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Christie's case study art gallery

The challenge

Christie’s is the world’s leading auction house, with global sales in 2021 of $4.4 billion. They offer over 350 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine art, jewellery, photography, collectibles, wine, and many more.

With its global footprint, Christie’s was aware of the benefits of transitioning to online auctions. However, moving to a digital venue was not free of challenges. It was imperative, for example, that online auctions mirrored the behaviour of physical auctions, and enhanced Christie’s reputation for extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise. There was a need for a solution that was well designed, easy to use, and able to handle high volumes of both sales and end users. The online auction software also had to integrate with existing infrastructure, and appeal to a wide range of customers, across various product auctions.

Case Study Subject

Client name
Headquartered in London

Featured Modules

English Forward
Fixed Price

Company Bio

Christie's is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales.

Company Quote

"Online is a very fruitful channel for new bidders and new clients to Christie’s. In general we’ve seen prices achieved online that rival those of live auctions and in many cases can be better than those in live auctions."
Christie's testimonial

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The solution

Christie’s selected NovaFori to build highly reliable and scalable auction house software that would permit Christie’s to conduct multiple and simultaneous online auctions of art, antiquities and collectables on a global scale, in multiple languages and currencies.

Prior to the partnership with NovaFori, Christie’s prestigious auctions did not have an online presence or mechanism to expand their buyer segment. Working together with NovaFori created opportunities for them to explore a new world of buyers without geographical restrictions. The solution also offered the chance to create a mid-segment market for mid-value auctions, allowing Christie’s to maximise both their offerings and savings.

The result

NovaFori’s solution helped enable Christie’s to open-up the market to a new segment of online buyers and hosting mid-value sales that would otherwise not be viable compared to its very high-end art auction sales.

Since going live with the online only segment, Christie’s maintained the leading position for the best online art auction platform and dramatically increased the number and breadth of its online offering, totalling online sales worth £445 M (2021). The new system has resulted in a marketplace with a significantly expanded geographical reach for Christie's. Sales via our platform achieved a 65% uplift on pre-sale expected estimates, including the online version for the Rockefeller Sale realising £3.4 million in online sales alone, and with a Warhol sale resulting in sales 99% higher than the estimated pre-auction value.

Most recently, the solution supported the sale of Beeple's Everydays: The First 5000 Days, the auction house's first NFT-based sale of digital art. Our online auction technology supported the $69.3 million sale, which set the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold online, not to mention the 3rd highest price for a living artist.

  • Multiple trading mechanisms (Fixed Price, English Forward)
  • Cost calculator, including buyer’s premium, insurance, estimated shipping, VAT and royalties
  • Optimal packaging calculator, for calculating shipping costs
  • Integration with inventory management system and payment processing services
  • Geo-restrictions, multi-language, multi-currency with conversion and cross-border tax
  • Mobile-ready

Check out Christie's online auctions