How to build a bike rental website that brings more online bookings

12 min read

A bike rental website gives your business credibility, advertises your inventory, and helps drive organic traffic. With well-considered design and integrations, you can turn your site into a revenue-driving conversion machine.

Having a website in the bike rental industry has never been more critical. The bike rental market is thriving. Worth over $3bn worldwide, forecasts suggest the sector will grow to a mammoth $11.3bn valuation by 2030. Coupled with the meteoric rise of the rental economy and eCommerce in general, it's clear that a strong online presence sits at the intersection of these three trends.

A well-designed, user-friendly website is essential if you want to grab a share of this crowded marketplace. Consumers are researching and buying online in more significant numbers each year. You can't afford to get left behind because you have a low-effort site, or worse, no site at all.

The internet has transformed the way people shop. The modern consumer wants a 24-7, seamless customer journey. Each point of friction is a potential lost sale. If you want to thrive in the bike rental space, you need to understand how to build a first-rate website, or your prospects will ride off into the sunset to one of your competitors. Thankfully, we're here to help.

Creating a bike rental website

Like a bicycle, a great bike rental website has various parts that work harmoniously together. If you're starting a bike rental business and want to rent bikes online, you need somewhere for potential customers to go, check out your products, find out about availability, and pay for your service.

Here, we'll take you through the steps you need to set up your site.

Choose a rental website builder

In the not-so-distant past, building a website for a small bike rental business could cost as much as $10,000. If you weren't an HTML or JavaScript wizard, you had to outsource the work to a web developer. But the expenses didn't stop there. Updates and maintenance were other outlays that you needed to shell out regularly to take advantage of the booming online market.

Thankfully, those days are over.

Over the last few years, web-building software has emerged as a credible and cost-effective alternative to coding a website. These user-friendly tools allow non-technical people to build slick, professional-looking websites in no time at all. Thanks to various templates and drag-and-drop interfaces, you can cut out development expenses and allocate the savings toward your inventory or other start-up costs.

Here are some of the most used website builders on the market today.

  • WiX: WiX is generally regarded as one of the best website builders on the market. It comes packed with templates and great features, and it's super user-friendly.

    Wix pros and cons

    How to build a Wix rental website with TWICE

  • Squarespace: Squarespace is an excellent option for beginners. It also has budget-friendly plans and a fantastic User Interface (UI) editor and produces really slick websites.

    Squarespace pros and cons

    How to build Squarespace rental booking website with Twice

  • WordPress: WordPress is the world's most widely used Content Management System (CMS). It offers a massive range of plugins and themes, giving users unparalleled customization options. However, its flexibility can be a double-edged sword, making it slightly more complex for beginners. Still, with its robust community and scalability, it's a top choice for both novice and expert web developers.

  • Webflow: Webflow stands out as a web design tool that merges the gap between design and coding. It's not just a website builder but allows designers to build responsive sites visually. This provides a perfect blend for those who want more control over their site's design without delving deep into code. It may have a steeper learning curve compared to some drag-and-drop builders, but the results can be much more tailored and unique.

  • GoDaddy: GoDaddy is another user-friendly option. It perhaps lacks the customization options you get from the above platforms, but 24/7 customer support and great third-party integrations make up for those disadvantages.

  • Weebly: Weebly is an excellent option because it's eCommerce focused, simple to use, and affordable.

  • Square Online: Square Online is less user-friendly than the other platforms on our list. It's also not as customizable as the other options. But we've included it because it lets you sell online even with a free plan, plus it's designed to work seamlessly with Square's wide range of other tools.

So, these are our recommendations, but there are many opinions and preferences. The most important thing is to choose a tool that you or your colleague is comfortable and easy to use. Otherwise, you'll constantly depend on a web developer to help you with even minor updates, which is painfully slow and expensive.

power-your-bike-rental-website-with-rentle

Find a domain name and web host

The next step is finding a domain name and a web host. For clarity, your domain name is your site's URL, for example, www.mybikerentalbusiness.com. To see if a domain name is free, punch it into the GoDaddy domain search box.

On the other hand, the web host is the server or servers where your site will live. You can buy a web host subscription. They are typically sold annually. From there, you connect your domain name and CMS to your web host, and your site will go live.

It's worth noting that some of the rental website builders mentioned above provide an all-in-one service that includes a CMS and web hosting service. The upside is a seamless process and simplified billing.

