Auctions are a bit like gambling, with one difference – the client doesn’t lose money in the end. Through an online auction we provide our customers not only with great bargains but also with the thrill and a feeling of competition. No wonder ebay.com gained over 9 billion US$ revenue in 2010 and is an employer of around 18 thousand people. Thus auctioning needs a consideration!
There’s ebay.com, we all know it and it seems like it has taken over the whole market of auctions. But there are other auction websites as well, take for instance ubid.com, ebid.net, bidz.com and many more. If they could stay successfully on the market, then you also can! It’s all a matter of fitting into the competitive environment with a good strategy by attracting interesting sellers and adapting social media and other online marketing campaigns combined with a perfectly performing, functional website.
And it’s worth it!
Learn from the best!
Once you decide to organize and auction, check your future competition for the best features!
Let’s have a look at the bidz.com product page. At the very top we have: “Could Be You”, a simple slogan but quite a powerful tool. An auction influences shoppers’ emotions even stronger than shopping itself, thus it needs more slogans and encouragement from the seller. In a way you invite people to take part in a competition that will last longer and is more complicated than shopping from an average eshop.
Another useful feature here is “email me when I am Outbid”. You obliviously want to get the highest possible price for your products, and thus create an atmosphere of a race, where the price is a unique product.
What’s a great idea is also the count down. It maximizes the excitement and creates the atmosphere of urgency.
This is an example of a product page from ebay.com. The good starts with the tab “new”, “refurbished”, etc. Each client can decide what’s most important to him, the price or maybe the quality. We can also see “Buy It Now” button, according to knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu this should ensure 40% of success, however the price ought to be reasonably high, we wouldn’t like the shoppers to stop bidding, would we? The price obviously is set by single sellers individually, but as an auction website owner you do have something to say about it.
Bidding can be time consuming and definitely requires constant updates. Our clients wish to check current price and status of their dream-deal. You should remember that most of your shoppers join the auction while it’s running, firstly they just observe! To facilitate the observing part you may want to consider mobile applications for your e-commerce website.
Choose you platform wisely!
75% of final bids are submitted after 97% of the auction duration has passed – that’s a fact. Having that in mind you need to choose a solution that will be able to handle the unexpected crowd and at the same time it should not cost an arm and a leg of yours. Have you may be considered a cloud solution?
Don’t choose nice features over performance! I’d go with a platform that guarantees your auction doesn’t know the term “downtime” and still can offer you the features you chose for your e-commerce website. You may want to consider 21webmerce but there are plenty to choose from.
Don’t leave the less fortunate out!
It’s crucial that later you target the once that failed to win the auction. You may do that by a personalized newsletter. Simply ask people about the items they’re interested in and send alerts and encourage them to try again. To keep in touch with all you auctioneers you can also use Facebook or Twitter. In the end you have to remember that with an auction you have to engage people even more!
Once you put more of an effort to your auction the results can be outstanding! Just remember to show you charisma, interesting products and great performance. Then who knows, maybe we’ll have a new ebay competitor!
Have you already have any experience with running an auction? Is there anything else you’d add? Share below!