How mobile technology is shaping the online art market

While there is always going to be an element of the art world and market that remains true to traditional values, the online art market is one of the fastest growing industries in recent times. There are countless e-commerce platforms for art at the moment and there are high figures being quoted for the percentage of art collectors who purchase art online.

There are a number of different reasons why there is such an explosion in the online art market, including:

  • Owning original artwork is more popular than ever, leading to new buyers entering the field
  • Online platform owners developing new, easier and safer ways to buy and sell
  • The general movement towards a digital world
The Castel by  Gunter Junghans

The Castel by Gunter Junghans

While many forms of art have a traditional style and identity, the general art world has always moved with the times and being sold on online platforms is just the latest evolution. It has to be said that all forms of shopping, not just art shopping, has grown considerably in recent times with industry expectations that mobile device sales will top $100bn by the end of 2014. The emergence of the internet has created a viable selling platform but the development of mobile devices and smartphones has made it even easier for people to peruse and purchase art from wherever they are in the world.

Progress has been further created by the way that many popular art platforms, galleries and even artists have embraced online and mobile culture. Artwork in exhibitions can be placed alongside QR codes to allow users to instantly find out more about a piece of work or an artist. There is also an opportunity for platforms, artists and galleries to create apps. This means that there is always an opportunity to engage and connect with the art world and many people feel more comfortable making a purchase within a specially created app. With more and more people becoming confident in what online retail offers, it stands to reason that there will be more sales made in this community.

Secure online commerce is a major factor

The progress being made in safe and secure online commerce is crucial in the art world. With many pieces going for large sums of money, it is understandable that people will only want to make a purchase when they know that they are engaging in a secure transaction. The rising level of consumer confidence with online shopping has made more people feel confident about spending larger sums of money online. This has created the situation where a greater level of artwork is being bought and sold to the online community.

While many industry experts will be closely scrutinising the market to find reasons as to why online sales of apps are booming, sometimes it is all down to the simplest of reasons. The increasing use of tablets provides users with a bigger screen, making it easier for them to closely inspect pieces of art in higher definition. The improved provision of broadband means that more data can be downloaded instantly or even streamed. Artists and galleries can provide video content and streamed footage of exhibitions and pieces. There is an opportunity to connect to an art opening or major gallery when you are halfway around the world. The fact that more people are able to engage and interact with an artist or art platform means that more sales will follow.

Another element of the tablet that may be overlooked in explaining its role in improving online sales can be seen in the fact that a tablet is flexible, allowing content to be viewed horizontally or vertically. This is not the case with desktops or laptops, and not every piece of art will benefit from being viewed in a horizontal format. The fact that there is now an opportunity to view art in a vertical format may allow some pieces to be better displayed and more consumers will have a greater degree of confidence in the art that they are buying.