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Stora’s 2023 Product Year in Review

By Steven Hylands on

2023 has been a busy year here at Stora. We trebled our customer base, hosted a live podcast and Stora social for 60 people, won an SSA Innovation Award for our Next-Generation Site Maps, and travelled the world attending trade shows across Europe and the US

But most of our team aren’t the folks you’ll see at events, they’re software engineers and designers, working every day to make Stora the best self storage software platform it can be. So, we thought we’d bring the year to a close by summarising the biggest and best features and improvements the team launched in just the past 12 months.

One-minute move ins

Automating manual processes is one of our key focus areas at Stora. Not just for operators, but their customers too. That’s one of the reasons we released One-minute move ins, a set of features that streamline multiple aspects of the customer move-in journey.

The first bit is auto unit reservations, when enabled, it removes the need for operators to manually allocate customers their units. For this to always possible, we needed to ensure a unit type that isn’t available could not be allocated, and also give operators an easy way to make units available again once customers have moved out. So we set up our Storefront’s to only let customers book unit types that have available units. If there aren’t any, it automatically switches it to collect leads instead. Finally, we made it possible to have units auto deallocated upon move out.

All of these automations are optional, each toggled on or off which a simple switch, so the operator can choose the process that works for them.

Check out our demonstration video to see it in action!

Storefront improvements

The website and online booking and payment system we provide all of our customers out of the box is one of the things that makes Stora so special. In 2023, we wanted to give it a visual upgrade, make it more flexible in the process, and optimise things to improve the chances of getting bookings and leads.

To achieve this, we released our redesigned Storefront’s with more style control thanks to fonts. The booking form was also simplified and moved to a dedicated simplified template—a proven approach for increasing conversions. We also released several great new types of content and lead generation. The info bar, footer banner, homepage videos and pop-up forms.

We’re not done yet either—stay tuned in the first week of January for even more Storefront improvement!

Storefront redesign

Backoffice management enhancements

The Backoffice is where are lovely operators spend most of their time, that’s why we felt it was important to make it easier than ever to get things done, as quickly as possible. To achieve that, we released two great new features:

The home screen and Tasks

The home screen is designed to give operators a glance at what’s happening across their facility. Key data is front and centre, as is their facility map and move ins and outs over the next few days. We also surface key actions that appear when something needs to be done, so the operator always knows what to do next.

Tasks is a dedicated task management centre, designed to give operators a simple but powerful way to get things done.

Analytics and Reporting

In 2023, we launched the self storage industry’s most advanced reporting platform. It’s a flexible, filterable system that gives you the data you need to drive growth. That’s everything from sales, occupancy and rates, to marketing data that helps you understand how you’re acquiring customers.

We launched it in October during one of our Stora All-Access events, if you’d like to take a peak, check it out below:

Other enhancements

We didn’t stop there! There were tonnes of other tweaks and new releases along the way, some of the highlights being the ability to set customer move in days, set tax rates, act on unverified identities, switch over to protection plans, and we even management to give all our tables a fresh lick of paint and make them easier to use and more useful than ever.

New smart entry integrations

The use of a smart entry system is another key piece of the puzzle that unlocks some of Stora’s automation features like automatically granting facility access to customers, or auto-overlocking their units when they fail to pay. We already integrated with quite a few, but we want to support them all! So in 2023 we added:

We also enhanced our BearBox support, so operators can use their app, QR codes and number plate reading features.

What’s next?

We’re pleased we were able to offer so much added value in 2023, but we’re not stopping there. The Stora team has big plans for 2024. In fact, we’ve already got several big features in beta testing waiting in the wings.

Be sure to follow us on LinkedIn or keep an eye on our Changelog to know when our next releases arrive in 2024!

Steven Hylands steven.jpeg

Steven Hylands

Steven is Stora’s Chief Product Officer. He’s using his expertise in software design and development to help move the self storage industry forward and make it better for everyone.

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