Buoyant traffic, increased mobile bidding boost LiveAuctioneers' 3rd quarter results
An aggressive European campaign and continued growth in bidding through mobile devices set the stage for impressive 3rd-quarter results from LiveAuctioneers LLC.
Soon to conclude its 10th year of operations, LiveAuctioneers is widely regarded as the leading provider of Internet live-bidding services to antiques and fine art auction houses worldwide. The Manhattan-based company has developed a sector-specific model that is based on the simple premise of "more traffic, more bidders, more profits," said CEO Julian R. Ellison.
During the 3rd quarter of 2102, there were 8.5 million visits to the LiveAuctioneers site, reflecting an increase of 21.29% over the comparable quarter of last year. The number of absolute unique visitors - 4, 765,689 - was up 12.75% over Q3 2011.
"What was most satisfying was the 1.4 million visits recorded through mobile devices," said Ellison. "This showed a 161.94 percent jump over last year's third-quarter figure. We were among the early believers in mobile bidding and developed an app when it was still a curiosity in the marketplace. It's now very much a part of our core business."
Statistics also verify that during the last quarter, mobile users stayed on the LiveAuctioneers site longer and viewed more pages than mobile users of Q3 2011.
From all sources, there were more than 72 million page views on LiveAuctioneers during the months of July, August and September. Compared to the same quarter of last year, this indicates an increase of 30.6%. Additionally, more than 289,000 absentee bids were lodged online through LiveAuctioneers.
During the third quarter, the company achieved a milestone by signing its 1,400th auction-house client. Many of the new customers were American auction houses, but Europe also proved to be a hotbed of new business. By the close of September, LiveAuctioneers' clientele included 26 auction houses in the UK, 23 in Germany and 7 in Italy.
"There are few corners of the world that are not represented in our client base, now," said Ellison. "Auctioneers consider LiveAuctioneers an indispensable part of their marketing plan and realize that exposure on our site and the ability to offer their customers absentee and live online bidding is the most effective way to attract quality bidders worldwide."
Fine paintings are consistently amongst the top-selling items on LiveAuctioneers. That trend continued in the third quarter with the sale of a signed Carl C.M. Rungius (German/American, 1869-1959) oil-on-canvas landscape titled "Moose on a Ridge." Descended through a Virginia family, the artwork had been exhibited in 1908 at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York. It was purchased through LiveAuctioneers for $188,800 (inclusive of 18% buyer's premium) in Copley Fine Art Auctions' July 12 sale.
"As we enter our second decade, LiveAuctioneers is making a significant investment in new technology, marketing and website design," Ellison noted. "We believe that these improvements will result in many new-bidder signups, which, in turn, will benefit our auction-house clients. Our goal is to make the LiveAuctioneers experience - from catalog browsing to bidding and buying - an enjoyable one for all who collect, invest in art or simply want to acquire unusual pieces for their homes or offices."