One of the critical problems facing the art world is the fact that many art dealers continue to play by the rules of old during times of economic crisis. They often fail to adapt in a meaningful way and roll on as if nothing had happened. Unfortunately, something has happened-- the economy is in a state of peril. Current economic woes have cast a shadow over the art world. These concerns have turned to fear-- and that fear has turned to paranoia in some circles. Some have suggested that if the economy continues to worsen we will see hundreds of brick & mortar galleries close throughout the world. Thus, the time to adapt to this dire market is now! Art dealers need to accept and utilize alternative forms of commerce-- including eCommerce.
Businesses owners must truly adapt in order to sustain themselves during times of economic struggle. This translates to laying off staff, adjusting prices, OR taking some initiative by utilizing different paths of commerce that may be foreign to theie business structure. Selling art is a business-- when business is rough you either count your losses or close your doors. In other words, art dealers need to discover new ways to keep their doors open during difficult times. They need to take note of the positive change that eCommerce has spurred for other types of business. For many art dealers that will involve braving the art market frontier of the internet that has been ridiculed by certain circles of the art world since the 1990s. My opinion is that eCommerce may allow some galleries to keep their doors open during times of economic despair while offering alternative funding during the best of times. Art dealers must adapt to this extension of the global market.
Businesses have learned to adapt to specific market situations by utilizing the internet and eCommerce. Unfortunately, many art dealers tend to hide themselves within a protective bubble of fantasies that dictate that the structure of the art market is without fault and must never change. You can observe the attitudes created by that bubble in how certain circles of the art world have been stubborn about utilizing the internet and eCommerce. Certain individuals want the dynamics of the art market to be etched in stone. Unfortunately, that attitude is why many businesses fail in general. To put it bluntly, when it comes to business nothing is etched in stone.
In order to adapt to a difficult market a business must truly adapt. This is accomplished by exploring different manners of commerce. Lack of initiative, ambition, and the ability to accept changes in how business can be conducted has cast doom on many businesses and it is also why a gallery can end up closing its doors for the last time. This is why it is vital for art dealers to accept eCommerce in order to expand their market. With little effort an art dealer can introduce his or her represented artists to the global art market 24/7. That is the amazing thing about eCommerce-- when the gallery is closed for the night and the art dealer is sleeping a collector overseas may very well request to purchase a piece. From there being practical about secure payments and shipping are the only steps left within the context of the deal.
So how can art dealers utilize eCommerce in order to stabilize their business during difficult economic times? How can they obtain alternative cash flow in order to keep their doors open? It is simple really. By utilizing eCommerce meshed with social networking art dealers can represent more artists-- including emerging artists with affordable prices. An art dealer could technically represent hundreds of artists online with ease while focusing on his or her core artists in the physical gallery space. In other words, an art dealer can represent his or her core artists (primary representation) in the physical space of the gallery while representing others (secondary representation), as well as their core artists, online. This would allow art dealers to take on less established artists so that they can offer affordably priced art to the global market during hard economic times. It would also be a source of alternative income when the market is more stable. By utilizing the internet and eCommerce an art dealer can keep his or her business open to the world 24/7. The technology is here. Use it!
Links of Interest:
Do Galleries Need eCommerce?
eCommerce Can Work For Artists
Why Art Sites Work
Art and the Internet: The Artists Are Here. When will Galleries Participate?
Take care, Stay true,