Design your bike rental website

Bike rental website design is about more than making your site look good. Sure, that's a part of it, but if you're looking for conversions, you need to think about user experience (UX).

User experience

At heart, UX is about empathy for your users. It's about thinking about their objectives and presenting them with a pathway to get what they want and need. So before you assemble the building blocks of your bike rental website, think about the customer journey. 

Map out the process from when they first realize they want or need to rent a bike all the way to their first purchase and beyond.

Within the bike rental industry context, you must consider a few UX factors for your site.

  • Categories: Some people want road bikes, some mountain bikes, and others something else. Make sure your website is divided into understandable categories so that your website is easy to navigate and browse. The same principles apply if your services go beyond renting. Separate these into sections on your website to make it easy for users to find what they want.

  • Product information: Choosing the right bicycle is not as straightforward as one might think, especially if you're not an active cyclist. Therefore, using enough pictures on product pages and writing comprehensive product descriptions for each type of bike is essential. In addition, the numeric frame sizes do not tell an inexperienced customer anything. So be sure to add a size chart to the product page that shows the appropriate frame size for different heights.

  • Transparency: Provide transparent prices with no surprises. People hate it when additional fees are added in the later stages of the checkout.

  • Inventory visibility: When your visitors specify dates, you must be able to show them accurate inventory levels.

  • Convenience: You can deliver your bikes or allow customers to collect them. Either way, conduct as much of the business (rental agreements, deposits, transactions) online so that pick up and drop off are as smooth as possible.

Usability

The next big thing to consider is usability. You've already plotted out the customer journey; this stage is about removing friction. Think about their needed information: bike models, location, service agreement, prices, etc. Plan out how to deliver this information via your website in the most efficient way possible. For example, structure your website so all the pertinent information is on your homepage and use parallax scrolling to ensure it's not cluttered. Alternatively, you can use menus to let your consumer navigate your site.

Site navigation

Site navigation is one of the most important aspects of web design and UX. It refers to the user interface elements allowing users to move around your site and find the necessary pages and information. Most users know what to expect from a website, even if they aren't consciously aware of how it's all put together. You can draw upon these best practices to assemble an intuitive site to explore.

Website structure

A website is a collection of different pages. However, it's how these pages are integrated that defines a solid structure. If you want to operate a bike rental website with many products, website structure is something you'll need to consider. For example, it will help you build and link to easily searchable categories.

Direct online booking vs. contact forms

Contact forms are a decent idea for high-ticket items. However, they require extra staff hours to read the emails and some back-and-forth to confirm availability and take payments.

Direct online booking is far superior. For starters, it cuts out the admin involved above, but more crucially, it removes a point of friction for your customers, which boosts conversion rates.

Add and create the content

Once you have the design elements of your website set up, you need to think about content. There are a few must-have pages for any bike rental website. Use this helpful checklist to ensure your content is covered.

Essential website pages

  • Home page is where your prospects will land when they click on your website. You need to set up this page so that your potential customers know they're in the right place and you have the services they need. Ensure you place a few call-to-action (CTA) buttons to drive some action.

  • Product/Service pages: A vital place to show off your inventory and detail the ins and outs of your service.

  • About Us: Your About Us page establishes trust, legitimacy, and credibility. It can also humanize your brand, so ensure you include one.

  • Contact page: Include phone number, email address, physical location, and directions. This page is especially important if your customers need to collect the bikes from a rental depot.

  • Checkout: The checkout page is all-important for conversions. An icon in the top right-hand corner is standard eCommerce practice that most customers are familiar with.

  • Terms of Service page: Any rental business should protect itself with clear terms of service. While your clients will need to sign contract agreements when renting your bikes, it's good practice to provide terms and conditions on your site, with details on waivers, liability, etc.

  • Blog: Blogs are essential for establishing authority and credibility. You can include content on bike maintenance, best practices, local places to visit by bike, and so forth. SEO can also help you drive organic traffic to your site.

  • FAQ: A frequently asked question page helps answer common queries your customers might have. These sections are good candidates for SEO optimization.

Content: Copy and images

Once you've settled on the pages you want, it's time to populate your site with words and images.

  • Copy: Another element of content to think about is tone of voice. The best advice we can give you is to keep your copy crisp and punchy. You don't need to seduce your customers with big promises and alluring language. Keep it simple, direct, and honest.

