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5 minutes to understand the online art market
A closer look 22 Apr 2015

5 minutes to understand the online art market

{The new Hiscox report on the online art market in 2015 has just been released, and Artsper has taken on the task of deciphering it for you in 4 diagrams!}

{An exponentially growing market}

Online art market reaches $2.64 billion in volume. Online art sales have shifted into high gear in the last year as global online platforms for art and collectibles have gained popularity. Applying a growth rate of 19% (the rate determined for the slightly more mature online luxury goods market) this value will rise to $6.3 billion in 2019! 52% of online shoppers surveyed said they were more likely to buy more art online in the next 12 months than in the last 12, and 34% said they would spend the same amount, supporting the estimated 12-month growth rate for the online art market.

{Buying a work of art: a multiple experience}

Art buying is evolving into a multi-channel experience. These findings suggest that art buyers are becoming less reliant on the traditional gallery as a place to buy and that, increasingly, collectors are choosing either channel to acquire art. In the future, it will therefore be essential to offer potential art buyers a choice between different acquisition channels.

{Online shopping: a complement to galleries}

With 91% of respondents having purchased from a traditional gallery or auction house before buying online, bricks-and-mortars are still essential to inform and build confidence in buying art. Online art buying should therefore be seen as a complement rather than a substitute for galleries, auction houses and fairs.

{New generation more willing to buy online}

That said, the survey results unequivocally show that the online art market is attracting and shaping a whole new generation of art collectors. Online sales platforms play an important role as a gateway for new buyers, not least because buying art via this channel is often perceived as less intimidating. In fact, 45% of respondents felt that the process of buying art on an online sales platform was less intimidating than in a traditional gallery or auction house (compared to 39% last year).

{Collectors’ loyalty to the online buying process}

These results show that once they have made their first online purchase, collectors are very likely to use the same process again because they were satisfied with their experience, from ordering to delivery. The online purchase of a work of art is therefore no longer merely occasional but is becoming a real buying habit, which reinforces the position of the online art market in relation to the art market in general over the coming years.

{The investment value of the work is becoming increasingly important}.

Return on investment is a strong motivation for online art buyers. While emotional benefit remains an important motive for buying art online, up to 63% of respondents are also attracted by “value potential” or return on investment. The investment motivation is most prevalent among novice art buyers (defined here as those who started buying art less than three years ago), 75% of whom cite ‘value potential’ as the trigger for their online art purchase. This implies a high level of negotiation skills and demonstrates the potential of online art sales sites.

About Artsper

About Artsper

Founded in 2013, Artsper is an online marketplace for contemporary art. Partnering with 1,800 professional art galleries around the world, it makes discovering and acquiring art accessible to all.

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