The Global Online Art Market & Look Ahead

There was a time that when one heard the words “Art Market”, what came to mind were places like Christie’s or Sotheby’s. But along with the rest of consumer sales, the buying and selling of fine art and collectibles is now found online. Yes, Christie’s and Sotheby’s have established an online bidding aspect to their services, but they are only a few of many organizations who have gone global. In fact, in more recent years, hundreds of art museums and galleries have made works available online for prospective buyers.

The Past

As soon as images, photographs and videos began circulating the World Wide Web, buying and selling of art online grew. With the global economic downturn in 2009, one might have expected the new online art market to become stagnant. However, the ultra-wealthy (historically the most active art collectors) were looking for ways to diversify their asset structures.

New Players

Online art markets allowed participation worldwide, as enthusiasts needed only an internet connection and strong financing. Emerging market economies coincided with interest in emerging artists, and growth was seen in both arenas. It became easier for new art enthusiasts and collectors to enter the scene with the introduction of online platforms, both of which capitalized on the new faces of art collectors. Art galleries also began allowing purchasers to handle transactions completely online. We now consider the online art market a typical part of our online economy.


The Future of the Online Art Market

The financial certainty and consumer confidence in several leading art market countries has changed. China, Russia, and Brazil are all facing a changes in their art markets, while growth is being shown in other Latin American markets, along with those in India and Southeast Asia.

While the “global” portion of the art market may experience some overall slowing, the “online” aspect remains strong worldwide. With sharp drops in oil prices, investors will continue to look for investment diversity, and art appears attractive (no pun intended). There will continue to be variations across styles, genres, and mediums. However, with increased analytics available, art market professionals will continue to improve their marketing tactics, and galleries and purchasers will utilize the digital marketplace to locate works which reflect common market demands.

Combing the benefits of a tangible investment and the ability to view and purchase art online, a new online-driven generation will see value in this online process. The idea of fixed-price online sales is growing (up 41% from 2015 to 2016), while the uncertainty of an auction has slowed (up 37% from 2015 to 2016). Further, as with most everything else online, mobile IS the future. Art galleries online reported that visits to their site from mobile and apps tripled in 2016 alone. Mobile is yet another way young, less-experienced art buyers are experiencing the thrill of selecting and purchasing fine art.

As world travelers and discoverers of art, Sybaris Collection provides yet another aspect of online art purchasing. From discovering emerging artists to showcasing new examples of proven artist’s skills, Sybaris Collection provides clients with fresh, unique pieces which can be inspected and reviewed through the distinctive collections found on their website. Although the traditional private gallery sales and auction house purchases will most likely never disappear, they will feel the pressure to be more transparent and competitive as the online art market grows.