Businesses across almost all industries have faced significant challenges to their ability to continue to operate amid ever changing COVID-19 restrictions. For some this means a temporary change in the interim, but for many others this unprecedented disruption has been the catalyst for a major shift in the way they do business, unlikely to return to the ways of old. We spoke with Fine Art Auctioneer and co-founder of Charleston’s Fine Art Auctions Adam Kant to learn more about the transition from a traditional in-room only offering to an online auction house in a mere matter of weeks.
“There’s nothing quite like the energy of a bustling auction rooms, but I think the online experience enabling people to bid while watching our live auctions from the safety of their home or device has been absolutely fantastic. We’ve had lots of positive feedback from client’s both new and old, it’s also helped us to gain new customers who have previously been unable or unwilling to attend. Charleston’s ethos of “art for is for everyone” seeks to dispel untruths about the art & antique world that can lead some to believe that buying at auction is only for those in the know or the uber-wealthy. This core belief underpinned their desire to create a welcoming and accessible auction rooms where first-time bidders and seasoned collectors alike come together to enjoy the process.”
So how have they been able to translate this curated environment online?
“We work hard to offer a unique experience at every Charleston’s auction, so we wanted to ensure the technical aspects of bidding were as user friendly as possible to allow our bidders to stay engaged with the fun and excitement of our live events while also continuing to build our brand. The live stream of our auctioneers, customised interface and notifications have all been critical in our ability to continue to maintain our strong relationships with bidders and vendors alike during this time”.
A significant change to operations in any business can seem daunting, did you have any concerns making the transition online?
“We had some minor concerns initially that it may have been difficult to use the backend in terms of uploading catalogues, pictures etc but have found the software to be very intuitive and continue to receive excellent support and personal service from the Bidpath team. As a not too tech-savvy individual it was very reassuring to be guided through the transition process from start to finish. I know the guys worked as hard as possible to get us up and running so we could re-commence doing what we love. The turn-around time was actually even quicker than promised”.
The Charleston’s team have reported excellent results and bidder uptake since their first online only auction in April and look forward to inviting bidders back into their rooms when safe to do so, of course with the added excitement of live online bidding!
Charleston’s conduct regular fine art & antique and home contents auctions across Australia. Click Here to view their current and upcoming auction calendar.