Auctions are a terrific means of customer acquisition. The Internet opens a global marketplace to consumers, a one in which they can find anything they’re looking for and compare prices easily, no matter where they live. Online auctions are a great way to find a bargain on almost everything and it is an excellent way of getting the best price for selling something of your own. For sellers, it provides access to a greatly expanded pool of potential customers, and the low cost of access makes it easy for individuals as well as businesses to offer goods and services. Since the market for the offline auctions is usually limited restricting the owner’s growth opportunities thus making it unprofitable for the offline auction owners as they cannot compete with the low cost structure of their online counterparts.
What if there were possibilities for creating a WordPress auction plugin that makes it incredibly easy to VIEW such auctions that are run in-house? Such a plugin would reflect all the product auctions that take place in the store (i.e. in the Auction House) which includes, but not limited to antiques,computer equipment, sports goods and electronic gadgets etc.
The main aspects and elements of the Plugin would be as follows
Back-End for the Admin to Manage/Add/Edit Auctions:
We’ll have to register a custom post type for each auction post that is made. The custom post option can be added in WordPress via the register_post_type() function which allows us to create a new post type by various custom fields/meta fields which are specific to that post.
These fields would contain values for:
- Image (we should not prefer default thumbnail/featured image of a post because some themes do not support post thumbnail, so a custom field would be appropriate)
- Starting price(The initial price set by the admin for auction)
- Reserve Price(The minimum price at which the product would be sold)
- Incremental value(The minimum value by which each bid is incremented)
- Auction Expiration Date/Time (The time and date when the auction expires)
- Current price – Since, the auction is not online, we assume that bid placing functionality should be at the back end. So, we can give a ‘current price’ section at the back end where the plugin user/admin will update the current price for the auction which would have been known through offline auction actually.
Managing Auctions from the Dashboard:
The admin uses the WordPress dashboard to manage activities related to auctions- edit, delete, publish auctions. The plugin will use custom post field and create a section to keep records of bids/bidders details for each auction i.e. no. of bids placed, bidder/winner name etc. It also supports smart shortcode. The custom taxonomy enables the plugin to show status whether the auction is live or expired. It also enables the auctions to expire by default when their dates expire. The admin can also end the auctions manually, if he wants to.
Front End as the User Interface for viewing the auctions:
Since, there is no online auction, the interface is used only to display the auctions and it’s related details. For this purpose, we can create a shortcode which should be placed in a WordPress page. The shortcode will display all the data related to auction such as title, short description, image, price etc,after clicking on a particular auction or it’s details to display the auction details to the user.
Such a Plugin could only be used to display the auctions that take place in-house. Alternatively, to create and bid for auctions online, we suggest you have a look at the Ultimate Auction Plugin which we co-authored and is present on the WordPress Plugin repository.