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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Building A Better Online Auto Auction

Today I was asked, "What would you do if someone said, I will give you a million dollars if you will turn my online auction around in 2 weeks? What is the first thing you would need to do to make that happen?"
Well, I would start with a reality check! 2 weeks? 
For years, auctions have been unwilling participants in a global conspiracy to conform to the virtual movement. The online platform just went against everything the traditional auto auctions were built on, so why would anyone actually take this seriously? The real question would be, "What would I have to UN-do to make that happen?"
Let's start with accountability. There is a huge dependency on technology vendors to supplement the auction's online segment with customer support, and staff training (which typically goes undocumented). The minute a dealer has a bad online experience, the auction blames the vendor. This practice discredits the auction as an online business. The auction lacks confidence in the technology, which is reflected back to the auction through the dealers' lack of confidence in participating online. 
When you start a new business, or even expand an existing one, there is typically a plan that includes requirements for staffing, training, implementation, and growth. Instead, the online business has been treated like a distant cousin that came for a visit, and grossly overstayed his welcome. At this point you just have to hope that he'll start contributing, or at the very least, pay his own expenses. 
I could go on and on, but the fact of the matter is... Online Auto Auctions got off to a very unhealthy start. Perceptions have been developed. The only difference now is that auctions are beginning to realize that the online business is not going away. So how do you overcome the stigma of operational defects formed throughout nearly a 20-year period? ...Not in 2 weeks!
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