Privacy Options for Your Online Auction Web Site

 

AuctionAnything.com provides three privacy levels which may be used to customize the operation of your online auction web site.

 

Private System

A private system (i.e. auction web site) is one in which the visitors must have an account and log-in to view any of the listings. This is a top-level feature, and may be used independently of the other privacy settings. Use this option if you ONLY want registered users to view items. All other visitors to the auction web site will not be able to view listings.

 

Private Registration

The registration process may be open to the general public (the default operation), or restricted based on the following options:

  • E-mail Restricted
    Users may register only if their e-mail address matches an admin specified domain (e.g. anyone@AuctionAnything.com). Multiple domains may be listed. The option is recommended for private, corporate auctions where all users have a company e-mail address.
  • Password Restricted
    Users may register only if they know the “master” registration password set by the site administrator. This password may be disseminated via e-mail, or regular mail, external of the auction system. This option is recommend for private auctions
  • Pending Registrations
    Although this option allows the general public to register for the auction, it allows the administrator to review the new user account before activating it. Once activated, the member is notified via e-mail that he/she is allowed to bid.

 

Private Bidding & Viewing

Listings may be specified as “private” when entered into the auction system. Such listings can be bid on only by registrants who belong to the Approved Bidder List associated with the listing. Optionally, the system can be configured so that private listings are completely “hidden” from users who are not on the respective Approved Bidder Lists.

  • Open Viewing
    The Open Viewing option allows all users to access private listings. This includes viewing items in the search/browse results as well as accessing the item bid form. However, a notice will be provided on the bid form alerting the bidder that he/she is not approved to bid on the item.
  • Restricted Viewing
    The Restricted Viewing option completely removes private listings from the view of users who are not approved to view/bid on them. This feature is used in conjunction with the Private System option since only members will be able to see items based on the admin’s discretion.
    NOTE: This feature is not standard and may incur additional costs.

 

Creating Member Access Groups

Access Groups are used to provide multiple members with the ability to access and bid on specific listings. The admin may create Access Groups via the Member Center and quickly assign multiple members to a designated group. Members may also be easily removed from a group, or belong to multiple groups if desired.

 

Assigning Access Groups to Listings

Once Access Groups are created, they may be assigned to multiple listings via the Auction Center. This process allows all the members who belong to an Access Group to bid on the listings associated with the same Access Group. Therefore, tens, hundreds or thousands of users can be restricted to bid on any number of listings.

 

Summary

AuctionAnything.com provides a number of privacy options and system configurations with our online auction software. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d enjoy learning about your web-based, auction project and how we can deliver a solution which exceeds your expectations.

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New Member Center Changes Everything

 

The new Member Center is a welcomed and extremely useful addition to the Admin Management Console. It not only retains the functionality provided in the former Member Locator, but offers a number of new features which are designed to help save time and streamline many administrative tasks. In addition, the Member Center delivers insight into customer data not previously available. Interactive charts and graphs are now included to provide attractive and professional looking data presentation.

 

The Quick Search utility is specifically designed to make locating customers as quick and easy as possible. The admininistrator simply needs to start typing any portion of the customer’s last name, company name or Username in the search field to retrieve related matches via the auto-suggest feature. Then, by selecting the desired user from the list, the associated Member Details modal window will open. Not only is this a simple task, but the existing page content conveniently remains visible in the background. Also note that the search form is positioned in the header of the page and therefore always immediately available.

Member Quick Search

Member Quick Search

 

Member Details Modal

The Member Details “drill down” modal contains a wealth of customer information and even includes some handy editing features. In addition to being triggered directly by the Quick Search feature, it can also be opened by clicking on the customer’s account number (or name) in any section of the Admin Console. Complete user information is now only a click away! The Member Detail modal uses tabs to organize the following user information:

  • Profile (with editing functions)
  • Preferences (with editing functions)
  • Info (log-in, bidding and purchase summary activity)
  • Invoices
  • Credit Card (profile and batch processing history)
  • Notes (new feature)
  • Audit (various account changes)
Member Details Modal

Member Details Modal

 

Graphing and Charting

One of the coolest new features included in the Member Center is the graphing and charting display of data. This interactive approach allows AuctionAnything.com to present insight into customer activity in a visibly appealing manner. For example, the Most Active Bidders bar graph under the “View” tab enables the administrator to click on the customer name and drill down further into the user’s bidding and buyer activity through use of the Member Details utility. In addition, the Member Totals by Day bar graph under the Totals tab links directly to the associated list of registrants provided within the Search tab.

