International auction house Sotheby’s says online innovations have continued to drive sales over the last 12 months.

In 2018, online buyers’ spend totalled $200 million (£156.7m), up 14% from the previous year.

Overall, 26% of all lots sold at the auction house last year were purchased online.


Out of its record number of new bidders, 60% came through online channels.

When it comes to jewellery 42% of the bids during Sotheby’s live sales were placed online last year, with the number of jewels sold online increasing by 53% year-on-year. Timepieces also witnesses a lift in online action as well.

Video views more than doubled in 2018 to 26 million to date, while social media welcomes 1 million new followers.

Sotheby’s concluded 2018 with record website traffic in September, October and November.

Executive vice president for digital development and marketing worldwide for Sotheby’s, David Goodman, comments: “We have assembles a world class team across different platforms and services at Sotheby’s that has generated phenomenal growth in 2019, including increased audience, a great customer experience, incremental consignments, and, most importantly, increased revenue.”

Sotheby’s does both live auctions and online-only auctions.

The auction house is very active on social media, with jewellery accounting for one of its most popular social channels.

The shredding of a Banksy piece during a Sotheby’s auction was the top social media post of the year.