Youngsters go mobile to buy antiques

A new generation is using their mobiles to visit virtual auction houses to buy antiques and art, according to a report from auction and art search engine, Barnebys, with the UK leading the way in Europe.

Buying antiques onlineThe report found that the UK was third globally, behind the USA and China, but its population spent twice as much each year online as the French, who were the next highest in Europe.

While most Art Market reports look at the size of the global art market and prices achieved, Barnebys said it decided to focus on behavioral trends in online traffic, such as why buyers and sellers are doing what they are doing and how auctioneers and dealers can harness that information.

The Report is based on a mix of survey material and measurable data direct from Barnebys’ own database, which has 1.5m visits a month.

Some of the key findings in the report were:

The average yearly spend online by UK buyers is £865 (the highest in Europe), in France it is £543 (€539). France is a less mature online market, partially because provincial auction houses have not yet developed their online offer to the same extent as other countries. However, this means that France has great untapped potential. The fact that French buyers conduct a high level of cross border trading indicates that they are ready for the level of online activity that their own country has not yet reached at auction.

More than half Barnebys’ online traffic from millennials (18-34 year olds) comes via mobile, yet many auctioneers’ websites are not yet mobile responsive.

The three most important factors to online bidders are ease of bidding, transparency of information and reliable fulfilment (transport and delivery).

Half of those who have bought at auction have only done so online.

Brand is even more important online than in the traditional market setting because buyers do not have the same opportunity to handle the goods.

Market access and brand trust are the key drivers to attracting new customers.

Consumers are adapting to online commerce more quickly than the market.

Success is more likely to come from adapting to consumer behavior than educating the consumer to adapt to traditional market structures.

Different geographical markets have different priorities.

Markets behave differently as they mature because consumers become more confident and their priorities change.

Further points of interest include:

* Young people 18 to 35 are both frequent buyers and sellers (unlike older wealthy people who tend to be collectors and then finally sellers). As such, the young are more valuable clients across a lifetime.

*Sustainability: Young buyers are switched on by sustainability –the environmentally green aspect of buying at auction, recycling possessions, because it is not new manufacture. This means GUILT-FREE SHOPPING.

* Mobile Access: Auction websites must be geared to mobile devices. Younger buyers are on the move and shop on the move increasingly via their phones.

 

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