Member Registration Summary

Member Registration Summary

 

Search and Reports

Similar to the Auction and Payment Centers, the Member Center includes a revamped search feature and the ability to save searches in the Custom report section under the Reports tab. The Reports area also includes Preset member reports for fast access to data such as users “registered today”. As with all search functions, data may also be exported via MS Excel. In addition, the Display option offers the ability to control which data fields are presented on the page.

 

Summary

AuctionAnything.com continues to focus on drastically improving the auction administrative experience. The addition of the Member Center represents a significant update to the online auction software. The Quick Search feature, Member Details option and interactive graph integration all add substantial new utility to the Member Center and lend to the overall improvement of the Admin Management Console. Managing your online auction web site has never been easier!

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Updated Report Center Now Available

AuctionAnything.com is excited to introduce the latest software update to the Admin Management Console, the Report Center. The Report Center features two recently developed reports and several updates to existing reports. In addition, reports are delivered in a more useful and better integrated format which contains new “drill down” capabilities. Current clients are encouraged to utilize the cross-reference directory at the bottom of the Report Center – Home tab to locate reports formerly listed under the Reports menu on the auction web site.

 

Creating/Saving Reports within Centers

As previously discussed, the enhanced Admin Console is based on the concept of top level “Centers” which focus on content paramount to managing the auction process (i.e. Auctions, Images, Reports, Payments etc). Many centers, such as the Auction and Payment Centers, inherently contain Search and Reports tabs to provide basic reporting functionality.

Saving Report Within Center

Saving Report Within Center

The Reports tab within a Center typically consists of preset reports AND custom, “saved” reports. The custom reports section enables administrators to use the improved Search function to locate and save information as desired (i.e formerly My Reports). Therefore, in the Auction Center for example, custom auction reports may now be created and saved directly within the center and not from within the Report Center.

 

Report Center Contents

The Report Center focuses on providing activity reports which deliver additional insight into the performance of the auction. These reports extend past the basic functionality contained within Center reporting as mentioned above. The following reports are provided:

  • Summary (Enhanced!) – bidding, sales and registration activity summary over a user-specified, listing closing date range
  • Details (New!) – drill down, bidder activity details based on “Total Bidders” from Summary report
  • Limited Time Offer (LTO) – performance details for fixed-priced, LTO listings
  • Dutch (Enhanced!) – performance details for multiple quantity Dutch listings
  • Bidder – most active bidders
  • Item – most popular items
  • By Category (Enhanced!) – sales performance by listing category
  • By Donor/Consignor (New!) – sales performance by donor/consignor
  • Invites – customer e-mail invitation data report
  • Data Feed – special reporting tool (see below)

 

New Reports

There are two brand new reports:

  1. Details (Bidder)
    The Details tab contains bidder information related to the “Total Bidders” component of the Activity Summary. The administrator can run a report directly, or drill down into detailed bidder activity using the associated “View Report” button from within the Summary tab. The Details section shows how many items a bidder is bidding on, whether he/she is the winning or losing, and if the customer is a new or existing bidder/winner. For more information, additional drill down functionality is provided for listing specific details for each bidder.
  2. By Donor/Consignor
    For those clients using the Donor/Consignor module, this report provides real-time sales performance information. The number of listings available, percentage sold, total sales amounts and sales-to-list values are included.

 

Details Report

New Details Report

 

What about Statistics “reports”?

Statistical data, formerly included in the “Statistics” section of the Report menu, is contained directly within the applicable Center. For example, Reports > Statistics > Listings information is now located within the Auction Center under the Totals tab (note that most Centers have a Totals tab). Data is summarized By Year, By Month and By Day with drill down functionality to display the detailed listing information under the Search tab. In this particular case, auction data can be filtered by listing type and/or bid status and summarized by entered on, starting on or closing on date. Please use the cross-reference directory to locate specific Statistics reports.

