On Monday, we launched Bidzilla - a new entertainment auction site from a Florida start-up. We always knew it was going to be a challenge. Of course, that's partly why we did it, but we really got our hands dirty on this one.
Auction sites are tricky to architect and build. Here's why:
1. “BETA” is not available
You can't do a “BETA” and make excuses as you fix bugs and errors. Why? People don't like to pay for BETA products. You can Alpha and BETA all you want with small-time applications such as Twitter - but this is about money.
2. Good experience = conversions
Your user experience and interaction design has to be really good. Unless it looks and works really well, people won’t trust you and they won’t be excited about getting into it. If you look at a lot of the penny auction sites out there, you'll see what I mean. For instance, look at Bidblink. That looks a bit cheap to me. You’ll notice the same problem here Edubli. The design does not breed confidence. That's a big problem for conversions. Keep in mind, people will look at five sites at a time. You want to stand out as the most trusted brand. You can't let design get in the way.
3. Web auctions are mission critical business systems
If your content management system fails, you just republish. Had a misfire in your video player? Just fix it and people forgive you. People are a bit more sensitive about their money. Once that credit card is in, you have to deliver.
4. Your system must scale
Auctions are real time and every second counts. Data processing is high volume. The system needs to be efficient and it must scale. Your profit is probably going to be on volume, so you'll want to serve a lot of users. What happens if you get hundreds of users entering any one auction at one time? You have to be prepared or you go out of business.
We’re excited to have built Bidzilla. It was a real test for the Fabric development team. Thanks to everyone who made it happen!
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