While e-commerce auctions used to be extraordinarily popular among shoppers, they're rapidly losing ground. These auctions used to be seen as great fun by consumers who were eager to get the best deal, but now they are seen as a tremendous amount of work for relatively little payoff. These days, shoppers are increasingly likely to just buy an item online or in-store rather than take their chances on an auction, meaning merchants will need to ensure their cash and check scanners are up to date and will allow them the opportunity to better serve their customers.
Why are shoppers turning away from auctions?
According to research from Stanford University economists, there may be several reasons for the drop in Internet auctions. One of these reasons is entertainment - years ago, these sales were seen as a fun distraction. Today, individuals have social media platforms, videos and plenty of other diversions to take up their time, meaning these purchases simply aren't as entertaining as they once were.
Convenience could also be a significant factor that's leading consumers to purchase items directly, rather than deal with an auction. Continually getting updates on other shoppers' bids, upping maximum bid amounts and worrying about losing an item to another individual are a hassle for customers. Receiving these constant notifications can take up much of a consumer's time and force him or her to take time away from other tasks to focus on an auction. It's much easier for shoppers to simply running into a store and purchase a similar item in a much shorter timeframe.
Sky-high prices may be another factor that's leading shoppers away from online auctions and into stores. The cost of an item can shoot up rapidly online and quickly become unaffordable for the average customer. Rather than continually increase bidding amounts, a shopper may find it more budget friendly to purchase a similar item with a predetermined price at a local retailer.
What does this mean for merchants?
Local stores that want to benefit from the lag in online auctions need to not only have competitive pricing, plentiful stock and optimal service, but also the capabilities to deal with more in-store purchases. By having the latest cash counter and check scanner, a business can effectively handle transactions quickly and employees will be able to spend fewer hours manually counting and more time on the sales floor with shoppers.
August 16, 2013