Sotheby’s provides seamless editorial-to-auction integration for more than 600 auctions annually. See how the company’s long-term partnership with Brightspot continues to meet and exceed user expectations, as well as drive digital growth and revenue for the international auction house.
Sotheby's by the numbers
The Sotheby's challenge
The art world has traditionally been highly reliant on in-person physical auctions and high-quality print catalog assets. But while some parts of the market have been latecomers to the world of digital, Sotheby's was quick to recognize the need for digital transformation.
In order to service its discerning clientele of art aficionados, Sotheby's set out in 2018 to create an end-to-end, full-service business upon which its collectors could rely. At the heart of this initiative, a superior online experience was paramount.
Sotheby’s struggled with its legacy AEM platform, which made creating new digital experiences cumbersome and expensive. They needed a CMS solution that could better keep pace with the company’s digital innovation—one that didn’t restrict content type options and was easy to maintain without significant development support.
We originally partnered with Brightspot to implement an enterprise CMS that delivered high-quality user experience, which was a success. Now, years later, Brightspot is still ensuring our digital properties embody vivid images, powerful search and compelling stories, and that our editorial content integrates with our auction engine to provide a seamless experience for our users.
The Brightspot solution for Sotheby's
The key pivot for Sotheby's was to move from publishing its much-admired—and costly—print catalog to a new, digital version. Once very text-heavy and only meant for a few interested parties in any given lot, the new digital format supports an array of different media-rich formats and content types, including embedded video, to breath new life into over 600 annual exhibitions.
Brightspot’s CMS, with its plethora of third-party integration capabilities, allows for seamless integration with Sotheby’s auction engine. This means users can glide between editorial pages and auction (or "lot") pages with no change to the look and feel or functionality. For the buyer, it’s one cohesive experience.
The outcome for Sotheby's
- Sotheby’s can manage millions of assets using the built-in digital asset manager, which gives its editorial teams the ability to access and organize a broad set of content. They also can find content quickly based on associated metadata, descriptions and related images.
- Since the beginning of 2020, the Sotheby's content team has published more than 900 digital catalogs, as well as upwards of 5,000 articles and 2,200 videos. As of 2021, 85% of auctions had only digital catalogs, saving the company millions in print costs.
- The site houses a dynamic calendar that features ongoing and upcoming auction sales and selling exhibitions, so users are able to filter, sort and search for sales events quickly and easily. Artist- and brand-specific features on the site also allow users to simplify their searches based on interest.
- Sotheby’s can easily produce and present content in multiple languages with corresponding URLs and metadata. Users are able to toggle from one language to the next using the global language switcher as well as a one-off translation switcher at the page level.