Auction eCommerce

eCommerce Group Ordering and Buying Groups for Auction eCommerce

August 31, 2022  |  5 min read

Auctions attract a variety of prospects, so it stands to reason that people may want to interact in a variety of ways, including group bidding or group ordering. Group ordering is mainly done by buying groups, or group purchasing organizations (GPOs), which are mainly composed of members from small to mid-sized businesses.

For auction eCommerce, group ordering adds another level to the types of bids and auctions that take place. Group buying in certain types of auctions allows bidders to get volume discounts, but because it’s still an auction, there is some amount of uncertainty about what the final price will be.

With even a small amount of doubt already in place, any obstacle users have to overcome to place their bids (such as a difficult UI/UX) may result in them getting frustrated and bouncing. That’s why it’s so important to make sure their experience goes smoothly, so they can easily place their bids without the any added worries.

Who Uses Group Ordering in Auction eCommerce?

Buying groups, or in the case of auctions, bidding groups, are organizations most likely to engage in group ordering in auction eCommerce. Another type of group ordering in auction eCommerce is when the items being auctioned are to be bought in a group—meaning that the bidders are bidding on multiple items, or a group of items.

Auctions where groups of people bid together are sometimes called Group Buying Auctions, though group ordering can occur in other types of auctions as well.

Whichever way your bidders bid and auctioneers auction, if you want to attract and retain customers on your auction platform, you’ll need to provide a user-friendly and seamless group ordering feature, among other bidding and auctioning options. Let’s go over why group ordering is a good choice for your auction eCommerce business.

Your Auction Site Without Group Ordering

While price is certainly a deciding factor that lures people and businesses to eCommerce websites, the features it offers can be just as enticing. Group ordering can provide a steady stream of revenue for you, and the buying group will guide new businesses to your site as soon as they join the group.

If you don’t open yourself up to group orders, you’re automatically excluding swaths of businesses that order exclusively through their buying group. After all, if the buying group gets them a better price and customized service, why would they go anywhere else?

The Benefits of Preparing for Buying Groups

The benefits of a group buying platform are many. Once you and the buying group’s negotiator settle on a price for tiers of sales, the selling process is fairly hands-off as the orders come to you. Here are some of the most common features and advantages you could realize by implementing a group buying function tailored to your needs.

  • Discounts Don’t Kick in Immediately – By withholding the discount price until sales reach a certain point, group ordering entices the entire group to order more. The reach goal to get it to kick in can be a dollar amount, number of units ordered, or filling a complete shipping container coming from overseas.
  • Give Members Notification Options – Members of the buying group can decide how they want to be informed about sales. They can get texts or emails, or they might choose to be notified by your store’s custom mobile app. They can also decide when they want to get the notification, such as once a week, in real-time, or when the goal of an item is close to being met.
  • The Buyer’s Group Admin Can Help You – The buying group’s admin can send out sale blasts to let its members know when there is a good buy on particular products. Members who might not have considered certain products might bite if they see just how low your price has gotten.
  • Add New Members with Ease – Buying group admins can continuously add new members to the group, getting you new customers without you doing any of the leg work.
  • Keep Orders Private – Members of the buying group will be informed ahead of time about who can see their orders; this is usually limited to the buying group’s admin. Individual businesses can rest assured knowing that their competition in this same buying group doesn’t know what items they are purchasing.
  • Staples Provide Perpetual Sales – To prove how useful the buying group can be, the group’s admin will often want to offer the items most needed by the group. This can give you a perpetual sales channel and help you better plan for inventory.
  • Deadlines Can Easily Be Altered – Deadlines can be set based on your negotiations with the group’s admin. You may know when you’ll have everything in stock, and they may have a good idea of just how long group members will wait before buying somewhere else.
  • Memberships and Subscriptions – What you’re selling to buying groups doesn’t have to be physical items. Clarity has created buying group-friendly portals and eCommerce platforms for clients selling memberships and subscriptions.

Split Payments, Split Shipping

The buying group admin will often be your primary point of contact with the group, so make sure you provide as much value as possible.

Split Payments

You can split invoices so they don’t have to. Each group member that’s part of the purchase can be billed at your discretion or by the admin.

Split Shipping

Products purchased by a buying group seldom go to the same place. Once all orders are in, shipping labels can be automatically printed for each purchaser from the group.

Experienced Buying Group Developers

We’ve detailed some of the most common uses for group buying on an eCommerce platform, but that doesn’t mean you should be limited by what you see. Implementing a robust and flexible solution to your ERP, CRM, or other back-office software can take many forms, all dependent on the current—and future—needs of your business.

We’d love to hear what your ambitions are for buying groups and how you can one-up your competition with the most user-friendly options available (for both you and your customers). Clarity has provided many of our clients with the latest buying group solutions, and we’re ready to demo what we can do for you. Contact us for a free discovery session with a detailed business plan you can take with you...whether you end up working with us or not.

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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.