Artis being sold everywhere all the time, fine art has proved to be stubbornly resistant to the seemingly overwhelming influence of e-commerce. As a result, the online art market had been underdeveloped for years.
Today with the wide use of the internet and world wide web, art is on social media, artist websites, gallery websites, directly out of artists' homes and studios, street fairs, county fairs, and so on. This is just one of the reasons why we have been witnessing a rise in online art sales.
Art sells in all price ranges. Some are brand new, some are hundreds of years old. Some are sold directly to retail buyers by the artists; some might pass through a series of individual sellers, wholesalers, middlemen or galleries on the way to its final destinations. This art includes paintings, sculptures, etchings, lithographs, photographs, serigraphs, digital prints, ceramics, mosaics, wood carvings, ceramics, textiles, watercolors, drawings, mixed media works, and so on. Some art sells at auctions and other public sales, but much of it changes hands in private transactions. All in all millions of pieces of art are bought, sold, traded or otherwise passed from owner to owner locally, regionally, nationally and internationally every year.
According to statista.com, It was estimated that global online art sales amounted to approximately 4.22 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. This is an increase from the previous years. It has taken some time, but we’ve reached a point where people are comfortable with the online world, are less wary of it and nearly everyone is capable of being a part of it. As a result, fine art online galleries are enjoying a boom as fewer and fewer people are intimidated by the idea of shopping online.
There are signs that online buying and consumption is becoming more frequently and people are purchasing art at higher prices. Art lovers and collectors would be willing to pay thousands of dollars for a piece of fine art they have seen on an online art gallery. With this steady growth of the online art market, by 2025 the sales of online art in total could reach 10 billion dollars, an increase from the approximated 4 billion dollars that is the current growth rate. In addition, consumers are pushing the trend further by increasingly turning to mobile phones to view and purchase art. This means that there is more flexibility in where they are when they are exploring art online since a lot of online sales overall is done using mobile devices.
Another possible reason why the online art market is increasing in demand is that there are a lot of online art financial supporters who are putting a lot of money into building online art galleries, this is a hope for all art lovers, collectors and general buyers. Online art gives the buyer an option of buying art at a fixed price, what you see is what you get. Physical galleries have changing prices and sometimes auctions that could lead to artwork being overpriced and only affordable to the chosen few. So online galleries have given a lot more people an option to buy art, a choice that was previously reserved for just a chosen group of people.
Online art makes art available for the buyers at all times and they can access it on all their electronic devices from wherever they may be. This also means that art sellers are happier since they have a constant demand for their artwork and the sellers can go anywhere from the professional artist to the amateur beginner all having a chance to see their art. The use of mobiles to buy online art has increased significantly in recent years, rising to 20% in 2018.
Throughout history, changing how art is sold has always played a role in how much people are willing to spend on art or indulge the idea of purchasing art. Big lounges and parlours helped expand the art market in the 19th century, the commercial galleries in the 20th century changed the idea of selling art completely and now the Internet through online art galleries has the potential to expand the art market and is already doing so. Art will always find a way to keep up with the times, because the world cannot exist without art. It is the unifying factor we all need to identify with each other globally.
by Sylvia A.Zajc