The Hiscox Online Art Trade Report was released recently, which gives an overview of how the online art market performed in the past year and what can be expected for the year to come. Their consensus? All signs point to the online art market growing. In fact, this year it is up by 15%. However, this growth come with some challenges as the conversion of online buyers remained static. There is still some hesitation from buyers, and these online sites will have to make some changes to gain their trust. Here are the top three takeaways:
Bricks and Clicks Gain Steam.
Online only platforms are facing competition from brick and mortar businesses as more e-commerce capabilities are being created by them. Auction houses, such as Christie's and Sotheby's are gaining ground in adding e-commerce capbilities to their sites. Four of the top ten performing sites also had a physical presence, and Christie's was the top performing online site.
Online Platforms are Expected to Merge.
There are many online platforms for buying and selling art: 1stdibs, Ebay, Artsy, Artnet, Invaluable, liveauctioneers, and Chairish, just to name a few. Even more have cropped up this year such as Decaso. They note there is too much overlap in the marketplace, especially as more sites take on both the role of auctioneers and dealer platforms, and it is expected that consolidation will occur this year.
Hesitant Buyers are Holding the Online Market Back.
Buyers won't click the buy button immediately. They want good descriptions, photography and more price transparency. They also are hesitant to purchase high value items--most pieces that sell online are valued at $5,000 or below. Plus, buyers still want some form of human interaction and return guarantee before purchasing.
There are more insights in the report itself. Learn more here.