SpareFoot Inc., provider of an online self-storage finder at SpareFoot.com, has publicly released its new SpareFoot Booking Widget, a free Web application that allows self-storage operators to accept real-time reservations on their own websites and generate more tenants. The widget installs on a self-storage operation’s website in minutes, and instantly gives operators the ability to accept reservations and convert online visitors into customers.
SpareFoot estimates more than 95 percent of visitors to a typical self-storage website do not rent a unit, and that a major factor in this low conversion rate is the absence of a simple online reservation mechanism. The booking widget solves this problem, allowing consumers to view unit-by-unit inventory and pricing and make a reservation in three easy steps. The widget also helps operators analyze the effectiveness of different online marketing channels by automatically identifying how each new tenant found their website.
John Williamson of 1st Choice Storage in Austin, Texas, claimed to have experienced a 500 percent increase in his online conversion rate by using the widget on his website at 1stchoicestorage.net. “We had been using the reservation system that came with our inventory-management software, but no one ever reserved a unit with it,” Williamson said. “The booking widget's simple, intuitive interface offers a much improved user experience and helps us convert more customers on our site.”
The booking widget is completely free to all self-storage operators―there are no monthly, setup or per-reservation fees involved. Users of facility-management software by Centershift Inc., Domico, SMD Software and QuikStor Security & Software can display real-time pricing and inventory from their software on the booking widget. Operators using other management software can also use the widget through SpareFoot’s simple account-management interface.
Founded in 2008, SpareFoot compares itself with Expedia.com, making it possible for self-storage customers to find and compare the best U.S. deal on self-storage via the Web. SpareFoot has 5,000 storage listings nationwide. The company generates revenue from transaction fees paid by those who list their space.