Auction eCommerce

Buyer and Vendor Dashboards on Online Auction Platforms

September 13, 2022  |  5 min read

An easy-to-use dashboard is a vital part of your online auction platform and represents one of the most common ways that both buyers and sellers interact with your website. If a user is going to bookmark one page on your site, it’s more than likely going to be the dashboard page to help them access everything they need in the shortest time possible.

The dashboard is something of a paradox; it must be incredibly powerful but also very easy to understand. In addition, it should offer users everything they need without being too cluttered. These are difficult balances to maintain, which is why it’s important to work with a B2B eCommerce platform developer that has experience in the eAuction sphere.

Design and Function

Standard dashboards are often easy to implement but difficult to get right. Providing a way for users to self-service comes with challenges, which is why design is so important...especially when it comes to industry-specific needs. Here are some considerations when you’re creating this destination page.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

The largest retailers on the planet have spent the last two decades refining dashboards that fulfill many of the basic needs of their customers. Study the big eCommerce stores and your competitors’ sites for the basic dashboard framework, then tweak to your specific needs. No matter the types of auctions you're running, stick with tried-and-true methods.

Make Design Intuitive

Don’t skimp on design when it comes to dashboards. The faster you can help users find what they’re looking for, the more positive they’ll be about doing business with you. Use standard icons and simple verbiage to reduce friction between them and the info they need.

Simplify Design

It’s important to remember why users are on their dashboard: to do something. They either want information on the dashboard itself or to find the link to a related page. Again, reducing friction is key; don’t get in the user’s way.

The largest marketplace eCommerce businesses like Amazon and eBay are big enough that they can get away with some clutter, advertising on every page a user visits. In general, we recommend against that at launch so that you don’t confuse users.

Tailor to the Industry

You can make a dashboard your own, even as you consider the suggestions above. It’s perfectly acceptable to brand your dashboard page; you want users to be reminded whose site they’re on. It’s also advisable to use industry terms where applicable to let customers know that you're knowledgeable, that you are a partner with them to facilitate online auction sales.

You should also take your industry into account when designing the dashboard. A person using an online non-B2B auction site like eBay might not care if a package is coming via UPS or FedEx, so information on the carrier will be available, but not highlighted. On the other hand, a B2B eCommerce auction user needs to be reminded quickly whether something is coming in LTL so that they can get the loading dock cleared.

What an Auction Website Dashboard Should Do

The primary goal of a dashboard is to be a jumping-off point that allows users to self-serve, helping them find whatever they are looking for in the fewest steps possible. This is true for both buyers and sellers, though this will usually be two separate pages to accommodate the needs of each user. (When you have users who are both buyers and sellers, you can offer different options for how those two aspects are split.)

Users have come to expect dashboards on all eCommerce sites; they are looking for a central location where they can find everything they need to make transactions happen. Make sure you have what both buyers and sellers are looking for in a dashboard.

For Sellers

When it comes to vendor management dashboards, sellers are primarily looking for a single location from which they can access the most common tasks. It’s important to take the following into consideration to make your platform stand out.

  • Simple From the Start – You might have one person who’s used your site a hundred times and sold $50,000 worth of inventory, while a brand-new seller's first listing might be for a $100,000 item. You want to make it as easy as possible for both of them, no matter how complex their needs.
  • Study What They Want – Before the launch of your eAuction platform, you’ll create your dashboard based on what makes the most sense in your industry. After that, AI can be employed to watch customers’ movements and clicks, aggregate the data, and let you know how the pages can be improved for the bulk of users.
  • Provide Analytics – You may want to provide additional information to the sellers in the form of analytics. Graphs and charts can let them know how their sales are doing month over month, or let them know how many bids their B2B auction is getting compared to how many the competition is getting.

For Buyers

Obviously, buyers are coming to their dashboard with considerably different motives than sellers. Here are just a few of the most common reasons that buyers are heading to their dashboards.

  • Watch Lists – Buyers might be watching dozens of items from one seller, or dozens of copies of the same item from different sellers. Watch lists on the dashboard—or just a click away from the dashboard—helps them keep track of what they want to bid on.
  • Paying Invoices – If the seller doesn’t pay, neither you nor the seller make any money. You want to keep the idea of paying invoices a priority for your buyers to make the process run as smoothly as possible.
  • Notifications – Is an item they’re interested in about to end? Are there invoices they’re late paying? Has an item shown up on the site that they had an alert set up for? Notifications can be the first thing eAuction software shows customers so that they can address all these time-sensitive issues.

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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.