Proving that nearly everything can be sold through ecommerce, Amazon.com launched a fine art marketplace in August this year. In true Amazon fashion, the selection is vast, covering a range of tastes and price points. The multi-million dollar paintings available through Amazon Art surely present a unique consumer fulfillment challenge, but the real questions is whether artists can succeed online or through an ecommerce platform.
While galleries, showcases, and brick-and-mortar storefronts have been the prevailing forums for artists to share and sell their work, the Internet can certainly be a viable way to sell fine art if approached the right way. The trick is to try to recreate the experiences of a gallery setting.
For example, an artist needs to explain their vision and direction to gallery members. The online equivalents would be writing detailed descriptions of the art and being active on social media. Well-written descriptions that talk about the artwork’s use of color, technique, inspirations, etc. can help users who are looking for specific style pieces find them via search engines. Social channels like Flickr, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and others help artists network and connect with one another – similar to the show or gallery setting.
It’s still early to say whether Amazon Art is a boon to the art and ecommerce industries. But, it will definitely expose lots of people to buying and selling art online. The resulting evolution will be interesting to watch.