Auction eCommerce

Standardizing Listings on Auction eCommerce Platforms

September 14, 2022  |  4 min read

While the sellers on your online auction site may be accustomed to posting on standard eCommerce platforms, they may need help navigating eAuctions. While it’s likely they’ve used eBay for personal use, posting to online auctions for business may be new to them.

Online auction software should be easy for everyone who is using it, whether they’re a buyer or seller. There should also be steps in place to give additional help to anyone who needs it. At the same time, standards need to be kept so that the sellers represent your site in a professional way and that every transaction goes as smoothly as possible. This is true whether you're hosting traditional C2C auctions or focus on the B2B auction model.

Helping Sellers Create Listings

Without listings, there’s no business for anyone. And the easier you make the listing process, the more sellers are likely to choose your online auction site.

Considerable effort should be put into what aspects of a listing are most important to your customers. There are the basics, such as title and description. There will also be some that are industry-specific; some categories will have suggested or required information fields. You also want to encourage sellers to add as much information as possible, which helps both your internal search/filtering system and web-wide SEO as well.

Design is also something that shouldn’t be overlooked in eCommerce auctions. Not only can good design make listing easier for experienced users, but it can also speed up the listing process for regular users. Either way, it’s important to remember that the listing page is there to guide people through the process.

Standardization and Consistency

It’s always important to think about the future of your auction eCommerce website and your business as a whole. While it’s likely your online auction business will scale at a healthy rate, there’s always the chance that you could become a leader in your industry overnight and see exponential growth. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to give considerable thought to how you want your company to present itself...and how the sellers on your site might reflect upon you.

Part of keeping this reputation comes down to standardizing the messages that your sellers send out to their buyers, and it’s probably a good idea to get this under control on Day 1. If you provide friendly and instructive templates for your seller to send to their buyers, they’ll send professional correspondence instead of something like, “When you pay? Pay by Thursday?”

This level of professionalism can also apply to the auction listings themselves. You can provide instructions for the best way to describe items, and you may have an approval process in place for any items worth over X dollars. You may also set the platform up to flag any input from a seller that appears to need a manual review.

Flagging Sellers

In the early days of your online auction platform, it’s likely you’ll be watching each item as it goes up in order to perform some quality control. But as your business scales and the platform becomes more established, it should outpace the ability of your staff to monitor so many transactions...and that’s the way it should be.

Problems with lackluster sellers still need to be addressed, and that’s where the potential buyers come in. By adding a flag to auctions, buyers can alert your staff to follow up if there are problems with pictures, descriptions, or anything else. While buyers might not take the time to formulate an email, it’s likely they will flag something and give a short description of the problem if the process is easy enough.

What happens then? Your staff can review the problem and decide if anything needs to be done. If action is needed, they can remove the listing if it is too problematic. If tweaks need to be made, staff can contact the seller and offer assistance in creating a more appropriate listing.

Raising the Bar

The sellers on your site will have different backgrounds and writing styles. They may be writing their own descriptions, pulling descriptions from their own website, or have their own staff writing for them. In other words, the quality of the titles and descriptions will vary.

You want every buyer to get as many bids as possible, because that means more income for your company. Analyzing which auctions are getting the best search results (on your site’s search and search engines like Google) can help raise the quality of all types of auctions. Your platform can make that happen by taking some of the data from previous auctions that have gotten the highest bids, anonymizing that information, and offering it to new sellers as a starting point for their descriptions and titles.

Clarity Keeps It Professional

As the saying goes, “A high tide raises all ships.” By keeping your website professional and standardizing the quality of every online auction listing, you can become the go-to auction site for your industry.

Clarity Ventures is here to help you. In addition to a series of videos about eAuctions on YouTube, our website is filled with dozens of articles about the finer points of eAuction platforms. We also offer a complimentary discovery process, a one-on-one meeting where we’ll help you create a plan for your auction website’s future. This plan is yours to take with you no matter the developer you decide to work with. Get in touch to learn more from our auction software developers.

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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.