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REACH LIST: Top 5 auction houses


Last but not least from the Professional Jeweller 2015 Reach List, we present to you the top 5 online players from the auction houses category.

The top 5 digital doyen auction houses are as follows:

  1. Christies

Facebook likes: 132,192

Twitter followers: 79,000

Instagram followers: 110,000

Alexa UK ranking: 4,610

Reach ranking: 69


  1. Sotheby’s

Facebook likes: 130,249

Twitter followers: 63,400

Instagram followers: 143,000

Alexa UK ranking: 7,285

Reach ranking: 46


  1. Bonhams

Facebook likes: 6,546

Twitter followers: 26,900

Instagram followers: 8,852

Alexa UK ranking: 4,141

Reach ranking: 10


  1. Phillips

Facebook likes: 21,575

Twitter followers: 30,200

Instagram followers: 34,800

Alexa UK ranking: 39,648

Reach ranking: 2


  1. Fellows

Facebook likes: 8,601

Twitter followers: 4,956

Instagram followers: 8,208

Alexa UK ranking: 17,544

Reach ranking: 1

While it is impossible to break down just how much of an auction house’s general traffic or engagement is dedicated to jewellery – well, not impossible but it would certainly require figures unavailable to us – the influence of auction houses in the online jewellery market cannot be ignored.

This category of the jewellery industry has perhaps seen the most change during the digital revolution – dusty rooms ruled by gavels have turned into techno-centric reception halls for online bids beeping in from here, there and everywhere. But while the changes have been radical, the auction houses have embraced them with a passion that was most unexpected for such a traditional trade, steeped heritage and white-glove gravitas.

Setting up a facility for online bidding is one thing – if the bids flood in online, that is more of a facilitation than a solicitation – where you really see the high levels of engagement the auction houses are investing in online is social media networks. A once closed-o_ world is shared through videos and images documenting the sales process and the treasures being sold.

Christie’s, our top auction house online, measures its social media followers in the tens of thousands, and you have to wonder just how many of them have ever actually stepped inside the doors of an auction house. But whether they do now or in 10 years time, online is bringing the excitement of the bid to a whole new generation, with Christies at the fore with a digital reach that eclipses all of our other Reach List auction houses.

As well as the chance to bid for a jewel online, there are pages and pages of past catalogues to pore over, as well as informed features on topics such as blockbuster diamonds, the work of JAR and Art Deco jewels.

Delving into the stats, the UK is the second-biggest generator of traffic to Christies.com, accounting for a little more than 11%. Its biggest market is the US, with a near 30% share, while other key online bidders are coming in from France, Italy and Brazil.

Last year, jewellery sales hit an all-time high of US$750 million (£485m) at Christies. While we can’t say how much of those sales were made online, anyone who has been in an auction room lately will know that there’s not much action from the floor any more.


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