Statistics Report

Auction Listings Statistics Report

 

What are Data Feeds?

The Data Feed function enables AuctionAnything.com to efficiently deliver client-specific reports via a web interface. Although there are many web-based reports included in the hosted auction service, there may be occasion where custom reports are required by a client. In such cases, AuctionAnything.com can program specific database queries and deliver the exportable results, leveraging our API (Application Programming Interface), via a special, “report creator” interface within the auction program. If your application requires custom reporting not included with the product, please contact your account representative for a quote.

 

Listing and Customer “Drill Downs”

Immediate access to additional information is a core focus of the improved Admin Console. The Summary section contains several “View Report” buttons which allow the administrator to “drill down” into the related data. These options furnish direct access to additional information within the Details, LTO and Dutch tabs. In addition, any tab which contains lot number and/or customer names offers “drill down” capabilities into those areas too. Clicking on a name or lot number opens a modal window for the respective member or listing. This common technique provides the ability to quickly access a host of information without leaving the associated report, thus saving time and promoting a much more efficient management experience.

Customer Drill Down

Customer Drill Down

 

Summary

AuctionAnything.com has enhanced the reporting capabilities of the auction system and updated the interface to deliver better organized and easier to consume reports. The new Report Center is another step in expanding the capabilities Administrator Management Console. If needed, custom reports can be delivered via a web-based interface for clients who require advanced reporting capability. For those clients with programming capability, AuctionAnything.com also offers API options.

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Auction Management – Better in Every Way

For clients, and others following AuctionAnything.com or subscribed to our Newsletter, you may have noticed after seeing our recent posts that the administrative portion of the auction system is undergoing a major overhaul. Since there’s much more on the horizon, now’s a good time to take a moment and share the strategy behind our decision making.

The Administration Console (aka admin console, auction admin or just admin) is an integral part of AuctionAnything.com’s online auction software package. As a fully hosted, online auction provider, we enable clients the ability to manage the auction process via a branded website while we focus on the hosting, development and technical support aspects of the solution. Therefore, the functionality and efficiency of the admin console is critical to our client’s success and always a top priority for our development team.

From the beginning, AuctionAnything.com has integrated administrative tasks into the auction website itself. Generating reports, entering items and just about every other undertaking was performed right on the same site the customers use. However, over time, limitations arose which prompted us to pursue a better, more useful approach. So, why exactly have we created a separate portion of the website strictly for administrators and what are the associated benefits? Well, we’re glad you asked.

Implement Better Design

A distinct admin console enabled us to enhance the design and layout specifically for the administrator without worrying about how our clients setup their auction website. This allowed us to start with a “clean slate” and helped us to make substantial improvements to the underlying code which aided usability and performance. There’s a bit more to it (i.e. single page applications), but we won’t bore you with the technical details :-)

Modals

Utilize More Space

In conjunction with the new design, we now have more usable space and can utilize the full width of the browser window. This is critical since there is often a significant amount of information to manage and display. Having a separate management section allows us to leverage a full width layout even if the client wishes to restrict the width of the auction website. In addition, we can reduce scrolling since the header/logo portion of the web site isn’t present on the admin side.

Introduce Centers

“Centers” are the core components of the Admin Management Console. They divide the content, and associated functions, into intuitive groupings. For example, to perform tasks related to auction listings (e.g. create, search, bulk upload, manage, report on etc.), access them within the Auction Center. Every Center has its own button/icon prominently located at the top of each page in a fixed header for full-time, easy access.

Centers

Integrate Tabbed Content

With the introduction of Centers, our goal was to also bring consistency to the user experience. To do so, we added tab-based navigation within each Center. Most Centers include Home, Views, Totals, Search and Reports tabs. By introducing constants into the user interface, we simplified the underlying structure of system and also made it more intuitive.

Tabs

Add Themes

The added themes are more than just color schemes. They include useful controls and widgets such as date pickers, modal windows, auto-suggest menus, tabs and more. They also help lend consistency, continuity and visual appeal to the layout and navigation. This culminates in a more engaging and enjoyable user experience.

Themes

Remember Actions

Centers and tabs inherently enhance the overall navigation. However, it was paramount that recent activity be remembered to cut down on wasted time. Therefore, if the admin returns to one Center from another or the web site, the previously accessed tab will always be delivered by default. In addition, if applicable, the most recent search results will be maintained so the query does NOT need to be re-performed. This technique results in significant time savings and improved usability.

