Offering a WooCommerce rental product on your WordPress website can be a challenge unless you have the right tools. However, with the right plugin, you can extend any WooCommerce store to support rental bookings. Read on to find out how to do it the easy way using WooCommerce Product Options.
Running a rental business online can be lucrative, provided you take a keen and specialized approach. If you're using WooCommerce, that may appear as a challenge at first. However, with the right plugins to bridge the gap between what WooCommerce can do and what you need, you can turn your WordPress website into a powerful platform for a rental business. Although these features aren't native to WooCommerce, a good rental plugin adds several critical features to your store including:
- How to let customers choose a rental date and/or time.
- Calculating and charging appropriate rental charges.
- Building a site that clearly tells customers what you offer, for how long, and what the rules are.
- Ensuring you’ve checked certification for your equipment renters (if applicable).
Read on to explore what features a good rental booking system should have and how you can use the WooCommerce Product Options add them to your online store. We'll also explore some common challenges you may face with WooCommerce rental products and actions you can take to avoid them.
What to look for in a WooCommerce rental product plugin
With the right rental plugin, you can use WooCommerce to create a platform for customers wishing to rent your products. Let’s say you run a bike shop that offers short-term rentals to customers in a bike-friendly area, like in this example:
You decide to use your website as a showroom where potential customers can view and rent bikes without having to visit your physical store.
To sell bike rental products in WooCommerce, you need several features which can only be added using plugins. These include:
- Allowing customers to select a date and time for the rental.
- Charging the correct price per day for a daily rental, with options for a part-day or weekly rental.
- Give a choice of bike sizes and styles, such as e-bikes for an extra cost, or kids bikes at a cheaper price.
- Sell extras, such as the ability to rent bike helmets or protective clothing on top of the main rental product.
- Notifying you when someone books a rental service.
Of course, selling WooCommerce rental products is not just for bike stores. Whatever you need to rent out, your requirements will be similar. This includes equipment rental, tool hire, heavy machinery, accommodation rental or hotel bookings, and car rental. You can even use WooCommerce to rent service-based rentals such as children's party entertainment and bouncy castles 🎈.
The best WooCommerce rental product plugin
The WooCommerce Product Options plugin has everything you need to sell rental products online. It lets you add extra options to your WooCommerce products in order to transform them into fully featured rental products.
This WooCommerce booking plugin comes with plenty of built-in backend and front-end functionality, which includes a booking system. It's ideal for integrating rental functionality into your online store.
How does the WooCommerce Product Options plugin help you optimize your store for rental products? It lets you:
- Display rental product options to any or all of the products in your store. Create bookable products storewide, by category, or just create individual rental products. Choose from:
- Date pickers.
- Radio buttons.
- Dropdown lists.
- Text fields.
- Selectable images.
- And many more.
- Your WooCommerce rental listings come with a date picker field. This makes it easy for customers to book specific dates and time periods to rent your equipment. You can control which dates and times are available, including:
- Preventing same-day bookings.
- Disabling past dates and far-future dates.
- Disabling dates your rental product business is closed, including weekends, public holidays, and special events.
- Customers can book multiple rental products at the same time, for example a customer booking rental bikes for an entire family.
- It supports extra fees based on the rental options selected, allowing you to match the rental price to the requested period and selected extras.
- The plugin supports upsells, including extra rental items like bike helmets, or knee and elbow pads.
- It supports conditional logic which makes fields appear or disappear based on the input of your customers. This makes the booking experience interactive while reducing clutter on the product page.
- Compatible with all WordPress themes and templates, with support for Elementor, WPML, and other third-party plugins.
Tutorial: How to sell rental products in WooCommerce
The WooCommerce Product Options rental plugin is super-simple to set up. Before you start, you should have a WordPress website with WooCommerce installed, and your rental items added as normal products. Once you've done that, follow these instructions to add the rental options:
- Install and activate the plugin on your WordPress site.
- Go to Products → Product Options and click 'Add Group'.
- Choose which product(s) you want these rental options to appear on.
- Click to add a new option, and select a style for the option.
- If the rental product comes with a choice of options, then add an option for these in whatever style you like. Use the 'Quantity-Based Price' option so that the price multiplies up if the customer wants to rent multiple products at once (e.g. 4 bikes for a family day out). For example, we added radio buttons for choosing a bike size in this screenshot:
- Use the price option for each choice to adjust the cost depending on the option selected. For example, you could decrease the price by 20% if a Kids bike is selected, or increase it if you offer an e-bike upgrade.
- Now add an additional option so that the customer can select the rental period. Depending on your business strategy, periods can range from hours and days to weeks. You can use whatever style you like for this, such as radio buttons or clickable text labels like in this screenshot:
- Use the 'Price' option to set a different price depending on the rental period selected.
- Next, add a date picker option so that customers can select the rental start date.
- Adding a text field may also be helpful, as a customer can use it to make any special requests. Additionally, you can add dropdown menus, which allow users to choose between fixed-gear and multi-gear bike options.
- Use Conditional Logic in the Advanced section to set up options that appear or disappear based on user input. Conditional logic enables you to build complex customization schemes for your renters, adding or taking away options based on unique characteristics. For instance, if a user picks a kid’s bike, they’ll have access to special options not available for other bikes. You may add training wheels, knee pads, or other features that children enjoy.
- You can also use the minimum and maximum quantity options in the Advanced section to set a maximum number of the product that each customer can rent. This helps to prevent over-bookings from the same customer.
