The Rise of Digital Art: How a Virtual Gallery Experience Can Maximise Your Art Sales

Feb 12, 2021
4 min read

In 2020, online art sales soared; we investigate the gallery owners who have gracefully adapted to the current climate and how a virtual gallery experience can boost sales. 

A Digital World

The digital e-commerce shift has allowed for those digitally savvy to maintain momentum alongside the closure of businesses. The change from physical space to online space had been happening for some time. Yet, with the pandemic forcing galleries’ doors to close for an undetermined period, many have turned to the digital world to push exhibitions into a virtual gallery space. 

A Virtual Gallery Prediction

The emergence of the virtual gallery experience has been accelerated over the past ten months due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With many galleries turning to solutions that provide virtual exhibition spaces, it is proven that having the ability to showcase work to a global audience when travel is difficult, is an imperative aspect of any modern gallery. 

Even when doors are allowed to reopen, and vaccinations have taken full effect on the general public, we still expect the demand for international art collecting from online platforms to continue growing. With our carbon footprint (or lack of in recent months) contributing to the environment’s improvement, more collectors have taken an ecological standpoint regarding travel. 

A feeling of environmental responsibility has been placed upon the public, causing many to take that call to action. The requirement for an environmentally friendly alternative to exhibitions has never been so essential. 

A Global Exhibition Audience

Without having any defined end to the pandemic, or knowledge of how long it will take for the public to feel comfortable travelling, the world of art exhibitions has had to evolve. 2020 still saw some record-breaking sales, despite the lack of bricks and mortar gallery experience. Proving that the collectors are always interested in artworks no matter the circumstance, they still part with their cash for the right to own some beautiful pieces. 

The decision-making process for purchasing work has changed dramatically. Whereas exhibitions may have hinted at what will be showcased and which artists are involved, a virtual exhibition gives the collector a full view of the offerings without leaving their armchair or study. 

Due to the large sales that have occurred during the pandemic in the online environment, those art lovers have grown more used to a digital platform and feel more at ease to purchase work than ever before.

Live auctions have seen a substantial increase in new bidders. This has opened the doors of the new global market and opportunities for all galleries and art collectors. 

The New Ordinary – A Digital Gallery

We all crave the ability to see a walk-in exhibition or a VIP show opening again. Once we are inoculated and Covid-19 free, artists and collectors will slowly but steadily come back into the beautiful gallery spaces we once loved.

Yet it is difficult to ignore the opportunities that have arisen by forcing the art world firmly into a digital platform. Online sales have increased. Through researching business needs and our expertise in the fashion and art world, we have had the opportunity to produce online virtual reality exhibitions that have enabled our clients to continue showcasing fine and contemporary art to this newly discovered global audience. 

A new world of virtual reality and technology has enabled sharing artworks like never before. VR is no longer the future; it is here to stay and has become an essential exhibition space for galleries that want to reach an audience substantially more extensive and diverse than one of mere footfall.

The Results Speak for Themselves

  • Long-Sharp Gallery – over 500% ROI
  • Maddox Gallery – 30000 visits to their virtual exhibitions
  • Avg time spent across all virtual shows – 13 minutes (which is quite a lot for a web page)

The virtual galleries’ impact in these three case studies was substantial—showcasing how important it is to venture deeper into the digital platforms now on offer.

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