The Adapting Auction Industry – Pandemic
How did the Auction Industry do so well during this world wide pandemic? We are going to discuss this topic with you below!
Back in late 2019, a virus exploded into the world. It didn’t take long to become a serious problem. In the year 2020, this tiny virus transcended borders and quickly caused a global health care crisis. Now, as a new decade begins, this virus has affected millions of individuals across nations. Businesses got the worst hit in history due to this pandemic. Many large and small businesses around the world reported losses, bankruptcy and even closure. This wave of economic upheaval travelled over all kinds of industries. However, it went the opposite way for some types of businesses. Some industries actually grew substantially. This happened to businesses that are operated online. Some examples of businesses that grew substantially are e-commerce/online shopping, online food services, online home décor, social media, content creators, and more. This pandemic has actually helped some businesses that were struggling prior to the pandemic. There is some good in all things.
One such industry, which performed well, is the auction industry. Despite the economic blow, the auction industry raised the bar high. It is thriving through efficacy and informed adaptability. The industry went through a phase of required evolution. However, this took time, consideration, and it was not easy initially. There were lockdowns everywhere. This led to the closure of a huge number of galleries. Besides, a lot of the auction houses weren’t allowed to host in-person auctions. However, this did not keep the true enthusiasts from shopping at auctions.
As we discussed above about the businesses that were successful in the global health and economic crisis, we observe that mostly all of these are online-based businesses. These businesses excelled in the industry due to brainstorming and their ability to adapt. The auction industry took a timely step. It went online.
This success did not come easily. Initially, the industry reported losses. The time was hard from January of 2020 until September. The art auction industry specifically struggled in this phase with losses. The Art Market Research Development (AMRD) recorded a drop in sales of 20.2% due to the closure of art galleries initially. Due to the auction house closures, there were fewer opportunities to host auctions. The art groups and the art community did not let these grave sale records lower their morale and drive. As many of the corporate and business affairs went online, the auction industry followed suit.
This shift was challenging as well. It was hard to embrace the change, especially for the people that want to examine the auction items in person. Evidently, this did not hold back the truly passionate collectors and dealers. People realized how it is so convenient to attend auctions online and bid for their favorite items easily! The stakeholders also realized how this shift was important from the perspective of the health and safety of the auction goers. Buyers enjoy these online auctions while being in the safety and comfort of their homes. The auctioneers embraced the new normal with gradual but steady profits. We must call it an “Auction Revolution”. This drastic change, which could have taken decades to happen, occurred within the course of a few months. This led to a new age of auctioning.
The late months of 2020 were surprisingly profitable. Wonders happened, sales skyrocketed, and the auction industry stood undefeated due to the pandemic. That is what you call the power of timely action, precision, and vision of the auction companies. The auction houses and dealers reported a rapid increase in online traffic and sales.
Sotheby reported sales of $2.5 billion for 2020. That is a jaw-dropping number with all things considered.
Another amazing thing that happened with this revolution is that this online shift attracted a new audience. The amount of people that you can reach online versus a physical location is amazing. It helps with being able to sell things for a higher price because there can be more people bidding on the same item at once. There is great diversity in the online traffic that attends the auction, which helps since there is usually such a diverse set of items being auctioned. This also increased awareness about the domain and scope of the auction industry. Sotheby shared new trends and data. The buyer demographic across online sales and streaming is striking. If we examine the audience it shows that 40% of the traffic were first-time bidders, and 30% were under 40 years of age. The auction industry was able to explore new target groups among the audience. Through this data, auctioneers can strategize their online campaigns with a more tailored approach to the new demographics.
The way online auction campaigns were introduced to the world matters. Understanding the medium and platforms that have helped auctioneers in this regard is crucial to understanding how they thrived during this time. These platforms transformed the industry and powered their success. Many tech companies took this as an opportunity and launched cloud-based auction management platforms. These platforms helped the auctioneers manage and process virtual and hybrid events. One thing these platforms introduced is the facility of ongoing online auctions. The auctioneers can post their details, and people can bid. This allows the users to view the art.
We cannot emphasize the impact that digital marketing had on the success of the auction industry during this time enough. Auctioneers did what they needed to do and focused more on digital marketing. These digital marketing strategies are the reason the auction industry survived and thrived during the pandemic. It also helped them make their mark in the online arena.
Through these new ways of doing business, the auction market is evolving exponentially. The auction market may be ushering in a new world of data with transparency and efficiency. This new manner of doing an auction is going to revolutionize the auction industry – if it hasn’t already. This will lead to an everlasting evolution in the auction industry. There are countless auction houses in the USA. Many auctioneers in Kansas are making waves through this new way of auctioning; Including us here at Busy Beever Auctions and Estate Sales.
This is how the auction industry is thriving through the pandemic. Their success came from good strategies, being open to adapting, and having a clear vision.