  • Product photos: We can't underline the importance of professional-looking product photos enough. The right images can be very decisive.

  • Product descriptions: Product descriptions are some of the most important copy on your website. Dry specifications have their place, but persuasive product descriptions accentuate the product's benefits, not the technical details.

Prepare your website for online bookings

A nice shiny website is just the start. If you want your bike rental business to take off and bring those precious conversions, you must take care of some back-end integrations. Here are two of the most essential tools that you need.

  • Rental software can turn your website from a lead magnet to a conversion machine. Modern customers want 24-7, self-serve options. With limited stock, you must be able to track your availability levels in real-time and present them on your website. Rental software allows you to connect your inventory and website seamlessly, removing the potential hassle around online bookings and rental inventory management.

  • Payment processing software allows your customers to pay online. It's efficient, secure, and convenient and will allow your prospects to use various payment options (credit and debit cards, Buy Now Pay Later, bank transfer, PayPal, etc.)

Things to consider before the launch

Now that everything is in place, you'll be itching to press the launch button. But not so fast; there are still some things to do before you go live.

  • SEO optimization: You can't get conversions without site visitors. Ensure your website makes use of common bike rental search queries. Research commonly used words and phrases, use SEO tools to see what your competitors rank for, and check Google's People Also Ask section to find questions you can answer, for example, in your blog or FAQ page. But remember, don't overstuff your site with keywords at the cost of readability.

  • Local SEO: Following general SEO best practices is good for site rankings. However, it won't do you much good if your service appears to people who will never visit your location. Local SEO, on the other hand, gets your business in front of high-intent users around you. Read our detailed article on local SEO strategies to see how you can drive more foot traffic. Setting up a Google My Business Profile is a crucial step you can't ignore.

  • Mobile optimization: While desktop browsing still holds a significant part of the market, smartphones have the majority. So make sure your site is responsive to different devices and looks good on all of them.

  • Website testing: Run various tests for browsing your site, checking inventory availability, and checking out a bike.

  • Connect: Ensure your social channels and other marketing platforms link to your URL. Moreover, if you have a Facebook shop or use other social commerce platforms, you should ensure they're linked up too.

  • Promotion: Once you've gone live, it's time to get the word out about your website. While SEO is great for pulling in organic traffic, it takes time. PPC ads are a good option here because they serve ads based on user intent. Otherwise, get active on social media and spread the word.

  • Measure and optimize: Creating a high-converting bike rental website takes time and experimentation. Pick metrics that define success and track them. See how you can affect click-through or conversion rates with different copy or photos. Incorporate A/B testing where you can.

Great bike rental website designs

If you're looking for a bit of inspiration, here are three websites that make bike rentals easy while containing a strong visual style:

  • Swapfiets is a Dutch bike rental subscription service. Their home page is a masterclass in simplicity. Using parallax scrolling, they present their service, pricing, and product information up front, leaving prospective customers very clear on what they do.

    swapfiets
  • Roll Outdoors is a traditional bike rental and tour operator operating in three locations in Finland. Their website is clear, and user journeys are well thought out, which is particularly important for bike rental companies with multiple locations or a wide range of services. The user often arrives at a website with one thing in mind. Make it easy for them to find what they want.

    roll-outdoors
  • Call & Ride is a local bike rental shop in Palma de Mallorca. They have kept their website simple and straightforward while making it visually attractive. The looping video about cycling and Palma's attractions in the background clarifies what you can experience as a customer. Having Google reviews displayed adds credibility, especially if your customers are mainly tourists.

    call-and-ride

Conclusion

A bike rental website is so much more than a place for customers to come and browse your products. It's a calling card that communicates trust and credibility about your service.

Perhaps more importantly, your website is a virtual storefront in our digital age. A well-designed and thought-out website that is easy to navigate and packed with detailed information and professional product photos is the minimum you need to convert visitors into paying customers regularly.

Thanks to modern website builders, payment processors, and inventory management tools, building a high-converting site in the bike rental space has never been easier. It's actually pretty fun if you ask me.

For further information, read our article on How to make a rental website in 9 steps.

Article written by Akseli L.

A marketer who gets excited about all things e-commerce. Outside of office hours, you'll most likely find Akseli from the countryside, hiking and shooting landscapes.

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