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Digital Strategy for The World’s Oldest Auction Houses

Freeman’s and Lyon & Turnbull

Two auction houses, Philadelphia’s Freeman’s and Lyon & Turnbull of Edinburgh, work in a world where authenticity is everything and beauty is everywhere.

Uniting expertise

Ties between these two businesses – the oldest auction houses in their respective countries – were formed in 2000. The alliance sought to raise registrations and bids, and to further promote the expertise both businesses bring to this exciting, specialised sector. But illustrious names and reputation alone wouldn’t get the job done. Underpinning everything would be strategy and innovation.

Our brief was to plan and create world-class digital platforms for the businesses. A digital solution, carefully devised and implemented, would fully exploit the strategic advantages of these businesses uniting. By pooling their considerable knowledge and industry links, both auction houses would be exposed to new markets – territories they could reach far more quickly together.

Devise a Joined-Up Digital Strategy to Dazzle the Sector

Breaking into new markets and strengthening links between the businesses would require a robust digital marketing strategy – joined-up and making use of the latest technology and social media opportunities.

Design New, Linked, Multi-Language Websites to Strengthen the Partnership

Both businesses required brand-new web presences. In designing the sites we would have to ensure that each linked to the other – both literally and in areas like design and functionality. And to speak directly with an increasingly important international audience, multi-language functionality would be crucial.

Ensure Site Design and Development Deliver A Sector-Leading User Experience

Across the sites, user experience and a smooth, logical journey would be top priority. Aesthetically, each item would be beautifully highlighted. And in attracting valuable new visitors, use of powerful SEO techniques would be paramount.

Integrate the Businesses with The World’s Leading Online Marketplace Solution

Extending reach and opening up bold new opportunities, we would connect Freeman’s and Lyon & Turnbull with the art world’s foremost specialist online bidding platform.

Exploiting Strategic Thinking to Present a Legacy of Expertise

By linking the companies’ websites we offered browsers and bidders a formidable and powerful proposition. Both companies shared history and provenance, and each had stories to tell. By linking the history and expertise at the heart of each business, we provided solid reasons to engage.

Designing Complementing Websites for a Truly United Offering

Linking both sites required a new, sophisticated, uniform design that would work for each company’s requirements and audiences. We arrived at a clean, easy-to-navigate design that showcased the array of fascinating items each house offered. The sites also emphasised the stories behind the treasures and made it easy to contact the companies’ experts.

Delivering First-Rate User Experience through Thoughtful Design and Development

Throughout our build we identified areas and features that would offer visitors greatly added value and give the companies’ websites an unforgettable lift. New ‘Meet the Specialists’ sections communicated personality and a similar ‘Find a Specialist’ feature encouraged enquiry. Across a sector characterised by art, design and beauty, we harnessed the visual power of social media platforms including Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube – all easily reachable via both websites. And in ensuring our beautifully crafted sites attracted the visitors they deserved, we employed a robust and powerful SEO strategy to increase visibility and click-through among engaged and highly targeted browsers.

Adding Value for a Crucial International Audience

Freeman’s and Lyon & Turnbull had both recognised the importance of their growing Chinese customer base. Rather than imposing an English-language site on these valued visitors, we recommended offering a website translated into their native tongue. This communicated respect, acknowledged the audience and, of course, provided a greatly enhanced user experience and opportunity to engage.

Streamlining Opportunities to Bid

We connected both auction houses with Invaluable, the global art, antiques and collectibles market’s go-to online bidding platform. Widening reach and opportunity, a presence on Invaluable exposed the businesses to millions of bidders and seamlessly co-existed with each auction house’s traditional website.

5.5M Annual combined Page Views
48%Increase in Mobile Traffic
26%Increase in Users
Integration with Invaluable
Multi-Language Website
Digital Strategy

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