Pretty much all of my online activity anymore is on my mobile phone. What sort of mobile applications is Auctiva developing?
—Mobile in Moreno Valley
Urbanowicz: Our research and development in mobile applications has increased significantly over the past months. Recently, for example, we had a contest where development teams prototyped new e-commerce applications. Several of these were built for the iPhone and Android smartphones.
One leading project is nearing completion—an iPhone application for efficiently creating listings with your Auctiva.com account. It's been rolled out for internal beta testing and should reach the App Store in a few weeks.
Leading research suggests that in 2010 there will be more than 1 billion mobile devices accessing the Internet. We're planning now, because it's a good bet that either you or your buyers will be using one of them.
I recently returned to selling on eBay, and am trying to make it my full-time occupation. But I noticed Auctiva doesn't have a listing option for classifieds. This is an area I really want to expand in, posting 20 or more ads per month. What are Auctiva's plans in the way of supporting eBay classifieds listings?
—Classified in Coamo
Urbanowicz: Currently, we don't have any plans to support posting to eBay in the classified ad format. It hasn't been a widely requested feature. However, you can still leverage Auctiva services to prepare visually-rich classified ads.
Within Auctiva.com, design your classified ad (for example, use a template and add photos) and then save the listing. Next, from your Auctiva Saved Listings page, display the HTML code for that listing. Finally, copy that HTML into the eBay Sell Your Item form. Remember, for feature requests, you can make your vote count in the Auctiva Feature Center.
Because of the continued success of our other services, we are dedicating multiple teams to improve Auctiva Commerce and increase buyer traffic
It's rumored that eBay is getting rid of the store inventory format in the U.S., as it has already done in the U.K., and now I may have to relist thousands of store listings. What are my options using Auctiva?
—Suddenly Swamped in St. Paul
Urbanowicz: The rumor is confirmed with eBay's announcement earlier this week. The change is designed to improve the eBay "ecosystem" for both buyers and sellers. Store inventory format listings will become fixed-price listings and appear in core search results with all other listings.
During this transition, you can either end existing listings or relist them as fixed-price listings. Just as we supported our users during previous transitions from the Stores format, Auctiva will ease the transition with clear messaging and bulk-revision functionality.
Why does Auctiva Commerce keep extending the no-monthly-store-fee promotion? I just got a notice that I won't have to pay for my storefront until July. I'm not complaining, but I am a little worried that without the revenue from monthly fees, Auctiva won't remain committed to improving the software and building the marketplace that was talked about.
—Concerned in Clearwater
Urbanowicz: Our continued promotion is to encourage Auctiva Commerce merchants to provide inventory—which will, in turn, attract additional buyers. Though we are waiving Auctiva Commerce monthly fees through June, transactional fees continue to be collected when monthly store sales exceed $200. Because of the continued success of our other services, we are dedicating multiple teams to improve Auctiva Commerce and increase buyer traffic.
For example, our beta-release shopping portal, Elefy displays Auctiva Commerce products using our new marketplace platform. With marketplaces like Elefy, buyers have increased visibility to sellers' inventory.
All the news about e-commerce seemed to point to a disappointing holiday season for 2009, but some online sellers did very well. How did Auctiva's sellers fare? What were the hot categories? How do you see 2010 shaping up?
—Interested in Indramayu
I expect 2010 to be a watershed year for international e-commerce
Urbanowicz: In December, sales for Auctiva's sellers clearly increased along with increased listings. In reviewing sales of warranty sales, the leading categories in technology were no surprise: video game systems, cell/smartphones and MP3 players. In looking at just a few slices of U.S. listings during December, some particularly active categories included women's clothing and accessories.
I expect 2010 to be a watershed year for international e-commerce. In his book Jump Point, Tom Hayes looks forward to 2011 when he estimates more than half the globe will have Internet access.
Whether that dramatic shift occurs during 2010 or 2011 is yet to be seen, but we're certainly not slowing. Apple just announced the iPad… and the year has just begun! The forecasted increase in Internet access-especially from mobile devices-will dramatically impact online sales this year.
Apart from adapting to eBay's changes, what new features does Auctiva have in store for us in the coming year?
—Expectant in Elizabeth
Urbanowicz: In a word: lots! In February, Auctiva.com will be supporting multi-variation listings with eBay. This is great timing, as eBay is expanding the categories that will support multi-variation listings. Development for supporting Parts Compatibility and foreign-language translation are also on the radar.
Significant expansion of our marketplace platform will open new opportunities for driving buyer traffic to Auctiva Commerce Stores. We're also looking to enhance merchants' ability to customize their stores. Furthermore, our investment to develop applications for mobile devices continues our tradition of helping sellers save time and money.
Two hallmarks of Auctiva are a passion for innovation and improving the user experience for sellers and buyers. For that reason, 2010 will definitely be exciting!
You can ask Auctiva management your own questions by e-mailing "AskAuctiva" at the Auctiva dot com domain. Not all questions will be answered, but those selected will be published with responses from Auctiva's top managers in future Ask Auctiva articles. Due to the volume of mail we receive, it will not be possible to reply to you personally.
Please do not submit inquiries requiring an immediate response. If you need a technical issue resolved right away, please use the online form to file a support request and your case will be addressed by our customer support team.
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