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Why mobile apps for live auctions are on the way out

Published on February 21st, 2018

Why mobile apps for live auctions are on the way out

More and more bidders are using mobile devices to bid online auctions than ever before, and this trend will only continue.

In the past decade, there has been a steady rise in the number of people using mobile devices to access the internet. This also meant an increase in the number of people looking to bid online at an auction using these devices. Initially, this statistic had posed both a challenge and opportunity to webcast auction software providers like us. This was predominantly because the technology simply wasn’t there to run fully live-streamed webcasts on mobile.

The online auction technology and devices could not work together without a middle man. The middle men in this scenario were native mobile apps or mobile bidding apps, downloadable from the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores. The problem we estimated 40% of bidders opted not to download the bidding app. They either found the process too slow and a waste of time or couldn’t remember account passwords or logins.

These bidders were ultimately lost to auctioneers. Mobile bidding needs to be made easier not harder.
But from 2018, Webtron has the solution.

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The auctioneer

uses downloaded apps (middle man- can’t work without apps)

to communicate with mobile bidders
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The auctioneer

communicates with mobile bidders from their website (App-Free Bidding)

Leaders and not followers

Webtron was the first company to help sell a house online in Australia via live webcast for $526K back in 2007. It was our vision over a decade ago that helped many auctioneers around the world connect with bidders online in real time, and experience online sales success for a variety of assets.

In 2018, Webtron again leads the pack with the introduction of app-free and download-free bidding for live webcast auctions on any modern mobile device. Our clients are already reporting that this simple innovation is making a huge difference.


The Mobile Apps vs Web Apps Debate

The hard evidence

We decided to look into whether other companies had experienced similar issues with mobile apps. And this is what we found.

We found that Google+ undertook a study which examined website abandonment whenever a user was asked to download an app, rather than visiting a website. The results were astounding – you can check them out here. And another study found that a quarter of mobile apps are abandoned after just one use.

We also found that making the switch from native mobile apps (downloadable from the Apple iTunes and Google Play stores) to App-Free bidding on mobile (no download apps, just works from your website) is sweeping the internet, and not just for auctions. Booking site Trivago recently moved to app-free (PWA) booking on their website, and experienced a 97% sales booking increase by simply making buying easier for their website visitors.

What does this mean for auctions?

Let’s apply what these results might just mean for you when choosing whether or not to include mobile apps in your online auction offering:

  1. Users experience friction when asked to download an app, and this may be a barrier to bidding online at your auctions.

    Think of the average age-demographic of your own bidders. If they do tend to be older, it’s quite possible that downloading an app may be a daunting task.

  2. Clicking banners to download apps generally may not be a successful approach.

    The reality is that some people just don’t want to leave the safe-confines of a website. 

  3. Requiring bidders to download mobile apps may just mean that some people won’t bid.

    Maybe there’s not enough space on their phones for another app. Maybe they don’t know their passwords to their Google Play or Apple ID accounts.

  4. Apps can take up to a number of weeks (if not months) to be successfully up and running.

    If you want to be up and running straight away with your auctions, an app-based solution involves a number of time-factors you’ll need to take into consideration before you proceed.

  5. The process of downloading an app is just too slow and bidders can’t be bothered

    During a live auction, time is of the essence, and it’s critical to user participation in your live sales as well. No bidder wants to log on to an auction to find that they need to go to an app store, download an app with their Apple or Google Play ID and sign in again just to bid on mobile. To make bidding as easy as possible for your bidders, your auctions should be running direct from your website, regardless of what device you’re using.

Who else is using web apps?

Take charge like Google+ and Trivago have. This same technology is now available to auctioneers for the first time. App Free bidding on mobile. It’s a new online auction mobile bidding revolution. Here’s an example of how Trivago is leading the way in their industry with their app-free innovations:

App Free Bidding: it’s the way of the future

[notification type=”alert-success” close=”false” ]Fact: Webtron first introduced client mobile apps for iPad in 2012, and for iPhones and Android devices in 2015. In 2017, we made the decision to be first to offer app-free webcast auction bidding solution. [/notification]

Our latest solution, Webtron 5.0 gives our auction clients the competitive edge, with our amazing new app-free solution. Webtron 5.0 runs direct in your browser, without the need to install unnecessary apps and plugins for mobile bidding. Just one of the ways webtron 5.0 makes bidding easier for bidders.

With these technological advances, our software allows bidders to make use of the same webcast features they know and love, regardless of whether they’re using a mobile phone, tablet or desktop device.


Mobile Apps vs Web Apps on Webtron 5.0

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