Facts about increasing popularity of online sales:
Internet is doing wonders for the art world. According to a recent report by art insurers Hiscox, the value of the global online fine art market is set to more than double, from an estimated $1.57 billion in 2013 to $3.76 billion by 2018.
Confidence in the future growth of this market has been displayed by Twitter’s co-founder, Jack Dorsey, who helped capitalize Artsy, a site which aims ‘to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an internet connection’. Organizations which have invested heavily in the sector include Google and Amazon, both of which launched virtual art platforms in the past 12 months.
Further positive predictions for the future of online art sales came courtesy of Deloitte’s recently published 2013 Art and Finance report according to which “the art world is moving towards the internet... a development from which the industry can only benefit”.
Nobody could deny that online art sales attract new buyers — individuals for whom buying art the traditional way would have zero appeal. Buying online also appeals to first-time buyers with limited budgets who are willing to buy the work of the emerging artists that are showcased on so many online sites. For those who for geographical or psychological reasons would never buy from high-street galleries, it’s the obvious way to shop. That virtual art sites attract new buyers, many of whom are millennials who simply prefer to shop online, has been confirmed by a recent ArtTactic survey which found that 72% of online contemporary art sales are made by new collectors.
Galleries and sales rooms can be intimidating for first-time art collectors. The first thing people meet there is a barrier; thereafter it’s all barriers. That’s one of the reasons why online art sales are the way forward.
According to the ArtTactic survey, original paintings and drawings account for 53% of online sales. One who has vast experience of this market is Rebecca Wilson, Saatchi Art’s chief curator and director of artist development who told the Irish Examiner: “In the past few years we’ve seen a tremendous growth in the demand for buying original works online.”
An on-line gallery owner says “Our business is growing because our online buyers have confidence in us. We know this because 70% of our business is repeat.”