Published: October 10, 2000
New Data Suggests Online Auctioneers Face Disgruntled Users
Perhaps it’s still a bit too soon to look at how the future may fare for online auctions, but from the looks of the industry’s customer satisfaction surveys, a lot of you couldn’t care less about them.
In a new survey released October 2 from cPulse, a research company that measures customer response, the results are rather ominous. It appears auction sites are getting hits from a whole lot of curiosity seekers who check out the action and then disappear.
The study collected data from 60-second pop-up interviews from 4,044 auction site visitors between January 1 and July 1.
Here are some of the statistics gathered: eight percent of auction site users who responded to the survey were first-time users in the first quarter; the number increases to 26 percent in the second quarter, suggesting many of these people weren’t coming back at all to the sites.
The cPulse survey results also illustrate that most people don’t intend to use the sites much, in addition to overall dissatisfaction. However, of all respondents saying they were unlikely to return to an auction site in the first quarter (70 percent), their attitudes changed rather dramatically in the second quarter (49 percent).
The chief complaints from auction users are high minimum bids and little product selection; other complaints included poor product descriptions and difficulty in locating rdf_Descriptions.
Jody Dodson, co-founder and executive VP of cPulse says he “sees the study’s results as a warning sign that the industry is headed out of its massive growth phase and is seeing a leveling off by curious new users.”
Dodson also adds that the life of auction sites on the Web may be similar to the life cycle of any other business, which sees initiation, growth and finally a plateau. Dodson predicts the online auction industry may be experiencing its plateau within the next 12 months.
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