The total value of transactions that originated on Chrono24.com increased by 30% to €1.3 billion in 2018, according to the company’s co-chief executive Tim Stracke.
The total includes sales of watches where a customer found a watch on the digital marketplace and then completed the transaction after negotiating directly with the individual or retailer that listed the piece.
Chrono24 requires sellers to report these off-platform sales, and pay its commission, but the system is open to abuse. Sales that are completed off the site are known internally at Chrono24 as ‘leakage’ and, while the company does not disclose what proportion of sales leak, the proportion appears to be declining because Mr Stracke says that internal revenues rose by 60% in 2018, double the rate that transaction values rose.
In a trading update with WatchPro on the sidelines of SIHH yesterday, Mr Stracke said that his key objective for the coming year is to get closer to its customers.
“Our aim is to have personal relationships with the top 10,000 watch collectors that use our platform,” Mr Stracke said.
Much of this personal relationship would appear to be based on data harvesting. Chrono24 already has thousands of users that have shared details of the watch collections they own, and track the value of their watches based on live pricing data generated by the site. The site also generates additional data by tracking the browsing behaviour of everybody on the site. “The average person browses 36 times on Chrono24 before making a purchase, that is a huge trail of data,” Mr Stracke describes.
There will also be physical contact with customers through collectors’ events in major cities. One of the earliest collectors’ events was in London last year, and the company is working on taking the concept to other global hub cities this year.