At Pluscrates, we always try to make the process of hiring our moving crates as easy and streamlined as possible. And though you may think that an online shop is easy to run, when you add hire and rental into the mix, it becomes a trickier situation.
The problem with most e-commerce solutions is that they are set up to buy a product and ship it to you. Free delivery or cost per item doesn’t matter that much, and there are hundreds of off-the-shelf e-commerce solutions available. But not for hire.
Even when you look for rental solutions, you find that often they are targeting hotel rooms, cars, or large items – not bulk hire.
When we introduced Stripe as a card payment solution for our online payments in 2019 we realised that it was going to be a good fit. Stripe had become the chosen solution for thousands of well-known brands, and their fees were lower than most of the other solutions on the market.
But at the time, we were only using Stripe as an online payment provider and using a different solution for ‘walk-in’ or over-the-phone customers and our regular customers. This meant that we had multiple solutions for each type of customer. But when an online customer called us over the phone to extend the hire, we had to process the extended hire on a different system.
We also wanted a way to easily extend hire for walk-in customers or hire crates on a rolling weekly basis.
Well, now Stripe can handle ‘subscriptions’, and with subscriptions, you can easily set up products to have a daily, weekly, or monthly charge – in our case, weekly. So we can charge a walk-in customer for the first week, and then the charge will be billed weekly until they return the hired products.
This is a great solution because you don’t need to know exactly how long you’ll need the products for up-front; you can just pay for the first week and bring them back when you’re done.
We are currently testing this in our London depot and hope to be rolling it out across the UK soon.
If you have any questions or insights, then please get in touch.
Have a great day.