This article follows on from key features of Christie’s Mini Program.
Christie’s “One” sale in early July demonstrated the auction house’s ability to leverage cutting-edge technology with more than 20,000 tuning in to its four-hour, four-city live stream — generating $421 million in the process.
In China, technological innovation is at the core of Christie’s strategy with its WeChat Mini Program offering Chinese customers a convenient single channel to browse 1.8 million lots, request condition reports, and communicate directly with agents.
Jing Travel spoke to Thomas Portolano, Digital Lead, Asia at Christie’s and Clement Ledormeur, General Manager at 31Ten.
What were the priorities when designing Christie’s WeChat Mini Program?
Clement Ledormeur: When designing a new platform or revamping an existing one, I always prioritize the business goals. For Christie’s Mini Program, the focus was not only growing the number of new users but also to increase the user stickiness by offering the most relevant features for the target audience. For example, we provide a full range of auction previews including relevant lot information, detail images, bidding calculator and condition reports. Such information provides an immersive experience for the user even before someone attends the auction.
Thomas Portolano: The priority was to offer a better experience to Christie’s members, from end to end, from a marketing standpoint, and a better way to showcase the beautiful art that our consigners entrust us with. That means offering an easier way to find Christie’s on WeChat, to browse and find relevant information in a couple of taps and a faster and more qualitative experience. As a result, this leads to better retention, an increase in word of mouth traffic and a higher level of engagement in key interactions.
What are the best ways to encourage user sharing of Mini Programs?
CL: Having sharing features available on every page is desirable. The content pages of the Mini Program are equipped with numerous sharing features on each of the pages to ensure users can share in any format that they prefer. The content itself should be the reason and motive for users to share. The rich and meaningful content generated by Christie’s team serves as the motive for users to share within their friend-circles.
TP: I agree, there’s not a magic recipe that will work in every scenario. If it solves a problem and is useful, it will be a success. So it’s a matter of offering relevant content and usability to support it. What content will your visitors be willing to share? What content will your colleagues be also willing to share? How easy, explicit, and fast is it to do so? And does it bring value to your clients and your business?
At Christie’s, we tried to support the art departments by building an original feature: our specialists can curate lots for their clients and share these lists in group chats or WeChat moments. It is a very popular feature.
How has the Mini Program boosted the quality of the customer experience?
CL: Christie’s Mini Program is the first tool to use when a user is looking for either auction timetables or editorial content. The user can also pin the Mini Program and have direct access. We can even consider it as a “digital newspaper for art” that updates every day. Users will always be fed new information when going on the Christie’s Mini Program to know what will be the next auction or how much a specific art piece has been estimated at. In short, it helps the user to have a rich information bank within easy access.
TP: We’re sending a strong signal that Christie’s is committed to provide a better experience in Chinese. The WeChat Mini Program is the first step in this strategy. The whole experience sits in WeChat. It’s fast, with an interface completely in Chinese and it covers a history of millions of lots that have been offered to auctions since 2005. It is a real encyclopedia of art. Each lot comes with high resolution pictures and extensive essays written by our specialists.
What data does Christie’s WeChat Mini Program collect on users?
TP: We are collecting clickstream data that helps us to understand what the popular features or content are. This helps us to steer Christie’s design and editorial roll-out.
What are possible future additions for Christie’s WeChat Mini Program?
CL: More personalized content. Up to now, we haven’t leveraged the full potential of the bookmark feature in Christie’s Mini Program. I imagine a homepage fully personalised with content that differs from one user to the next. The bookmark feature will also help the sales team by tagging and targeting users based on their interests. Stay tuned!