- To increase your average order value, you can also use the 'Products' option to display other rental products above the add to cart column. This is perfect for encouraging upsells. For example, if you offer bike helmet rental as a separate product, then display this on the rental page for your bike products.
Tips on enhancing the rental experience
Use dynamic pricing and upsells
WooCommerce Product Options makes it seamless to add dynamic pricing options to your rental system. Now, customers can pay only for what they need. Besides that, It enhances your ability to throw in a few upsells and cross-sells that can make your renters’ experiences better.
Here’s one example. Although many bikers know helmets are essential, some don’t have any. Also, In many locales, riders are legally required to wear bike helmets for safety. If a potential renter wants to hire a bike but doesn’t own a helmet, here’s an opportunity for you to sell them one.
There are plenty more additional products you can bundle alongside your bikes, including add-on options. A solid example would be a bike with a basket o a bell. As you make it easier for customers to get everything they need out of their rental, you also potentially increase your average order value and consequently, your bottom line.
Dynamic pricing is easy to set up using WooCommerce Product Options. Depending on your offers, you can set fixed daily prices, percentage increases or decreases, or even use a custom pricing formula.
No matter the product type you rent or the pricing approach you use, you can use this plugin to build a product listing that naturally attracts customers, depending on product availability.
Display rental terms and conditions
All rental products come with terms and conditions of use and handling. Your customers must have access to these terms of agreement, and you must be explicit with them. That means more than just linking to a form on the footer like many websites.
For instance, terms and conditions will outline what a customer should do in case:
- Rented equipment is stolen, damaged, or lost.
- of order cancellation or early return of rented equipment.
- They need to extend usage for a few more rental days.
- The rented equipment needs routine servicing or maintenance during hired usage.
The main WooCommerce settings let you add terms and conditions for customers to agree to on the settings page. This is a good start, but it's better to make the rental conditions more explicit upfront.
You can easily do this with the WooCommerce Product Tabs plugin. Use it to add an extra 'Rental terms' tab on the product page, displaying the key terms and conditions for rented equipment.
Offer partial payments on WooCommerce rental products
Many businesses that sell rental products in WooCommerce wish to take partial payment upfront, and the rest later. You can do this by using WooCommerce Product Options with the YITH Deposits and Down Payments plugin. This lets you add lots of options relating to deposits and part-payments. For example, you can let customers choose between paying upfront immediately, or a deposit now and the remainder when they collect the rental product. It supports all the usual payment gateways in WooCommerce, such as PayPal and credit card (e.g. via Stripe).
Overcoming challenges in selling rental products
Rental businesses create an excellent opportunity to solve a market challenge and make profits, but they also come with a unique set of challenges. Here are some unique examples you may encounter and recommendations for actions you may take to mitigate them:
Rental businesses carry a fair amount of risk, and your equipment may be susceptible to damage, theft, and accidents. You may have no control over how a renter handles your equipment, but a robust insurance plan can cover all the risks associated with rental equipment.
Taking out an insurance cover for your equipment ensures you are protected from any potential loss in case your customer damages, loses, or mishandles equipment. Once you take out a policy and pay premiums, your insurer guarantees your repairs and replacements in case of damage and loss of your rental equipment.
You can easily factor insurance into your business budget or charge a small fee in your rental price scheme per item. You can also take security deposits from your customers as a precaution. That ensures business continuity in case any risks occur to some or all of your rental equipment.
Local laws and regulations
Depending on the equipment you rent or lease, you may have to follow local, state, and federal laws and regulations. For instance, you may need to register your equipment with your local government or state before renting it out.
Some equipment may only be rented out to qualified users and companies, and you may need to ensure your customers are compliant beforehand.
To ensure you have a legally compliant rental business, ensure you conduct thorough research on the rules and regulations within your area of operation. In case you rent equipment to people outside your state or region, ensure you’re compliant with the regulations of the location you send your items to.
Alternatively, you may consult a lawyer to ensure all your bases are covered. That way, you avoid potential fines, litigation, and other legal problems that may arise.
When you sell an item, the process is considered complete once the customer accepts it and pays for it. With rental businesses, on the other hand, customers pay for use, not ownership, making it a two-way enterprise. Once a customer hires equipment and uses it properly, your transaction is complete once the item is returned on time. Neither proper use nor timely return is guaranteed.
You can address this challenge in several ways:
- Make sure your booking process is as clear as possible so customers know when it’s time to bring the item back.
- Consider setting up reminders for longer-term rentals so the item is back when you need it to be
- Provide education on how to use the product to prevent damage to the equipment or the user.
- If you rent equipment that needs specialty licenses or training to use, screen customers before you hand the item out. Improper practices here can, in some cases, land you with legal liability.
Transform your WooCommerce store with rental services
Although WooCommerce may not have been created with rental businesses in mind, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to run a fantastic rental site. In fact, WooCommerce remains one of the most ideal platforms for your rental business. By using plugins like WooCommerce Bookings and WooCommerce Product Options, you can set up world-class booking options for your equipment.
Besides enabling basic rental features on your WordPress website, the WooCommerce Product Options can also enhance your rental listings by.
- Using add-on fields such as radio buttons and dropdown boxes to enable you to create a customizable rental experience.
- Building your own pricing calculator or use one of the features built into the plugin.
- Create bundles, upsells, and cross-sells to boost your average order value and get more out of your listings.
Are you ready to move your rental website online and deliver your services to more customers? Download and install WooCommerce Product Options today and change the trajectory of your business.