Mobile Commerce and How it Affects Mobile Bidding

It will always be a smart practice to stay informed on new technology and tools in your industry.  Mobile bidding is a perfect example of how dramatically this commitment can propel your business.  However, the sheer volume of products entering the market each day requires a degree of discernment.  Staying “up to date” doesn’t mean incorporating everything.  Instead, the key is separating ideas that hold lasting potential for your organization and those that are simply passing trends. Today, mobile commerce is the perfect example of concept rapidly standing out. Because of this, it’s vital to understand the recent impacts its had upon silent auctions and mobile bidding.

Story Highlights:

-Do not underestimate the importance of security and transparency.

-How mobile commerce can help you eliminate the headache of check-in and check out.

Mobile Bidding: More Than a Trend

The rise of e-commerce demands to be taken seriously.  What was once a fanciful idea has now become an ever increasing reality. This especially holds true when we’re discussing mobile commerce. Whether it’s consumers storing payment information or conducting full on transactions, the use of mobile payment has skyrocketed into the mainstream.  Recent studies suggest that not only is a third of e-commerce mobile driven, but it has continued to grow at a rapid rate of 250% within the last two years. It should come as no surprise that businesses and organizations alike are quickly adapting to this new blueprint.

Now, these statistics are important for a number of reasons.  First, an effective organization stands out by how it takes adapts to the behavior of its constituents.  Over the last three months, ClickBid has been phasing out the use of credit card swipers at check in.  We’ve helped our partners reap tremendous benefits as a direct result of this change.  At a basic level, we want our events tailored to the needs of our guests.  But secondly, mobile commerce has proven a far more secure and efficient way to conduct our silent auctions.

Security and Transparency

Let’s get something straight.  Ensuring that guests feel secure is just as important as providing that security. Preceding our decision to eliminate card swipers at check in, we were faced with a growing number of attendants that were hesitant about handing their card to a staffer.  In fact, even if they complied in the end, many of them were left visibly uncomfortable from the transaction.  And it wasn’t something I could hold against them.  Credit card swipers do pose the risk of viruses and malware, not to mention problems from improper training.  Now, realistically, is there a high risk of guests losing information this way?  No, most likely not.  But that’s not what’s important to your guests.  Traditional payment methods are adequate, but in addition to mobile commerce being more secure, a rising number of guests simply feel more secure using it.

Today, mobile payment has become so integrated and expected in our society that providing less may be met with some resistance.  Ultimately, you’ll have to weigh whether or not that’s a risk you want to take.  Check-in is the first impression your guests will be given.  It’s the experience that will act as their lens for the rest of the event.  So make it count!  Going into the auction, provide your attendants with a safe and transparent environment right from the start.

Mobile Bidding and Efficiency

Check in and check out are infamous as two of your trickiest variables in a silent auction.  And as if to raise the stakes even more, those two processes also happen to make the biggest impact upon your event as a whole.  Your goal should be to keep check-in as simple as possible.  The more steps in the process means delaying your guests from socializing, participating in the auction, as well as hearing your message.  Again, it’s the very first impression your guests will be given.

Thankfully, mobile commerce has made this a much more achievable goal.  We’ve held no restraint in making full use of the opportunities to store and transfer payment information through a guests’ phone.  It’s not only made things simpler for our guests, but also our events as a whole.  First, encourage attendants to check in from their phones before the event.  At the very least this significantly eases the strain on your check-in tables.  At its best, we’ve been able to do away with the physical check in-process completely.  You’ll be surprised by how enthusiastic guests are about skipping the lines and going straight into the event.

Second, mobile commerce has increased the efficiency of obtaining payment information.  You and your staff only need the payment information of guests who are participating in the auction. And mobile commerce allows you to gain that directly instead of processing the entire event at a table.  We’ve employed the method of sending a text message to auction participants seconds after the auction closes.  Generally, it reads along the lines of, “Save time at checkout: provide payment from your phone now and go straight to pickup.  Using this strategy at a recent event, we had over 90% respond with their information within less than fifteen minutes of sending the text.

In Review:

The rise of mobile commerce has presented a wealth of opportunities to the mobile bidding space.  With its ability to dodge some of the biggest hurdles in the silent auction process, it has proven itself as more than a trend.

1. Mobile commerce is here to stay.

2. Cultivate security and trust between you and your guests.

3. Establish efficiency at check in and check out.