How Aucto enables trust
The global trust crisis
B2B businesses operating in the industrial sector are increasingly turning to online and social marketing strategies to reach new customers. However, the results are often disappointing as these marketing campaigns fail to gain traction or produce results that are below expectation. Instead of experimenting with different marketing programs, from the get-go, businesses need to better understand if a target audience will trust their brand, products or messages. Unlike the consumer sector, B2B organizations often need to work harder to gain the trust of their audience.
For 17 years, Edelman’s Trust Barometer has measured the public’s level of trust in four institutions: business, media, government and NGOs. The 2016 Trust Barometer revealed that the public’s trust in these institutions reached its highest levels since the 2007 Great Recession. In fact, business received the largest increase in trust among both the general and informed (post-secondary educated) population. This has been particularly good news for businesses looking to engage customers through online and social platforms.
However, for 2017, this trend is changing. The 2017 Trust Barometer reveals that trust is in crisis. The general population’s trust has drastically declined. Business must now face a public that largely believes the “system is no longer working for me.” This means that now, more than ever before, businesses must engage customers through online and social platforms in order to address any fears or misconceptions.
But how does trust impact online auctions?
A key finding in Edelman’s Trust Barometer is that not only is there record-high distrust in the four institutions, but that the public thinks the “system is unjust.” What’s even more alarming is that “business is seen as part of the problem.”
In terms of industrial marketing, and especially e-commerce and auction platforms, a study from Taiwan underscores that trust is vital to online auction communities. As well, online auction sellers’ survival and success depend on customer loyalty. The same study identified trust as the most significant indicator of loyalty.
For Aucto.com, an online industrial marketplace, enabling trust between its buyer and seller community is central to its business model. Industrial auctions and liquidations often involve high-value transactions that are often completed between businesses and individuals that are strangers to one another. Therefore it’s essential Aucto establish and maintain a high level of marketplace trust.
Increasing seller's trust
Hyperwallet, a payment solution company, surveyed 1,500 Ecommerce and online-auction sellers to better understand selling preferences, frustrations, and future goals. Their report, State of Ecommerce Marketplace Selling in 2017, indicates that trust and payment security were two of the biggest factors for sellers disliking working within Amazon and similar marketplaces.
Additional highlights from the report include:
- The vast majority of sellers surveyed for the report said they would like to see lower seller fees
- 53 per cent say they don't trust the security of the marketplace where they sell
- 13 per cent have switched marketplaces because of frustrating payment processes
Hyperwallet’s survey only confirms the barriers to trust sellers encounter that Aucto already identified. To enable trust, Aucto:
- Allows sellers to market and sell their assets for free
- There are never any listing or commission charges for selling on its platform
- Provides free marketing services
- When sellers list their equipment on Aucto, their assets are advertised on websites apart of Aucto’s affiliate marketing network; this includes Machinio.com and Global Auction Guide
- Safe and secure transactions
- Aucto's smart reporting features allow buyers and sellers to monitor, track and analyze their activities, historical data and wish lists, including real-time shipment and payment tracking
- When buyers sign-up to Aucto, they undergo a two-step verification process; this involves providing payment details before being able to bid
Enabling buyers' trust
Every successful market involves active sellers and buyers. More than ever, we realize the imperative to enable buyers’ trust. Here are some mechanisms we designed our system to enable trust between buyers and seller:
- Full disclosure and transparency
For buyers to make as informed of a decision as possible, Aucto encourages sellers to make all relevant information available for their lots. Features for sellers to do this include: publishing unlimited hi-res images, engineering documentation, service records and thorough details and descriptions, as well as pre-bid inspection dates. Our experience shows us that the more information a seller makes available increases potential buyers’ trust; in turn, this increases the likelihood of not only a purchase but repeat sales.
- Live audio-video streaming for onsite webcasts
When it comes to an onsite webcast, it's like being at the auction in person. For such events, Aucto enables live audio-video streaming. Virtual Aucto bidders are not at a disadvantage if they are not there in person
- Fair bidding process
Transparency is crucial to a fair and just bidding process. Aucto's bidding interface makes the bidding history visible to all bidders once the lot expires. It's a no-nonsense approach that increases marketplace trust.
- Communication is key
Aucto's Messaging Center allows you to instantly communicate with a seller about any lot. This way, all of your communication is centralized in one place. You can ask as many questions as needed before making a commitment. This feature also allows you to request additional pictures or documents.
- Buyer Protection
We take marketplace trust very seriously. We believe our buyers and sellers’ safety and satisfaction are vital to our own, as well as their own, success. Our protection program covers both buyer and sellers providing a trusted and secure platform to do business. Payments from buyers may be held in escrow and once the buyer’s inspection period is over, the funds are released to the seller and buyers can no longer make any claims.
- After sale inspections and claims
Most transactions on Aucto go smoothly. However, if there is a problem with a purchase, Aucto's Buyer Protection Policy will ensure buyers receive the items they bought or get their money back.
Further, once a buyer purchases an item on Aucto, they will have three days to inspect the item to ensure the purchase is as described. If the item they received is materially different from the description, they can file a claim and Aucto will help them work through a resolution with the seller.
Our previous posts detail how Aucto is working to guarantee different aspects of marketplace trust:
- Insider's Guide To Avoiding Fraud When Selling Used Equipment On Aucto
- Pricing Used Equipment: Key Factors to Consider Before Listing
- 6 Ways to Screen Sellers When Buying Used Equipment Online