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What will the future hold for auction businesses in five years’ time?

June 3, 2024

5 Min read
What will the future hold for auction businesses in five years’ time?

Auctions, dealing in the past, but the future is bright

Auction businesses are a cultural touchstone, bringing together treasures from all walks of life, corners of the world and periods of time. But while the artefacts in the spotlight are often historical, the future direction and progression of auction businesses themselves is no less interesting.

With digitalisation and sustainability on the rise, society is changing before our eyes, and auction businesses are no exception. But what does the future hold? We’re going to take a closer look at what auction houses might look like over the next five years.

The rise of digital platforms

Online auctions have become the norm in recent years, breaking down geographical barriers and making auctions accessible to a broader audience. In fact, according to a report by Hiscox, online art market sales reached $4.82 billion in 2019. This trend is expected to continue, with predictions suggesting that the online art market could double in size by 2025.

The adoption of advanced technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is set to enhance the online auction experience further. Imagine previewing a piece of art in your home using AR before bidding on it; or attending a live auction through a VR headset.

These technologies could make the auction experience more immersive and interactive, attracting a younger, tech-savvy demographic ready to dial in from anywhere in the world.

Sustainability and ethical practices

Sustainability is another critical factor shaping the future of auction businesses. There's a growing demand for more transparent and ethical practices from business across the globe, and the art world is no exception. Auction houses are responding by implementing more sustainable practices, such as reducing their carbon footprint and ensuring the provenance of the items they sell.

The focus on repatriating artefacts to their countries of origin and dealing with looted or stolen items has also intensified. Auction businesses are likely to adopt stricter due diligence processes and collaborate more closely with cultural heritage organisations to address these concerns.

Diversification of offerings

The traditional focus of auction businesses on high-value art and antiques is broadening. There's an increasing interest in collectibles, such as vintage fashion, rare sneakers, and digital art, including NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). In March 2021, Christie's sold a digital artwork by Beeple for $69 million, marking a significant moment for the auction world and highlighting the potential of NFTs.

As collectors' interests evolve, auction houses will likely continue to diversify their offerings to include a wider range of items, changing the current landscape of what experts consider to be valuable and collectible.

Global expansion and localisation

Like its broadening definitions of what makes a collectable, the global art market is also expanding. Asia, in particular, is playing an increasingly prominent role, with Asia-based sales rising 13% since 2020. Auction businesses are expected to continue their expansion into new markets, adapting their strategies to meet local tastes and preferences.

This localisation strategy may involve curating auctions that feature artists or items of local significance, offering services in multiple languages, and understanding the cultural nuances of each market.

Artisio: the future of auctioneering is here

Artisio represents the future of auction house technology, combining tradition process and requirement delivery with digital effectiveness. Our comprehensive auction management software allows an auction business to enhance both its efficiency and connectivity to essential 3rd party service providers, as well as improving customer engagement and overall user journey as well as cybersecurity.

Boasting a 360-degree approach to automated auctioneering management, Artisio is a sustainable solution for businesses and auction houses of any size looking to improve their services.

Discover more about how Artisio can support your retail organisation by booking a demo today.

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