Economy Online art purchases exploded in 2020

Online art purchases exploded in 2020

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648x415 une exposition dans une galerie a moscou le 19 avril 2021

An exhibition in a gallery in Moscow, April 19, 2021. – Sergei Karpukhin/TASS/Sipa USA/S

The year 2020 will have been that of art on the Internet. According to a report by insurance company Hiscox released on Thursday, online art purchases took off at a dizzying pace last year. No less than 82% of new art collectors bought on the Internet in 2020, compared to 36% in 2019.

In addition, online auctions of the world’s top three auction houses, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, exceeded $ 1 billion (+ 524%). This movement may not be sustainable, however.

Boom or bubble?

Is it “a boom or a bubble? “, Wonders this survey carried out with 70 platforms. Because collectors hesitating to take the plunge put forward as difficulty the inability to physically inspect the works, to know their true condition, to establish their quality, and the fear of buying fakes or reproductions. According to Hiscox, 62% of new art buyers would be encouraged to buy by the reviews of other customers, but only 37% of online art platforms offer it.

The report further notes that 70% would also buy more if they had the opportunity to speak to an advisor. But only 27% of platforms offer it. Most of the sites surveyed (83%) already use high resolution, zooms and other viewing tools. But those who have experienced the extended, virtual or augmented realities are fewer. But mastering these technologies could make the difference, according to the study.

A need for information

Precise pricing is another criterion: of all the platforms surveyed, 93% offer a clear price catalog. But only 27% of these platforms, mostly auction sites, provide detailed information tools such as past prices or recent returns. Moreover, the possibility of insuring a work at the very moment of the purchase would increase their confidence, assure a majority of buyers questioned. A possibility that only 30% of sites offer.

Finally, according to this study, cybersecurity raises questions: 57% of potential customers are afraid of the hacking of their bank card, while half are worried about the interception of their invoices or the theft of their personal data.

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