Designing a new website is a BIG project, amiright?
We connected with Danielle Gombos of Gather & Lounge Rentals in Connecticut just after she launched her new site. We’re thrilled she built her site on WordPress and integrated it with her RW Elephant account using our recently released WordPress Plugin Version 2.
Whether creating a website for the first time or undergoing a redesign, everyone wants the same thing: MORE BUSINESS. Your website should represent your brand and your style but you don’t just want a brochure site with pretty pictures.
In the rentals industry, displaying your collection so your clients (and potential clients) can see what you have available is key. As our friend Morgan Montgomery says, “if they can’t see it, they won’t rent it.”
We asked Danielle about the biggest difference between her old site and her new one. Here’s what she had to say,
“It was really a full 180. Besides overall aesthetic and branding - I'd have to say navigation! Navigation! Navigation! We now have a call to action at every page. Whether it is connecting users to my catalog, new items or my contact page, users have an easy time finding there way back to where they should be. I have also set it up so that future projects are going to be easy to integrate...like creating collections and having those be a call to action on various pages. Another huge navigation component for me was in the catalog page itself - I really wanted users to be able to click through to another category without having to go back to the main catalog menu. So if they found a sofa, and want to look at chairs next, I now have a sidebar where all the categories are listed, so jumping between is easy!”
Guiding clients where they need to go throughout your website can make the difference between a window shopper and a confirmed order. Holding their hand from page-to-page can turn someone who is just browsing into someone who raises their hand and says “I’m interested!” by submitting a wishlist.
When clients comment on Gather & Lounge’s new site, they say, “’I love your style! I love everything!’ LOL. It seems so simple...but I didn't get that comment as much before, even though our style really hasn't changed...it's just much more blatant who we are. There should be no question what end product you will get when you hire Gather and Lounge now. I think while that has a huge correlation to how our site looks, it's also in the branding. We really spent a ton of time with Ashley and Malone breaking down who our ideal client was, and what we wanted to represent. We nailed down who we were and who our ideal client was - really - what was our brand.”
You might not think that creating a new website is a step towards efficiency in your event rental business but Danielle shared what’s changed since she launched her new site. “I did have a full branding photoshoot specifically for the site. Using these photos was key to infusing our brand into every aspect of the site. And I think clients are much more confident about that. I no longer have clients asking me for sample photos, previous event photos, etc. It's usually just pure excitement, which has been a nice, welcomed change!”
Don't miss Gather & Lounge's Pillow Presentation
Our clients often worry about where they should invest money in their event rental businesses. New inventory is nice but it isn't always necessary to get more clients. Strategic hiring is essential at critical points.
For Danielle, this website redesign is already paying dividends.
“The process of creating a new website was a lot of hard work, extremely overwhelming and vulnerable (way more than I thought it was going to be - a website -vulnerable?) but the results are worth all the effort and investment. It made me sick sometimes thinking about how much I was spending on this new site as such a new business. But, even when I worked for other small businesses I always preached spending money to make money (easy to say when you aren't the owner) and also dressing for the job you want, not the one you have. So, even though I knew in my gut the investment would pay off - it was a hard pill to swallow at first. It was worth every penny and then some. I would do it all over again.”
In addition to displaying her lovely collection on her website via the RW Elephant Plugin, Danielle also enabled our Online Wishlist Creation tool so her clients could let her know exactly what they're interested in right from her site.
“Having my website integrated with my RW Elephant account is important to me because I can't even imagine it any other way, to be honest. It's key. I used to have my site on Wix, and the thought of redoing the whole site on WordPress was daunting...but it wasn't even an option for me...it was a no-brainer. Having that live update with our catalog and wishlist has taken away human error. I always rest assured that if a new item is added— or sometimes, even more importantly, removed— that our catalog is consistent on our clients' end as much as ours. There's no way I would do it without it.”
Be sure you've got the latest version of the RW Elephant WordPress Plugin up and running on your site so you can take advantage of the Online Inventory Gallery, Online Wishlist Creation Tool, Additional Display Categories (for Herd Leaders), and Embedded Online Payment Pages.
You also won't want to miss our other Client Spotlights.