Hurdling Hurdles

Reelfoot-Lazy Afternoon

“I like the fact that there is challenge.” Keren Ann (from The Painter’s Keys)

The latest sales figures, in an article by Melanie Gerlis, for The Art Newspaper, reveal the online art market to have reached the one billion dollar mark. While the online art market continues to grow, as the same article discusses, it remains only a very tiny percentage of the overall art market. However, two key points from the article could change that percentage. Artists and art dealers are in a position to increase online sales, if an effort is made to focus on these two key issues.

First, the article states that the greatest hurdle to online sales is, “not seeing the actual physical object.” If that is the biggest obstacle, a little artistic creativity can be applied to lower this barrier. Artists might consider better ways to display art online. Focusing on better image quality and other ways to give depictions greater clarity may affect some degree of increased trust for buyers. People seeking to purchase quality art want to be sure they are getting what they pay for.

The second point made by Gerlis is about the age of the current online art buyers. It seems the majority of the online buyers are under age 30. One reason for this is possibly the comfort under 30’s feel with making online purchases in general. They have come of age in the internet generation. Expanding an online sales market to over 30’s is, again, a likely trust issue. Online sellers are more removed from the buyers making it more difficult to build trusting professional relationships.

As online sales continue to grow, the two points made by Gerlis will become less and less of an issue. Artists who work to overcome these two hurdles will expand their markets of online sales faster. Neither hurdle appears insurmountable. All it will take is a bit of applied creativity. Creativity is in the artistic DNA so look for disappearing hurdles on the horizon.

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