Posted: January 2, 2019 -
Online platforms act as an entry point for new buyers, making the art market far easier to manoeuvre than the traditional art world which can often be an intimidating experience. Many of these platforms allow their users to communicate directly with galleries and artists without the added anxieties. Although online platforms are hugely popular, it often the case that big spenders buy their art from a physical space before buying online. However, once collectors have bought online once they tend to do so again as they have a heightened send of trust. For platforms like Artsy it is also the case that the vast majority of collectors use the platform to inquire directly and then are able to take the process offline and go directly to the gallery. In this way platforms are expanding the reach of galleries, working with the industry to widen the market.
1stDibs was founded by serial entrepreneur Michael Bruno after he was inspired by a visit to Paris Marché aux Puces. The platform sells furniture, fashion and art, connecting buyers and sellers. In 2011 1stdibs was invested in by Benchmark Capital and David Rosenblatt (the former CEO of DoubleClick) was appointed the Chief Executive Officer. Originally the buyers had to contact the website to make purchases, but Rosenblatt installed the “click to buy” button which has made it significantly easier for its users. The average price of a 1stDibs order has risen by 25% to $2,750, since the click to buy button was installed. The number of buyers purchasing goods over $10,000 has also risen in the past two years. According to Rosenblatt this demonstrates that people are becoming increasingly comfortable and trusting of buying expensive items online. The firm does not have many competitors who are selling the same level of top-end materials including vintage furniture, although Sotheby’s have become more of a competitor in recent years, having bought the online antique and vintage furniture seller Viyet.
ArtAndCollect is a global platform that allows collectors to post works for sale directly with no intermediary and no commission. Conceived as a worldwide network of art players, ArtAndCollect was created as an alternative route to traditional galleries and auction houses, providing the framework for buyers and sellers to start their own conversations, and take sales into their own hands, interacting directly with other collectors. This interaction is what separates ArtAndCollect from other ventures as the go-to platform for those wishing to establish more direct relationships within an online community and a space to express their interests.
Founded in 1989 by art dealer Hans Neuendorf, Artnet is one of the largest networks of its kind, featuring over 170,000 works of art by 35,000 artists. It connects collectors with galleries, whilst generating inquiries from both established collectors and first-time buyers. It is one of the more traditional business models, working with a long list of auction houses around the world. The platform also hosts Artnet auction, the first online auctions platform for buying and selling Modern and Contemporary works. As well as this the platform launched artnet news in 2012, which reports 24hours on the art market and global industry.
Artspace has a selection of thousands of artworks from some of the best names in contemporary fine art. From the internationally renowned artists to those who are just emerging, they offer a selection of artworks that will please any level of collector, and add new works to the site regularly. Artspace are also known for working with some of the most renowned institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, David Zwirner, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, White Cube London & Hong Kong along with many more.
Founded by Carter Cleveland, Artsy is counted as the largest online global market place for art, facilitating over $20 million in art sales each month. The company’s mission is to democratise art, bringing all the world’s art to anyone with an internet connection. In 2017 Artsy acquired ArtAdvisor, a New York-based technology start up. According to this year’s Hiscox report ArtAdvisors machine learning will integrate into Artsy’s platform, providing a deeper understanding for the current and future art market. Artsy’s search engine allows you to search for pieces filtered by style, period and price, whilst also using algorithms to gauge what kind of art appeals to that individual enabling the platform to provide recommendations.
ArtWide is an international exclusive member only art trading platform that offers confidential and secure access to unique works of art. Focused on buying and selling paintings, sculptures, works on paper, prints and photographs spanning from the 1700s to today, Artwide is also able to source specific and individual requests.
Ocula is a multifaceted online platform with global galleries, exhibitions, artists, and artworks. There are also resources for institutions and events. The magazine includes interesting extensive art related news with both well-known and emerging artists featured. Ocula was founded by duo Simon Fisher and Christopher Taylor who now work as managing director and publisher for the business. Ocula has over 30 years of experience in the art market and provides a comprehensive art advisory service. Subscription to the site is free.
Saatchi Art was founded with the mission to bring great art to a wider audience. Artists are able to sell their works online using the free application, uploading images and creating a profile. This means that more or less anyone is able to upload their works, however, gaining a ‘seal of approval’ from one of the websites curators will get you more views. The works on Saatchi Art range from $125 to $100,000, with prints starting at $40. With this they are looking to meet the demands of a growing population looking to buy art that have not been catered for in the past. Saatchi Art launched online in 2005 and is part of the wider Saatchi family founded by Charles Saatchi in London in 1985. Although Saatchi has sought to distance himself from the site which is now owned by Leaf Group. They recently launched the ‘View in a Room’ feature on their iOS app where the buyer is able to take a photo of their wall and superimpose the work of art they were intending on buying to see the effect.
TheArtling are passionate about all art, however, particularly focus on featuring some of the top artists within Asian Contemporary Art. Working with some of the most renowned galleries and artists they make works accessible to an international market. The platform features paintings, sculptures and limited-edition prints. What’s unique about Artling is their interior design feature, with this they offer their expertise in the design of residential houses, offices, apartments or hotels.