The figures presented by the Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2018 are encouraging. In 2017, online sales in the art market increased by 12% compared to 2016, for a total figure of around 4.22 billion dollars.

This is three percentage points less than in 2016, when growth was around 15%, but it is a confirmation that buyers, as they prefer online to offline when it comes to buying a pair of shoes or a computer, feel the same for art.

Hiscox report art Online Art Sales. Image: Hiscox

The profile of the art buyers
The profile of the online art buyers includes both collectors with a long career behind them, half of them saying they visit an online platform at least once a week, as well as new customers, for which online is the easiest access door to the market.

Hiscox report art Art buyers by age group. Image: Hiscox

Hiscox also reports that online buyers buy more frequently and on a bigger budget than before. In 2018, the percentage of buyers who bought pieces for more than 5,000 dollars increased by 4 percentage points, reaching a 25% increase.

The budget is not the only thing to increase, 74% of online shoppers have purchased more than one item in the last 12 months and have changed their buying habits, no longer focusing one single category of art.

The smarter we get, the more we buy online
Smart phones for the first time surpasses computers and tablets as the prefered way to buy art online. In the first quarter of 2018, 20% bought from smartphones, in 2015 it was only 4%. The trend is very much in line with the doubling of all mobile traffic between 2014 and 2018.

Hiscox report art Device used for purchases online. Image: Hiscox

Instagram: the millennial gateway to the art scene
Instagram is another important factor to the increased millennial presence on the online art market. 79% of those interviewed for the survey, that was under 35, said that Instagram is the best platform to search and discover new artists and galleries. The most followed artist? Banksy with 2.1 million followers.

Hiscox report art Social Media use. Image: Hiscox

The success of this platform compared to others is described by the Hiscox Report as "The simplicity and visual nature of Instagram make it ideal for the art world".

Barnebys is on Instagram. Follow us here! 

Robert Read, Head of Art and Private Clients at Hiscox, says: "The future of the online art market is guaranteed, even if the way it will remain is a mystery". What we know is that 52% of those who bought online in 2017 intend to keep doing so in 2018 and that 28% of respondents who never bought art online probably will.

Hiscox has also confirmed that Barnebys is in the top 25 online art platforms that it draws every year. You can read the whole report by clicking here. 
Find out how easy and transparent it is to buy with Barnebys: start now! 

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