If you want to sell your products online and looking for a competitive edge to grow your sales & customers, you can consider to build an auction-based online store.
If you have been to a website like eBay, you probably know what I mean.
An auction-based website lets you publish your products, set its minimum price, and allow your shoppers to bid on them. The highest bidder wins the auction and the product belongs to him.
Do you think that an online auction website can be expensive to build?
Don’t worry. Now you don’t have to spend a fortune to create an online store that sells your products on auction. With the help of several open-source CMS platforms such as WordPress, Magento, etc. your website developer can easily build and customize an online auction store for you.
But in order to make your auction-based website successful, you do need to have a few essential features on it.
In this blog post, I have shared 7 essential features that your online auction website must have.
Let’s dive in.
#1 Bidding fee
To ensure that you get only serious bidders, you must allow your online shoppers to bid only when they pay a bidding fee in order to participate in the auction.
This bidding fee can be refundable or non-refundable as per your business requirements.
Especially in the case of expensive items such as jewelry, cars, etc. you must allow only those bidders who are willing to pay the bidding fee.
Here are the advantages of asking for a bidding fee:
- You get only serious bidders.
- You are not at risk of losing money if the winner is not willing to pay even after he wins.
- You can easily cover your administration expenses.
#2 Incremental bidding
You can also set an incremental price or percentage for each product that you publish for auction.
For example, if you want to sell a mobile device and the minimum price of this device is $500. If you set an incremental price for this product at $50, the bidders will be able to bid their price only in the multiples of $50 such as $550, $600, $650, and so on.
What’s the advantage of having an incremental bidding system?
You will not receive funny bids anymore that are in the lower price-range such as $1 or $0.50. Again, this is a useful feature if you are selling a high-priced item.
In order to achieve the incremental bidding feature, your web developer can easily make required changes in your website codes so that it allows you to set the amount of incremental bidding for each product and at the same time it will restrict the bidders to increase the bidding that’s not in the multiples of your incremental values.
#3 lAST-MINUTE TIME EXTENSION
Another useful feature that your web developer could integrate with your online auction website is the last-minute extension of time.
For instance, if the bidding is going to end in 30 minutes and a new user bid for a new price, the end time of bidding will be automatically increased to 2 hours or 5 hours.
What benefits you could get with the last-minute bid extension?
- The last-minute time extension feature is helpful to keep the bidding going automatically.
- It allows you to make your bid extension process automated.
- It’s a seamless process to extend the bidding time without any interruption.
- It ensures that your product(s) always get sold at the best possible price.
#4 Buying price
Some of your users may like your products so much that they could be willing to pay you the desired price that you ask for. In other words, they may not want to go into the entire process of auctioning. Here you just have to show a “Buying Price” along with the usual auction feature.
If any user is interested to buy the product right away and don’t want to wait for the bidding to end, he can pay the asking price and grab the product.
Let’s take an example here.
If you want to sell a laptop on auction and the starting price to bid is $1000. Additionally, you may show the buying price at $1400 so that if any online shopper wants to buy that laptop right away, he can simply pay $1400 to you and grab the laptop.
Once this customer pays successfully, the auction listing for that product will no more be available and it will show a “Sold” status.
#5 Normal product listing
Having an ability for the administrator to add normal/standard products (without auction) is another important feature that you may need on your e-commerce website.
Since sometimes you may want to sell your products at a flat price, your developer should provide you with an option to list a product without the auction feature.
Additionally, you may also ask your web developer to categorize the products on the basis of their listing type (normal or auction) and provide these links on the top menu to let the online shoppers view the products according to their own preferences.
#6 Reverse auction
A reverse auction is just opposite to the normal auction feature.
In a reverse auction, the buyer puts up a request for his/her required item. And the sellers bid for the products at which they are willing to sell.
The seller who had bid the lowest price would win that deal.
In simpler words, a normal auction allows the buyers to bid and sellers to fix a price however in the case of a reverse auction, the buyers fix up a price and the sellers can bid.
#7 Proxy bidding
Under the proxy bidding system, while bidding for a product, the buyer is also able to enter the maximum price that he is willing to bid for.
The proxy bid (a maximum price that the user had entered) is kept confidential and is not visible to the other users. The bidding price of this user will automatically increase whenever the product receives a higher bidding price but less than the proxy bidding.
Let’s take an example again.
John wants to buy a headphone that has a minimum bidding price of $200 and John enters his bidding cost at $220 however at the same time, he also adds a proxy bidding at $275. It means that John is willing to raise his bidding from $220 to $275 depending upon the next biddings.
Now another user named Chris bids for the same headphone at $250. The system will automatically raise John’s bidding price above $250 so that there are higher chances of John to win the auction.