Self storage kiosks are enjoying a bit of a moment in the industry. Moreover, on the surface, they seem to be a great solution.
Prospects can visit your self storage facility at any time, day or night, and pay their bill or even rent units.
However, a closer look at the modern-day self storage industry reveals that there’s a far better option — investing in a tailored website so that prospects can pay bills and rent units from the comfort of their own homes.
Here’s a look at 8 reasons why a functional website is more effective than a self storage kiosk to drive more revenue and grow the business with rentals and reservations.
- Customers can Rent, Reserve, and Pay from Anywhere
- A Website's Upfront Costs are more Reasonable
- Customers Prefer Online Services to In-Person Tech Services
- A Website is a Common Business Tool and Should be Maintained Anyway
- Website Maintenance and Upkeep is Affordable and Necessary
- Websites and Online Content Helps Market Your Business
- Go to Where Your Customers Are - the Internet
- Kiosks are a Redundant and Less Useful Step to Your Business Flow
1. Rent and Pay From Anywhere
A quality self storage website means that prospects and customers can rent units and pay bills from anywhere.
Think about how helpful that would be for someone moving to your area from out of state.
Yes, a kiosk can operate around the clock, which provides greater flexibility than the traditional person-to-person interactions previously required.
However, prospects and customers still have to set foot on your actual property, which isn’t always convenient — and may convince prospects to look elsewhere.
2. Upfront Costs
Both kiosks and websites require an initial upfront investment. However, that said, creating a quality website or updating an existing site is going to be far less expensive and far more cost-effective than installing a kiosk.
Plus, website development is much more convenient than kiosk installation.
Effective websites can be developed in collaboration with any agency or firm in the country, which means it is easier to identify a provider that delivers real value.
With a kiosk, a facility is limited to working with companies that can install in the local area.
3. Even We Prefer Online Services
We still walk into a bank branch and do our business, and we can always run by an ATM when we need fast cash.
However, more and more of us are turning to online banking for one straightforward reason — there’s nothing more convenient than handling all banking and assets on a computer, tablet or mobile device.
The same desire for convenience applies to a self storage business.
Yes, it’s nice to have an ATM-style kiosk where customers can handle their business, but it’s far more attractive to have an online presence where customers can do everything on their terms.
4. Your Website Needs Improvement Anyway
Websites are essential in the 21st century.
Without a simple website, any self storage business will seem flat and out of swing with the ways that customers want information and contact.
So, given that you need a website anyway why not make it the best site possible?
An unoptimized website can hurt your business. So invest just a little bit extra in quality design, user experience, responsiveness, loading speed — as well as online rental and payment capabilities.
5. Even Website Maintenance is Manageable
Websites need little maintenance.
Yes, they need updating every so often to keep up with technological advancements, price changes, and messaging, but, other than that, excellent hosting service can revert your site to a backed-up version if and when necessary.
Kiosks, on the other hand, are like owning any other asset. They need regular maintenance and repairs, and there’s always a chance they could be vandalized, too.
6. Marketing Assistance
Kiosks will never act as an active marketing channel. Instead, they are an endpoint where marketing channels guide prospective customers.
A website is entirely different. When you have a website with rental and payment capabilities, it’s part of a thoughtful addition to your marketing eco-system. You can focus on SEO, run PPC campaigns, send emails, serve on-site teasers and ads, plus a lot more when the website has the exact functionality that customers expect.
In short, choosing a modern website over a kiosk will generate a lot more marketing value than a kiosk that sits on the facilities grounds.
7. Customers are Logged In
Your prospects aren’t wandering around your facility’s neighborhood looking for a kiosk where they can rent a self storage unit.
Instead, they are online searching for specific terms to find a self storage unit.
They are thinking about renting a unit and not too convinced yet. Potential customers are using the internet to search for the best value, options, and reputation of whichever facility is near them.
They will arrive at these conclusions after combing through search results and visiting websites from the comfort of their home or while eating lunch with their family and discussing the possibility of reorganizing their house.
Invest in a quality, optimized website, and you’ll be able to meet your customers right where they are shopping — Google and other search engines.
By letting them rent units and make payments online, you’re removing one giant barrier that might prevent them from selecting your facility and services.
8. A Kiosk is an Unnecessary Step
If a prospective customer is standing at an on-site kiosk, the chances are high that he or she has also visited your website.
By making customers come to your site to visit the kiosk, you’re asking them to take an unnecessary step.
A guiding rule of thumb for any self storage business should be this: Make it as easy as possible for prospects and customers to do business with your company.
A high-quality website with modern capabilities follows that rule of thumb — much more so than a kiosk.
When you decide to invest in a high-quality website with online rental and payment capabilities, then the potential for reservations increase significantly.
The website facilitates the conversion of potential clients into lasting customers that have appreciated the transparency, clear information, and convenient flow throughout their time spent.
This initial interaction and rental will blossom into a satisfying experience for everyone involved.
Self Storage Kiosks are a shining example of capable technology bundled up to serve customers, but the mark is just off in a lot of ways. The idea of kiosks does not definitively satisfy Self Storage tenants in an appropriate way.
As facilities and managers struggle more to get people into the door, kiosks are just another employee waiting out front as fewer customers actually decide to come and visit a potential storage facility. Yes, this "employee" doesn't get tired or mind the weather -- BUT -- Kiosks are costly to install, need training to maintain, require frequent maintenance, and still do not meet customers where they actually are.
Modern customers exist as consumers almost solely online.
A fully functional and automation equipped webpage for storage units, mini storage, and portable containers is the true employee to hire 24/7.
A website with all of your information, once designed and developed, will passively drive traffic to your site. Once consumers have arrived you will detail all of the information they need.
A marketing and website development company like us, StoragePug, can further equip your page with calculation tools, online rental integrations and capabilities, reservation requests, profile management and payment portals.
This bundled functionality will make your customers sing with glee that their problems are solved.
Your revenue will soar.
Through word of mouth (satisfied customers), passive increased traffic (SEO or search engine optimized by thoughtful web design), and expected functionality (online rental software and autopay automation) your website and self storage business will be the only option in your area. Your business, from satisfying customers so well, will flourish with new and returning customers.
Kiosks might be a workable option for your business, but StoragePug can assure you that option will only be available AFTER you've built and curated a business website that seriously works for you and your customers.
For more self storage articles, take a look at:
- Self Storage Websites that are Fast, Modern, and StoragePug-Managed
- Increase Your Revenue by Offering More Ways to Rent Storage Units
- A Successful Storage Facility Starts with Your Manager