fix: We have fixed an issue with the online store's checkout comment field settings, where the value was not updating in some cases.