Why We Deleted Our Hire Availability App

by Elizabeth Hollingsworth October 06, 2020 2 min read

Today My Event Decor deleted the hire date availability app, much to our disappointment.

It has been one of the key differentiators for us in the event hire business, with very few hire companies showing their quantities available, as well as a calendar showing availability for the date/s required. This transparency was designed to save customers time and effort in the event decor hire item sourcing process. They could see, at a glance, if the item was available on their special event date.

Here's why we deleted it.

1. Covid-19
This worldwide virus has impacted millions of people's health, livelihoods and lifestyles. The event industry has been hit hard, with cancelled, postponed or greatly-reduced-in-attendee-size special events ranging from birthdays, weddings, christenings and funerals to product launches, store openings, expos, festivals, markets, charity dinners, corporate events and cocktail parties.

With the exception of one job in June for a quick-thinking couple (knowing events would be pushed back) who hired Tiffany chairs for their wedding in March 2021, we've had no hire items booked since March 2020. 

The BookThat app enabled clients to enter a date and venue for their selected event hire item to check availability. Covid-19's disastrous impact on the event industry has ensured there's been no need for the app.

2. Customer behaviour
Whether it's because customers are accustomed to calling, emailing or texting other hire suppliers to check event hire availability because they could not do so online, we noticed that they rarely use the app to check if their particular hire item could be booked on a certain date. Even after five years of existence, people still preferred to check availability in person, not trusting an app!

3. Delivery requirements
One thing the app is not designed to do for customers is estimate the delivery fee.

Delivery fees for hire items depend on the type, quantity, location, access, time to setup and time of delivery and pickup and are determined afresh for each job. Because the app cannot confirm availability AND give a delivery fee customers could just add to the cart and complete their order, it still required a quote and confirmation from us.

4. Google page speed
Google penalises websites for slowly loading pages. Websites that are slow to load are a turn-off to customers, resulting in higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. If they don't even get down to a specific hire product page and see the date availability fields which is supposed to save them time, they'll leave anyway.

Every customer who leaves our website before completely checking out our range of decor products to purchase and rent is another customer we don't get to work with.

One of the ways to increase page speed - and therefore help customers see results much faster - is to delete non-essential apps.

Discover what event decor you should rent, what you should buy

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