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The Rising Trend of Online Art Galleries

The Rising Trend of Online Art Galleries
Fernando Cortés | Dreamstime.com

By    |   Monday, 06 May 2019 11:59 AM

Art galleries have long been synonymous with fine culture, whether you’re looking to browse the selection or purchase for your own needs.

Now, making plans to visit a gallery, local or internationally renowned, can be problematic. Everybody finds themselves busy and indisposed, and sampling art can quickly drop down the list of priorities.

"Moreover price can be a dissuading factor, though it is well established that premium quality has a heightened price. With these factors in mind, it is hardly surprising that the market has shifted to online art galleries. As a concept which boasts many benefits, online art galleries benefit the collector and the artists," according to Singulart.

The surge in digital tech has revolutionized careers and businesses. The art market’s shift to e-commerce has experienced phenomenal growth due to the ease in viewing and purchasing art through online art galleries. In the U.S., over the past five years, the Online Art Sales industry has grown by 5.1% to reach revenue of $2bn in 2019. In the same timeframe, the number of businesses has grown by 5.4% and the number of employees has grown by 5.3% as reported by IBISWorld

According to the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report, the online art market grew 9.8% in aggregate in 2018 to $4.64 billion, a slowdown from the 12% growth experienced in 2017. There are indications that current buyers are buying more online. The estimated average future growth rate for the online art market is 15% per year. Based on this growth trajectory, the online art market is expected to be worth $9.32 billion by 2024.

With the collection of art all at your fingertips, browsing online art galleries enable you to discover artists and artworks that otherwise you never would have found. From the artist’s perspective, this growing trend benefits them hugely: their work is shown to an existing audience; they simultaneously elevate their reputation; and consequently have a higher chance of selling their work.

For the consumer the benefits are evident too, allowing a collector — novice or experienced — to visit a smorgasbord of unique collections in accordance with their personal preferences on a variety of contributing factors. The Hiscox report also shows that more millennials bought art online in the last 12 months, and 79% said they had bought more than once (up from 64% last year). New art buyers are also more engaged, with 36% saying they have bought online in the last year, up from 31% last year, and 70% said they had bought art online more than once, up from 64% last year.

Online art galleries enable an art lover to encounter a previously undiscovered artist and engage with a great amount of their collection, if not the entirety. By contrast, previously prospective customers may have been limited in their relationship with a specific artist due to a lack of availability of alternate material.

Of course your preferences will drive your purchases, and online art galleries can accommodate these too. Artwork can drastically vary in price, often being priced in the thousands of euros, pound sterling, dollars, etc. It may well be that a particular style, be that realist or abstract, for instance, and it is possible a particular online gallery will specialize in a certain style.

Without the overhead costs of rent, salary, and contingency for repairs or service, the gallery can reduce the cost they charge; a higher percentage of your investment will go directly to the artist, rather than financing the service that provides you the opportunity to support the artist. This shift does not just service the consumer, however, as the galleries also reap the rewards.

In recent years, art fairs have become increasingly popular, which drew attention and customers away from galleries concurrently; through the progression to an online marketplace, though, galleries can reclaim a returning audience — albeit with digital rather than physical — while also gaining new customers.

Instagram continues to be the art world’s favored social media platform, with 65% of survey respondents choosing it as their preferred social media for art-related purposes, as reported by Hiscox.

Of course there is still a call for having physical art galleries: driving tourism, providing an opportunity to observe artwork in the flesh, and exhibit artwork beyond stationary creations.

For the modern audience, composed of novice and expert collectors alike, the online art gallery has revolutionized the ease in viewing, purchasing and investing in the world of art.

Richard Agu is a researcher, entrepreneur and freelancer, passionate about entrepreneurship and self-development. Currently, Richard writes for Entrepreneur.com, Goodmenproject.com, among others. Follow him on Linkedin.com by clicking here now.

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Art galleries have long been synonymous with fine culture, whether you’re looking to browse the selection or purchase for your own needs.
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Monday, 06 May 2019 11:59 AM
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