Auction eCommerce

Auction eCommerce Self-Service Reports for Customers

September 12, 2022  |  4 min read

No matter the types of auctions you host, you have to deal with more than just your own accounting—you’re also playing a key role in your customers’ records. Anyone using your auction platform needs to have the ability to call up closed reports so that they can report taxes and reconcile spending.

This isn’t something you want them calling you up about, and it’s certainly not something you want to tally manually. Let’s take a look at why customer self-service is so important, what they’re looking for, and the best way to make sure they get what they need.

What Your eCommerce Platform Can Provide

What your eAuction platform provides will depend on the needs of your customers. The self-service options mentioned below offer a range of functions; you can start at the most complex, or start small and increase the options as your eAuction business grows.

Screen Reports

Self-service reports screens should be the absolute minimum you offer your customers. These screens will give a rundown of each item your customer won, as well as basic information like subtotal, taxes paid, shipping paid, the type of payment used to pay, and the date on which the auction ended. It will also keep track of similar details of any items they sold through the custom auction website.

It’s also important for customers to be able to filter for their specific needs. Date filtering is important during tax season so that they can filter by year. Filtering by money type can help them identify specific auctions associated with credit card payments. The better the filtering option, the more power customers have to self-serve...and the less likely they are to call and take up your employees’ time.

Simple Downloadable Reports

Customers will appreciate downloadable reports for their eCommerce auctions, especially if they work in conjunction with the filtering we mentioned above. The simplest downloadable file is a PDF.

Downloadable files that are easily imported into Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets can be even more welcomed when your customers are turning their numbers over to their accounting department or a CPA. You can even create a procedure detailing the best way to take the document you provide and import it into QuickBooks, Quicken, or other accounting software.

Complex Downloadable Reports

Despite the ease of exporting PDFs or spreadsheet files, it’s possible to make it even easier for your customers’ accountants by having your eAuction software create dedicated files for specific accounting software, such as .qbw files and .qdf files.

Why would you take that extra step? Being the best eAuction platform doesn’t just mean having the best auction software or bringing in the most bidders; it’s about customer service. If you can make life as easy on your customers and employees as possible, they may come to see you as the only place they want to do business.

Automatically Sent Reports

There may be times when you want reports to be automatically generated and emailed to your customers. This may be for legal purposes, or it could be due to customer requests. It’s also possible to create reports that can be physically mailed, whether that’s done in-house or passed along to a printer.

Customization of eAuction Reports

In addition to the various ways that you can let your customers self-service to get necessary information, there are additional ways the needed data can be customized. Different customers have different needs, and it’s important to listen to them to find out what they’re looking for in their reports.

One way to listen to them is to track the calls and messages you get from them. If they’re requesting specific report information—either by phone or message—because your platform won’t let them self-serve, it’s probably a good idea to add the feature they need. This is yet another reason that you should invest in a flexible online auction platform that will allow you to add the reporting that customers need; always be thinking 3-5 years into your future so that you can improve reporting services before customers even ask.

Why Self-Service is a Must

If we could get one thing across to you in this article, it would be the importance of self-service. It's a win-win situation when you give the customers what they’re looking for.

While it might seem obvious, the two most important reasons to give customers direct access to their reports are:

  1. Save Time and Money – Allowing customers to access their own closed reports reduces the amount of time your employees have to help them. This could save thousands of work hours a year.
  2. Customer Preference – Most customers want to access their information without having to contact someone at your company. They can access it as often as they like without having to get on the phone or go back and forth with emails or chats.

Why Work with Clarity?

Becoming a leader in the auction space takes an extreme amount of planning, which means it’s vital that you work with a company familiar with auction website development. Offering your customers self-service closed reports is just one of the many behind-the-scenes amenities that inexperienced developers could miss, a fact that also applies to standard eCommerce platforms.

Clarity is well-established in the eAuction arena and wants to provide you with the information you need to build, launch, and maintain your eAuction website. We have an entire eAuction video series about auction eCommerce, and our website is filled with articles and information to help you get started.

We also offer a complimentary discovery process, where we’ll bring our business planners and developers to the table to come up with a plan for your future. You can use this plan with us or take it to a different developer; our goal is to help you succeed. If you’re interested in talking to us, get in touch today!

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Stephen Beer is a Content Writer at Clarity Ventures and has written about various tech industries for nearly a decade. He is determined to demystify HIPAA, integration, and eCommerce with easy-to-read, easy-to-understand articles to help businesses make the best decisions.