How eCommerce Technology and Progressive Web Apps Can Help Your Self-Storage Facility Beat the Competition

Written by Chuck Vion on February 22, 2018 under Industry Webinar & Online Rentals & eCommerce

How eCommerce Technology and Progressive Web Apps Can Help Your Self-Storage Facility Beat the Competition

Article Contributions by: Jill Baker - Director of Sales at The Storage Group

All types of industries are moving toward online platforms to conduct business, including self-storage. Between the REITs and new developments, competition in the self-storage industry is at an all-time high. In order to stand out, facilities must be at the forefront of technology and give clients what they want most – quick online rentals, convenience, and top-notch security. Keeping up with advances in technology can lead a prospect to book with one facility over the other. Missing out on the latest advances in eCommerce technology could mean missing out on revenue!

eCommerce in the Self-Storage Industry

People shop online for all kinds of reasons: some for convenience, some for lower web prices, others for hassle-free shipping. Whatever the reason, the world shops online via eCommerce. In fact, 79% of people shop online, according to Pew Research Center. eCommerce is simply what it sounds like: transactions that happen over the Internet.

In the self-storage industry, eCommerce covers almost every aspect of the process to book and pay for a unit. With self-storage eCommerce platforms like ClickandStor™ 3.0, potential tenants can book storage rentals now or reserve units for future use. Tenants can also pay their bill online and setup autopay, eliminating the need for internal administrative tasks, which can reduce costs. Progressive Web Apps (PWA) allow storage facilities to communicate with and market to potential tenants directly. With the push notification feature, tenants can stay up-to-date about special offers, storage auctions, weather notices, new locations, and much more. eCommerce also applies to facilities that provide tenants the convenience of ordering all their moving needs from one platform, such as packing supplies, storage locks, tenant insurance, and other ancillary products. Tenants will appreciate the hassle-free process of an all-inclusive self-storage experience via eCommerce.

Booking a Unit Online

In the past, tenants had to call or visit the facility during business hours to rent a storage unit. Now tenants can pay a bill at 2 a.m. or buy packaging supplies during checkout, in anticipation of a last-minute move. Facilities can now offer their services 24/7, even when they are closed. This means being able to provide stellar customer service at any time!

Allowing tenants to book a unit and pay online can also save your staff time. By eliminating paperwork, phone calls and the possibility of administrative errors, it frees up your staff to focus on more pressing items. By adding online storage rental options, you are providing the value of convenience to your customers!

What Shoppers Are Looking For

Like customers in any industry, online storage facility shoppers want to see fast load times on websites. Speed is so important that 53% of people will leave a website if it takes any longer than 3 seconds to load, according to a study by Google.

Consumers want to easily find the facility’s contact information, such as phone number, contact forms, email addresses, maps or a physical address. By providing thorough information, clients feel better about a brand or service. In fact, 81% of consumers research a brand before making a purchase, according to AdAge.

Online shoppers want to feel confident that their online payment transactions are safe and secure. Successful eCommerce businesses must have tight security features, like SSL certificates, to protect tenant personal and financial information.

Progressive Web Apps, or PWA’s, are the latest innovation in technology, as they combine the best of both native apps and a website. Things you should be aware of with this new technology:

  • They’re super fast! The Washington Post reported that their PWA loads in only 18 milliseconds.
  • They’re incredibly engaging! Lancome had a 53% increase in session length with their PWA for iPhone and iPad.
  • They’re fully integrated! Users want connectivity all the time and the browser doesn’t need to be open to access the PWA.
  • Most importantly, they’re reliable! Twitter’s PWA has a fast load time even on slow networks. It uses less data than traditional apps and works well on a variety of smartphones – even phones with a small amount of storage. The old Twitter Android app was using 23 mb of data, IOS used 100 mb, and the PWA only uses 0.6 mb. Source: Google Developers Conference, Europe.

Self-storage facilities can use mobile tools to increase their online rentals, provide a better customer experience, stand out from competitors, and engage their audience. Push notifications about weather closures, new hours, safety notices, special offers, facility maintenance notices, storage auctions and more can keep your facility at the forefront of your tenants’ minds.

PWA’s provide user-friendliness on both sides of the transaction and add to the convenient experience that online shoppers demand. With PWA platforms like ClickandStor 3.0 from The Storage Group, facilities can also fully customize the platform with company colors, logo, features customizations, videos, unique layouts, page additions and more.

If your facility isn’t offering your tenants a fully integrated eCommerce experience, then you’re missing out!

Article Contributions by: Jill Baker - Director of Sales at The Storage Group

Want To Learn More?

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To learn more, register for the live webinar Progressive Web Apps, eCommerce and the Self-Storage Industry now. To stay competitive, storage facilities need to offer an easier way to rent a unit. Learn how to incorporate eCommerce practices and technology into your business in order to make the most of this digital business landscape.

Even if you can't make the live/interactive session, we'll email you a link to the recorded webinar for on-demand viewing.

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