Auction eCommerce

Buyer and Seller Notifications for Auction eCommerce

Updated March 16, 2023  |  8 min read

Notifications are one of the lowest-cost, highest-payoff tools to include in your auction eCommerce platform. Automatically sent notifications can provide an excellent array of details that both your buyers and sellers are looking for.

It’s vital to give your site’s users the ability to customize their notifications as much as possible. How often do they want to receive them? Under what circumstances should they be sent? Should notices of an auction ending be sent a day before, an hour before, fifteen minutes before...or all three? Letting sellers and bidders make these decisions ensures that they’re getting exactly what they want from your auction software.

Where Are Notifications Sent?

It’s very important for you to offer multiple ways for both buyers and sellers to receive their notifications. Customers want to be notified in their preferred way, not necessarily in the limited ways SaaS options offer. The following four are the most common methods for notifications to take place, though a flexible eAuction platform will be able to add any that you need.


Most users are interested in receiving notifications via email as a primary source of communication. Emails are generally non-intrusive in a user’s day, and they can carry much more information than texts.

The drawback of emails is that they’re not usually conducive to immediate action. Emails announcing the end of an auction in fifteen minutes will often go unheeded, since many users only check emails intermittently.


For messages that need immediate attention, it’s hard to beat texts. People are constantly checking their phones for both personal and business purposes, so any messages sent via text are sure to get noticed quickly.

Texts don’t carry much information, but most of the time all you need is a few words and a link to the online auction platform’s dashboard to convey the information you want to get to buyers and sellers.


It’s never a bad idea to keep your online auction platform on users’ minds. If you are drawing people to your site, sellers are more likely to sell and buyers are more likely to go looking for something to buy. That’s why it’s important to draw users to the information on your dashboard as often as possible.

A seller or vendor dashboard will contain vast amounts of information, and it’s important that it’s well-organized and easy to use. Every user should know exactly where to go to find the message they’re looking for, and it should be easy to sort messages and identify which are read and which still need attention.

Phone Call

While this might sound archaic, sometimes notification by phone call might be exactly what a user needs. When dealing with auctions that are worth millions of dollars, an automated—or even employee-initiated—phone call could be an important addition to your platform.

Notifications For Your Users

Buyers and sellers will rely on automated notifications built into your eAuction platform, so it’s necessary to consider the many circustances when you might need to interact with them—including edge cases.

Auction Notifications for Sellers

  • Has anyone sent questions? – Questions should be answered as quickly as possible. Answering questions leads to earlier bids and reduces the number of retracted bids.
  • Has the reserve been met? – Some buyers will want to know when they can rest easy once the reserve has been met.
  • Did it sell, and for how much? – Sellers want to know if their item sold or not. If it did, what’s the next step? If it didn’t, should it be relisted?
  • Has the item been paid for? – In most cases, sellers aren’t shipping until the buyer has paid.
  • Steps after the auction – Do they need to send an invoice, or is invoicing automated by the online auction software automated?
  • Will they sell to the next person? – If the seller is running a type of auction and they have duplicates of the item, do they want to sell to the second-highest bidder as well?

Auction Notification for Buyers

  • What's the status of the bid? – Buyers want to know right away if they have been outbid, even if it’s higher than their maximum bid.
  • What is the status of the auction? – Is the auction a day away from ending? And hour? Fifteen minutes?
  • Has the reserve been met? – A notification about the reserve of an auction being met will let buyers know that the minimum has been case they want to increase their maximum.
  • Was bidding disabled? – A potential buyer may make a bid that can’t be honored. Their escrow might have fallen through, or complaints from other sellers might have disabled their account.
  • Did they win the auction? – Of course, buyers want to know the moment they win. While winning a B2B eCommerce auction might not be as exciting as winning a personal auction buyers want to know as quickly as possible that their bid was successful.
  • What’s next after a win? – Winning bidders need to know the next steps to take—which is often payment—to complete the purchase.
  • What’s the tracking status? – Once the item is paid for, it’s a good idea to keep buyers informed of major points of the shipping process.
  • Was the item relisted? – If the item didn’t sell, or if the seller has a duplicate that they put up for auction, the auction platform will want to inform everyone who didn’t win so that they can bid on this new auction.
  • Is there a similar item? – If a bidder didn’t win an item, it’s good to have AI in place that can lead them to similar items they might want to bid on.
  • Is this the item you’re looking for? – Potential buyers can set up parameters to let them know when items they’re looking for are listed.

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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.