Online Galleries are here to stay

THE ONLINE ART WORLD IS HERE TO STAY
Gallery responses confirmed that there is no longer a question about if online will play a pivotal role in the art world, but rather how. It’s clear that in 2017 many galleries expanded beyond the basics (like a gallery website) to invest more in a variety of online platforms to support their businesses. Over the past year, 46% of gallerists reported a redesign of their website, and 21% said they hired a dedicated person to manage their online presence.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS FOR MORE THAN JUST NETWORKING
One of the most noteworthy trends in 2017 is the evolution of galleries’ relationships with social media platforms. In the past, Instagram and Facebook served merely as digital photo albums and simple networking tools. However, with paid social ad placements and interactive photo and video features, gallerists are now investing in social media more heavily as marketing and sales tools. is year, 54% of gallerists reported experimenting with video (e.g. Instagram Stories, Facebook Live) and 47% said they communicated with collectors directly on social media.

GALLERISTS ARE STILL INVESTING IN PRINT
Despite the global decline of print publishing, 55% of gallerists asked about advertising channels reported purchasing print ads in 2017—a percentage equal to the number of gallerists that purchased Facebook ads in 2017.
One key takeaway from gallery advertising behavior today is the interest in digital advertising. While print advertising has been around for decades, the equal investment in Facebook and print ads by gallerists that partner with Artsy indicates a notable change is occurring in the art world. In the past, collectors may have primarily consulted magazines and newspapers to discover new shows—but, if we can take away anything from gallerists purchasing Facebook ads, it’s that gallerists are increasingly open to digital
advertising channels.

LINGERING RESERVATIONS ABOUT ONLINE
Inquiry quality ranked highest among gallerists’ reservations about the online art world. is makes sense given the scale of art audiences online—in the case of Artsy, over 2 million visitors monthly—and ease of experience for collectors to browse and inquire.
Interestingly, survey respondents ranked the cost of joining an online platform as their second highest reservation. is is somewhat surprising given the percentage of gallerists who reported redesigning a website (46%) or purchasing print ads (55%)—investments which cost a multitude more than online platforms. We understand these cost allocations to be driven largely by brand presentation and awareness, with websites and print ads perceived as a rst-wave marketing effort.