In a new title="ArtTactic podcast">ArtTactic podcast, Sean Moriaty, the new CEO of Saatchi Online, talks about the challenges facing the ever increasing number of e-commerce platforms selling art. One rather obvious challenge is the relatively low percentage of global art sales that are conducted this way today:
“People estimate that less than 10% of transactions in the art world are done online, but in the same breath, people talk about how the majority of people, even in gallery scenarios, are buying art that they’ve actually seen in the form of a jpeg sent in an email from the gallerist. Much of the marketing and demand generation, so to speak, is already electronic.”
He believes that as customers get more comfortable purchasing physical items online that are delivered from all over the world, the amount of actual electronic sales should pick up, particularly as the technology and methods of access (via desktop computers, but also through tablets and smartphones) improve.
It will be interesting to see if he’s right. Moriaty has only just joined the company, but is still pretty well positioned to comment, given that Saatchi Online was one of the art e-commerce pioneers, so has survived in the increasingly competitive online art market for a lot longer than most. The platform has sold the work of emerging artists since 2006, years before most online art platforms were born, and 25,000 artists are currently selling work directly on the site.
It certainly attracts a broad swathe of global buyers and sellers. Moriaty says that in the last six months, Saatchi Online has sold art from artists in over 100 countries to buyers in over 80 countries.