In December, insurance company Hiscox and art research firm ArtTactic released the second part of their annual Online Art Trade Report for 2020. In contrast to the first iteration, which looked at the initial impact of the pandemic on the online art and collectible market, the second report explores how online art buyers’ behavior and habits have changed, and what this could mean for the industry. “COVID-19 has turbo-charged the online market. Its transformation has been quicker and more successful than anyone would have imagined,” said Robert Read, head of art and private clients at Hiscox. “I believe, and this report shows, that we have reached a watershed moment in the development of the online art market.”
While the COVID-19 crisis may have been the catalyst to ignite the smoldering online art market, we at Arta have been building towards this much anticipated digital transformation from our very beginning. The Hiscox report has reinforced the idea that now, more than ever, sellers need to invest in the right technology to help them sustain growth and build loyalty. Arta's API is a simple, all-in-one solution that allows online sellers to instantly surface shipping prices and automate fulfillment globally while reducing sunk costs and improving the buyer experience.
Though we’re ultimately likely to see a hybrid clicks-and-bricks model continue in the future, it has become abundantly clear the digital channel is here to stay. Here are four key takeaways from the report that support the growing need of Arta within this industry:
- More people are comfortable buying art online, with 67% of art buyers buying online between March and September, up 44% in 2019. Future generations clearly want this avenue of purchasing as new buyers led a spending spree; those collecting for less than three years were particularly active, with 82% buying art online during the period.
- Not only are people buying more art online, but they’re also spending more: 29% paid an average of $10,000 or more per painting, compared to 20% in 2019. A further 11% spent $50,000 or more (compared to 4% in 2019).
- More than half (55%) of online art buyers surveyed purchased works through online auction platforms, up from 37% last year. A majority of millennials (53%) had bought art through online auctions, compared to 35% in 2019.
- Platforms that will ultimately win online will have seamless fulfillment and post-sale processes; 68% of respondents said that secure and cost-effective shipping and delivery is key when choosing which platform to use.