BPI Auctions is an online auction platform where customers can buy and sell items.
Traditionally, the industry, as a whole, is an “old school” business setup, with auction houses allowing customers to bid in person.
Following on from eBay, the online appeal for auctions has steadily increased over the last few years.
The Challenge for BPI
The challenge was to build and integrate a custom CRM system with the internal Auction Management System (AMS). BPI was concerned about implementing a system as advanced as HubSpot that had multiple API capabilities. The aim was to collect and utilise all the bidding activity to retarget customers with unique and relevant content.
The plan was to create an online auction that customers could easily use and understand. It could help optimise relationships with the company’s 80,000+ customers and increase profits for the business. The main objective was to turn bidders into sellers and utilise all the different areas of HubSpot to improve internal business processes.
The Solution by PYB
The project was a deep collaboration between the software support team that manages the Auction Management Software (AMS) and Plus Your Business (PYB).
BPI Auctions redid the backend system, the Auction Management Software (AMS), to accommodate the integration.
The setup ended up being ideal for integrating with HubSpot as it was a new product built with open API capabilities. The open API capability allowed customisation with the new platform - linking various pieces of software, and enabling communication between them.
All in all, it simplified a complex process.
1. The PYB team used all this information to build it into note format (using the Engagement API) to give a concise ‘activity feed’ per customer, and
2. Using ‘custom objects’ they were able to display the bid information as discrete entities - for every bid made.
See it in action in the quick video below...
BPI Auctions say working with PYB as their partner has enabled them to implement the information into a customer’s profile.
The results have been “game-changing for the business”.
The company can now target people based on real-time interactions for different categories of interest and their bidding behaviour.
The powerful integration has brought about a “new logic” scenario.
The company can now put their customers into an elite VIP group.
BPI Auctions can obtain clarity on which auctions and categories people are interested in. Also, whether they bid and also bid and win.
It allows them to understand users better than ever before.
The Incredible Results
The Marketing Director, Rob Holroyd, had doubts in the project’s early days. These concerns were about the effectiveness of gathering data, especially concerning the activity fields and customer profiles. In the end, Rob deemed the overall system to be twice as advanced as he had initially thought it would be.
Not only is it a unique platform in the auction industry - BPI Auctions now can understand customers' bid activity via hundreds to thousands of touchpoints. For example, users register to a unique auction with a unique sale ID.
This setup has all been made possible by the team at PYB.
The company can set automatic triggers based on time delays for a particular user. These triggers can advise when somebody comes back and outbids somebody. BPI Auctions can also access the different time frames when people win or lose bids. The company can then act on this information - using touchpoints to increase the bottom line.
This data can help determine that the leads might be hot instead of warm - and allows salespeople to pick out the right people to go and see who are close to a sale. In terms of sales numbers, BPI Auctions has increased the stability of its bottom line by a massive 12%-15%.
BPI Auctions can tap into all the capabilities that HubSpot Enterprise has given them. The company is now further exploring the capabilities of workflows, sequences, and customer service side with tickets. It helps them understand everything from phone calls, notes, emails, etc. and links everything in the CRM system.
The bespoke setup lets BPI Auctions optimise the workflow processes, so they can follow up with cross-selling services. For example, “Have something similar to sell? Click to find out more!” It also gives customer services and business development more granular data when speaking to customers, as they can see their entire journey.
The Impact of the Solution
The company doesn’t need to use anything else because it is now like “a well-oiled machine”. Many of the old manual processes have gone, and the workflows have also been the main game-changers. BPI Auctions has been able to improve its business processes across the board.
Rob Holroyd, Marketing Director of BPI Auctions, said, “Without this type of data, we wouldn’t be able to keep retargeting clients with relevant auctions that they are interested in and also within their budgets.”
This ability to “fine-tune” the internal business processes has also directly impacted customer satisfaction when using the platform.
We can now coach 'confidence' into buyers, so they become sellers i.e. the team can follow up and cross-reference customers about selling products with BPI Auctions. The company knows they are a valued customer based on how much they spend. However, the business also wants to empower customers and encourage them to sell with BPI Auctions.
Now we can use Automated Intelligence.
Before the integration, it would have taken at least six months to contact the same people via an “old school method”. It’s now a hybrid of the two. The company uses automated intelligent follow-ups based on users' personal activities and interests.
BPI can then notify their key sales account managers to contact these people.
The whole sales process is more refined and customer-centric.
“PYB came highly recommended by Marc from HubSpot who could help us build bespoke API touchpoints with unique data captured in our AMS (auction management system) with our 80,000+ clients. After working in E-commerce for 7+ years it was by no means a simple store connection. Online auctions have thousands of touchpoints where clients bid to win thousands of items, daily. Our objective was to capture not only their credentials but push the boundaries of understanding our clients better than they understand themselves.
PYB collaborated with our software partners who built open APIs to allow bespoke notes and sales/bid activity in order for us to automate emails and sales communications which would normally take months to complete, manually. We also now have the ability to fetch the amount of bids a client placed, what category the items were in, time-stamped and whether their final bid won or not. Furthermore, we can identify clients who have outstanding invoices unpaid with the amount and whether a specific action has taken place by the admin on that user's profile via notes etc. I can confidently say that this is now the most advanced CRM system I have worked with over the past 10+ years (having experienced 4 systems). It wouldn’t have been possible without Martin, Darian and the rest of the PYB team.”