Auction eCommerce

Notification Settings in an Auction eCommerce Marketplace

November 11, 2022  |  5 min read

Notification settings might seem like a simple part of an auction eCommerce marketplace platform, but the complexities they offer can deliver big advantages to anyone using your website. If you generate more value for your customers than your competitors do, they’re more likely to return to your platform for their needs. Believe it or not, a robust notification offering can be a surprising path to growth and profit no matter the industry you serve.

As powerful as notifications can be, you don’t want to overdo it. Some companies feel they have to constantly be at the top of each user’s mind, and it can wear customers out and cause them to “nuke” notifications altogether. Notifications need to be customizable so that everyone on your online eAuction platform can get exactly what they want out of them.

When Do Auction Website Users Want Notifications?

The key to keeping users happy with their notifications on your auction eCommerce platform is to give them full control. Options offered by your website can be customized according to your industry and the different auction types you offer. Here are some of the most common choices that customers can make.

For Buyers

  • When They’ve Won – Sending a notification that a buyer has won tells them that it’s now time to pay. It has the bonus of giving the buyers a jolt of adrenaline and feeling good about being on your site. Faster payment also makes the seller happier.
  • When They’ve Lost – No one wants to lose out on an item, but when they do, they’ll most likely want to find another or search for a similar-enough item.
  • When They’re Outbid – Most of us who have bid on auctions understand the idea of “bid creep.” We come up with the absolute maximum we’re willing to pay. But once someone has outbid us, we get that fear of missing out and increase our maximum. (We might even justify it by telling ourselves, “Maybe the high bidder knows something I don’t, and the item is actually worth more than I think.”)
  • When An Auction Is About to End – Bidders often want to know when an auction is about to end, whether they have a bid in already or if they’re just watching. If they do have a bid in, they might want to take last-minute action if they’ve been outbid. If they are watching, they might want to jump in and get a deal if the price is still low.
  • When Something Changes – Mistakes happen when sellers list online auctions, which means edits can be very important. Most bidders will want to know when there’s been a significant change to the thing they’re bidding on—or what they’re considering bidding on.
  • When a Saved Search Finds Something – Many potential bidders on your online auction site will have saved lists so that they’re informed when a seller lists an item they’re looking for.
  • When an Item is Out for Delivery – Many buyers want to know when their item is out for delivery. Some may want to work from home that day so that they can sign for it. Buyers of large items might have to clear a space in their warehouse or prepare a loading dock.

For Sellers

  • When They’ve Sold Something – Most sellers want to know when bidding has ended and they’ve sold something. This means that they can now get the item ready for shipping once the buyer’s payment has cleared.
  • When They Have Been Paid – Some sellers have little interest when something has sold, because they won’t actually take action until payment has been verified.
  • When Something Didn’t Sell – If sellers have an item that doesn’t sell and they don’t have auto-renew on, they’ll want to log in to renew the listing. Similarly, they may want to drop the price.
  • When They’re a Problem – In a perfect world, the seller ships the item and then they never have to think about it again. But if there’s a problem with shipping or if the buyer wants to return the item, sellers usually want to know right away so that the problem can be addressed.
  • When They Have One to Sell – Some sellers are watching items for sale because they also have the item for sale. They want to know how much it sells for so that they know what prices to expect, or what Buy It Now price to put on it (if your auction software provides a BIN option).

For Both Buyers and Sellers

  • Always – Some users will want to be informed every time anything happens to an auction they’re involved in, whether it’s something they’re selling or potentially bidding on.
  • Never – Other users do not want to be interrupted for any reason. A bidder may have already put in their maximum and have no interest when they get outbid. They may frequent your auction marketplace so often that they are always informed regarding what’s going on. (You’ll also have the option to inform them that they will receive a motivation if they have not followed through with shipping or payment after a set amount of time.)

How Are Notifications Received?

There are four primary ways that users—both buyers and sellers—receive the notifications that they have selected on their Preferences page.

  • Auction App – With so much business happening on mobile devices, having an app for your auction platform is a must. Users will be able to customize their notification settings via the app itself and in the notification settings on their device.
  • Text – Text is another common—and instantaneous—way that people receive notifications. Users who opt for texts may not be interested in redundant alerts from the auction app, and vice-versa.
  • Email – Emails are a relatively effective way to relay a considerable amount of information to users of your platform, but it’s often a slower method. Even if someone checks their email ten times a day, there will still be hours when they aren’t; messages requiring immediate attention are usually better left to the app or via text message.
  • Website – Buyers and sellers coming to your website expect to receive updates. Make sure to have an easy-to-notice notifications icon on their homepage and sell or vendor dashboard.

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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.