ART DEALERS, AUCTIONEERS LOOK ONLINE FOR GROWTH
Art dealers and auctioneers have developed a liking for online distribution platforms.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd entered the art market in 2013, through its businessto-customer platform Tmall.com.
GomeElectrical Appliances Holding Ltd, one of China’s largest home appliance retailers, launched an online art sales platform called gomeart.comin the second half of last year.
It’s currently offering about 1,000 items of Chinese traditional painting and calligraphy fromsome150 artists.
Another home electronics retail giant, SuningCommerce GroupCo Ltd, launched an online art sales platform, paimai.suning.com, in November. It provides a wider range of items thanGomeby virtue of a cooperation agreement with yidianchina.com, an art information portalwebsite.
Yidianchina.comwas set up at the end of 2012, and it began to serve as an intermediary in 2013, integrating professional art auction houses and online art retailers.
Transactions achieved through yidianchina.comat taobao.comhave exceeded 4 million euros ($5.4 million), according to the European Fine Art Foundation.
“There’s been a significant rise in the online sales of art in China since 2010, and young buyers who are used to online shopping, are the major clients,” saidXu Xiaoling, China representative of the foundation.
Manywebsites dealing with the sales of art have emerged over the past three years. Most of them focus on thework of comparatively young contemporary artists in the first-tier art market, with individual items usually priced below10,000 euros, according to the foundation’s 2014 report.
In 2013, online art platforms generated sales of 2.5 billion euros, almost 5 percent of the global art market sales. Despite the small share, it’s expected that this sector will growat a 25 percent rate annually, reaching 10 billion euros by the end of 2020, according to the report.
Other top global fine art auctioneers also see the online channel as having great potential.
London-based Christie’s International Plc officially launched its online-only business in 2013. Fortyfive percent of buyers on the online platformwere newto Christie’s, with registrants frommore than 100 nations, according to its financial report.
The Internet is a key engine in attracting newbuyers and increasing global accessibility of authenticated art and luxury goods, said the auction house giant.