How to Create an Online Auction Website?
If you are reading this, you are probably thinking about creating an online auction where people can trade off their goods and services and you may have already come up with some ideas.
We cannot say enough about advantages of online auction. Apparently, it is available 24/7, all around the world. It opens up new perspectives, for buyer and seller as well, gives them opportunity of so-called Garage Sale, which means anyone can sell anything there. Nowadays, if you make an auction website, there are more and more payment systems available, which makes payment procedures, go nice and smooth. With online auctions, users will be able to create their own profiles with personal information, track all of their sales and purchases, leave comments and feedbacks, which is more than handy! There is a basic set of features that every online auction should possess on its start, the detailed list of basic functions is presented on “Basic auction platform features” page.
Got interested? Great, now let us guide you through the main steps of making your own auction site.
Identify your unique niche
First we would recommend you to start your auction website from thinking about specific niche to occupy. To build an auction website narrow down your topic and think about what niche you want to occupy.
Among the specific niches we have been dealing with, the following ones can be emphasized:
- Trading goods and recyclable resources;
- Trading property tax certificates;
- Selling put and call options for precious metals;
- Selling insurance policies;
- Trading electronics;
- Selling leasing and bankrupts’ property;
- Trade agricultural goods. Have a look at some of our clients in our Portfolio who have chosen auctions that caters to specific niche.
Identify your auction model
First you need to decide on your online project model, as your ways of receiving income will depend on it. Generally, we can separate 2 models out:
- Single Seller Auction. This model implies that the main income you receive comes from the sale of goods. You will need to deal with your own suppliers searching, purchasing of goods, order processing, goods delivery and attraction of new customers.
- Multi Seller Marketplace. A model that primarily involves a slightly different role in your project. Not seller’s but operator’s role. You will manage the marketplace where buyers and sellers meet each other. In that case your task will be to attract sellers and buyers. Earnings can be built on commission from transactions, membership fees, platform and adverse services. The indubious advantage of this model is the ability to have a seller’s account and receive income by sales as it were described in first model.
There is no strict rule on selling a particular group of goods according to the well-defined trading model. From the very start you can define one or multiple models, which seem to be the most interesting ones from your point of view. Then you can further expand the list of trading patterns and conduct A/B testing on users’ reaction, or change your trading model for another one. Despite the great freedom of trading models choice, there is historically formed experience that identifies goods, which are commonly implemented with different trading models.
If you will put up jewelry, objects of art or fashion, furniture, automobiles, antiques– you will more likely find classic auction good for you.
For technology, digital certificates, appliances, money and luxury items you will need to stop your choice on penny auction.
Used, as well as new cars, luxury goods, different travel packages and cruises, webmoney, bitcoins as well as real money, real estate – all of that will be easily sold on Dutch auction. However, you should remember that Dutch with the open price is better for the wholesale products!
If you want to the auction, when those, who are in need of services, will meet those, who can provide the services – the best decision for you will be reverse auction.
Unique bid auction will make you stand out of the crowd as this type guarantees exciting gaming experience to all participants. It also offers stable profit to operators what makes it even more attractive!
How to make your auction successful?
If you will choose Merkeleon as you partner, you will be already provided with a ready-to-use auction software which itself is a powerful tool to achieve great success. However you need to remember that online auction constantly needs your time, efforts and investments. We recommend you to pick up the right marketing strategy so you will not end up wasting time on tactics that will not work with your type of auction.
We want to draw your attention to Top 6 recommendations that will help you launch your auction portal:
- After identifying one of 2 major project models, picking up auction type and occupying your future niche you must compose a marketing check-list based on your current budget and also decide on ways to monetize your service. This will help you build a transparent project plan.
- To bring more people to your website from Google or other search engine you need to start with search engines. Good news – most of the search engines are still free. Get listed in Google or some other popular search engine – that is how targeted traffic will be directed without additional charges.
- Think about your future audience and ways to attract it. Ideally, you need to have initial base of potential clients and/or a lot of support coming from widely promoted company brand or service. If you don’t have one of the above-listed things try to tell as much as possible about your project in social media: be active in social networks, such as FB, VK, Instagram, encourage users to leave positive reviews (the so-called storytelling), attract users through thematic forums, blogs, affiliate resources.
- If your project requires a lot of paid options in frames of monetization it will be more effective to bring the paid services free for the beginning, thus users will feel the utility of your auction, fall in love with it and share that feeling with their friends.
- Do not forget about maintaining the connection with your users, encouraging major players or regular customers with different bonuses. Be interested with your users’ opinion about what goods they would like to see on auctions (you can put up voting for lot nomination), ask about inconveniences and what users would like to add to your website. While your database is growing, try to use e-mail marketing features as much as possible.
- Develop your auction, try to add new trading models, experiment with financial settings, and add new goods to the list. In addition, you can introduce marketing tools, such as affiliate program, bonus system, coupon and certificates generation, selling exclusive items!