 

It’s Not All or Nothing

Adding a standalone admin console didn’t preclude us from continuing to offer many admin function within the auction website itself. In fact, we haven’t removed any inline functions. There are editing, and even bulk editing, options located right within the auction site. Some management operations can be completely performed within the website. Others tasks have links on the site which will direct the user to the new admin console.

 

What Happens to the Original Admin Menu?

The gray, admin menu at the top of the auction website will remain, and the top level links will now act as a gateway to the respective Center. The sub-menus will primarily stay the same too. However, the links will change and transition to the associated tab within the appropriate Center of the new console. In general, just think of the top level menu items in the original admin menu as Centers, and the submenus as the tabs within those Centers. It’s the same organizational hierarchy, just a little different delivery. To return to the auction website, click the “Website” button with the globe icon.

 

Are the “Old” Admin Features Still Available?

That currently depends on the feature and the related Center. Some, like the Auction Center, offer a new alternative to the still existing options. For example, the Auction Center > Create tab provides a much improved method for listing items individually. However, the original “Auctions > Enter Items > Create a Listing” menu option is still there – for now.

 

What’s Next?

A new Report Center and Member Center are on the way and scheduled to be unveiled in September. We’ll also have a few updates to the Auction and Images Centers and some additional enhancements to the Dashboard.

 

Summary

  • Better Design -> More Functional
  • Utilize Space -> More Efficient
  • Introduce Centers -> More Intuitive
  • Add Themes -> More Engaging
  • Integrate Tabs -> More Consistent
  • Remember Actions -> More Usable

 

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New Admin Dashboard Provides Improved Insight

Fresh off delivering a significant update to the Auction Center, AuctionAnything.com has released an improved administrative Dashboard (formerly identified as the “Account” menu). The update provides another major enhancement to the the re-designed Administration Console.

The Dashboard contains the following sections:

  • Home
  • Setup
  • Messages
  • Schedule
  • Work Orders
  • Settings
  • Status
Admin Management Console - Dashboard Home

Admin Management Console – Dashboard Home

 

Home

The Dashboard Home tab functions as the new, default “landing page” for admin account log-ins (Note: use the “WebSite” icon to return to the auction site). The display is designed to provide immediate insight regarding the status of the online auction. The goal is to deliver the administrator the information needed to eliminate the guesswork involved with performing the next task, and the capability to quickly survey the state of the auction system. For convenience, direct links to the respective Centers are supplied. The “smart log-in” process reports on the following elements:

  • General – system setup, event scheduling, accounting, work order status and various recommendations.
  • Help Desk – help desk requests from customers and AuctionAnything.com service responses.
  • Messages – indicators for recent, and/or un-read messages from AuctionAnything.com regarding new features, enhancements and maintenance.
  • Auctions – information related to auction listings (e.g. status, mode, reserves etc).
  • Invoicing and Payments(if applicable) – details regarding invoices, successful and unsuccessful credit card transactions and related topics.

 

Setup

The Setup Manager provides the administrator with a list of tasks to assist with setting up the online auction website. Included in this section are direct links to the associated controls, priority indicators and status tracking capabilities.

 

Messages

The Message tab includes the latest news from AuctionAnything.com. Check here for notifications pertaining to new features, system enhancements, bug fixes and scheduled maintenance.

 

Schedule

The event scheduler allows clients to post their auction schedule (i.e. event/sales). AuctionAnything.com recommends that clients who run event-based auctions provide this information for support and maintenance scheduling purposes.

 

Work Orders

Clients may use this section to view, approve and track the progress of Work Orders related to custom development projects.

 

Settings

The Settings area allows the administrator to personalize the “smart log-in” experience by showing/hiding certain alerts, notices and updates. In addition, various “lookbacks” may be set to determine what information is analyzed and displayed on the dashboard.

 

Status

The Status Manager enables the auction administrator to set the website to “Live” (i.e. available for viewing) mode once the initial system setup is completed. Also, if needed, the site many be set to a “Coming Soon” mode to prevent visitors from accessing the auction.

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