SoftwareWeb Design

Can You Use Shopify For Your Vacation Rental Website?

Shopify is a popular website builder that allows you to easily create an online store. With Shopify, you can build an ecommerce website with a shopping cart, so you can sell digital and physical products online.

And with the Shopify App Store, you can add all kinds of additional features to customize your store.

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Should You Use Shopify?

So you might be wondering if you should use Shopify to create a direct booking website for your vacation rental business.

The short answer is no.

While there are a few Shopify apps you can use for a rental business, they are primarily designed for renting out products.

There aren’t any Shopify apps designed for vacation rentals.

And it makes sense why not, because a vacation rental business is very different from a traditional ecommerce business. Rather than selling products, you’re selling accommodations.

Shopify just isn’t designed for that.

What to Use Instead of Shopify

Fortunately, there are several other website builders designed specifically for vacation rentals.

These apps allow you to easily create a vacation rental website that can handle direct bookings, accept payments, and sync your bookings with Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and other booking sites.

So instead of Shopify, we recommend using Lodgify or another comparable app to create a direct booking website.

In the same way Shopify makes it dead simple to create an online store, these vacation rental website builders make it easy to create your own transactional vacation rental website.

These apps also have additional features beyond just a website builder, direct bookings, and payments.

For example, most offer a channel management feature, which allows you to sync bookings across multiple different sites, and several other useful automation features.

Shopify vs Lodgify

Comparing Shopify and Lodgify is an apples-to-oranges comparison, but it’s worth looking at the key differences.

Here’s a quick look at Shopify vs Lodgify that demonstrates why Lodgify (or one of several Lodgify alternatives) is the obvious choice for building your own vacation rental website.

With Shopify, you can:

  • Create a website
  • Sell digital or physical products
  • Accept payments
  • Ship orders

Whereas with Lodgify, you can:

  • Create a website
  • Take direct bookings
  • Accept payments
  • Integrate with Airbnb, Vrbo, etc.
  • Message guests (including automated messaging)
  • Manage other aspects of your vacation rental business

Additionally, Lodgify offers several vacation rental website templates, in contrast to Shopify templates, which don’t lend themselves well to showcasing your rental properties.

For instance, this theme is advertised as a “Shopify hotel template,” but you can see how it just ends up looking like an online store once you get past the homepage. Not to mention, the backend admin dashboard would still look exactly like an online store. Instead of bookings with dates and guest details, you’d find a list of “orders.”

Conclusion

As you can see, the bottom line is that Shopify is not a good fit for your vacation rental website.

But the good news is there are plenty of website builders designed specifically for vacation rentals you can use instead.

We recommend checking out Lodgify. You can read our full Lodgify review, or go ahead and try it out with a 7-day free trial.

Lodgify Website Builder
Build a bookable vacation rental website with Lodgify.

And if you want to learn more about vacation rental websites, check out our post on how to build a direct booking website, where we cover everything you need to know about taking direct bookings.

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