The Online Art Market On The Rise
“Online art markets” – there’s a concept no one would have even considered to be realistic a handful of years ago. And yet, every day – especially following the 2020 pandemic – we get closer and closer to a world that has gone 100% digital. We see it every day; grocery shopping, clothes shopping, real estate, bitcoin; you name it, there’s an online platform for it! With art having put up a good fight against e-commerce, seeing as it’s something that most people believed needed to be seen and touched in person to be truly appreciated, there’s a lot to say about the convenience and ease of having markets and exhibitions move online.
The first and foremost reason behind the rise of online art markets is the newfound normalcy of the Internet. When online shopping first became a thing, people were intimidated and skeptical about its accuracy and efficiency but with its proven success, there are hardly any sellers, of art or otherwise, who don’t have an online presence. We spend most of our time online nowadays so the ease of finding and buying artwork online is no longer a strange concept, especially for collectors. A recent survey art buyers by Art Basel showed that 37% of buyers frequently use online platforms to shop for their artwork, which says a lot about people’s increasing trust of e-commerce as it relates to art.
Another big reason for and advantage of buying art online is the ease, mostly the ease of mind for people who get intimidated by galleries and auction houses. The anonymity gives buyers comfort in knowing there won’t be a curator lurking in the corner pressuring them to make a purchase (and an expensive one at that!). It’s also convenient to have the whole purchasing process be done with the click of a few buttons and then have the artwork delivered to their doorstep – a big win for people facing geographical constraints and unable to visit showrooms and galleries in person. One of the biggest and most well-known examples of online art galleries’ success is the Heritage Auction, that brought in more than $41 million from online sales between April 20th and April 27th in 2020 – in the middle of a pandemic no less!
With the continuous rise in technology and witnessing its effects on the art industry, it’s both interesting and exciting to see how the industry will continue to change and adapt. There will always be skeptics who say that the online world is no place for art but the last year has proven otherwise. People are becoming more and more comfortable making big purchases through their computers and even their phones and once they’re comfortable enough, they get hooked. As the world moves out of the pandemic, many physical galleries are creating an online presence that is here to stay. The best way to not fall behind is to make a conscious effort to keep up with the current times!