Staying flexible helps Proxibid reach record sales numbers in first quarter of 2018

May 2, 2018

This article originally appeared on Silicon Prairie News.

Proxibid, one of Omaha’s orginial tech startups, announced last Tuesday record online sales and Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), leading to the company’s strongest month and quarter in its history.

“We saw a 37 percent growth in online sales for March,” said Ryan Downs, President and CEO of Proxibid. “There is a no more indicative measure of how well this business is doing than that growth number.”

Numbers provided in a press release also detail:

  • 27 percent year-over-year for the quarter ending March 31, 2018
  • GMV increased 26 percent year-over-year for the month of March
  • 13 percent year-over-year for the first quarter.
  • Auctions increased more than 20 percent year-over-year for the quarter

The company also saw a dramatic increases in online-only, timed auction participation in Proxibid’s B2B categories, which helped to fuel growth in the first quarter.

Downs said for the 17-year-old company to continue down such a high-growth path, they have to maintain their flexibility and range of offerings.

“We’re in a digital space and we have to be very flexible, very agile and we have to adjust all the time,” said Downs. “The health of our business is really determined by one thing, and that’s the health of online sales.”

Downs said Proxibid is all about taking historically non-digital markets where trends used to occur offline, and bringing them online. Their ability to bring efficiency and a larger audience to new industries is what leads to the company’s growth.

“We’ve added a lot of clients into the marketplace [in the last 18 to 24 months],” said Downs. “There are some really high-quality clients in that mix, and they’re hitting their stride and growing their businesses, especially with the online portions of their businesses.”

Proxibid has seen high-growth with their international sellers (particularly those in the UK), industrial categories, collector cars and online-only auctions.

“Robust results in B2B categories like heavy equipment, industrial machinery, and farm machinery, as well as the sale of collector cars and other high-end goods, were central to Proxibid’s success in the first quarter,” said Downs. “Proxibid’s online-only, timed auction solution continues to attract new buyers and sellers to the platform, which has pushed online sales and GMV to new heights for the company.”

Downs said tailored marketing strategies and additions to the marketing department are helping to push growth in those areas.

“We hired a new Chief Marketing Officer about a year ago, and he took the good work that was already happening and brought some great industry experience and great processes and approaches to the marketing group,” said Downs. “They’re doing a tremendous job of driving these very targeted demands.”

Downs said Proxibid’s marketing department is doing a great job of bringing in buyers, but the sales department is also successful at attracting sellers.

“We’re much more targeted with who we’re going after, and we’re bringing in really high-quality performing clients on the sales side,” said Downs. “Both of those functions are working extremely well for us and have been now for a while. We’re seeing that pay off in the growth.”

The success of those two departments goes back to Proxibid’s focus on flexibility. Downs said everyone is a continual learner and stays on top of trends, whether it be new algorithms or affiliate marketing programs, and when something doesn’t yield a desired result, they adjust.

“That’s a discipline that we’ve [built] over the years,” said Downs. They’re adjusting all the time, to literally intraday adjustments sometimes. That’s exciting to see.”

Downs said he’s excited about what the business is doing and is confident that they’ll continue seeing growth moving forward.

“We have no intention of going anywhere else other than Omaha,” said Downs. “We love it here, we’re finding great people here, and we hope to continue to impact this community for a long time.”


Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.