Three Tactics to Prepare Your Gallery for the 2020 Holiday Season

Three Tactics to Prepare Your Gallery for the 2020 Holiday Season

Ansel Adams, Young Oaks, Winter (1935). Image courtesy of Atlas Gallery.

In the summer and fall, businesses are typically busy preparing for the holiday season—the most important time of the year for consumer spending. However, as a result of COVID-19, the 2020 holiday season will certainly be different.

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted consumer behavior. This past May, online spending was up 70% year over year—reaching $82.5 billion in the U.S.—and consumer trends show a dramatic increase in online searches for and purchases of items to complement spending more time at home.¹

What does this all mean? Segments that have historically lagged behind in e-commerce—like the art market—now have opportunities to engage with new and existing art buyers online. Read on to learn how you can find these collectors and make the most of the upcoming holiday season.

1. Base your business strategy in the current consumer experience

More consumers than ever are shopping online in 2020, especially for products they would normally buy in person, such as art. Additionally, research shows that consumers today are more focused on purchasing items for the home than in the past.² In line with these findings, “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Gallery Sector,” a recent report from Art Basel and UBS, found that 59% of collectors grew more interested in buying art during the pandemic, with 31% saying their interest in collecting had significantly increased. Bearing these trends in mind, it’s wise to consider focusing your gallery’s resources online during this time, as the uncertainty of physical meetings persists and collectors continue to move online to buy art.

While commercial art spaces have reopened in many regions, limits on physical interactions and distance are still at play, and collectors are understandably reluctant to browse and purchase art in person due to exposure concerns. According to the Art Basel and UBS report, collectors reported an expected 39% reduction in their attendance of events and similarly anticipated attending 40% fewer gallery events in 2020 compared to last year. The report also found that 92% of collectors surveyed continued buying art during the pandemic, meaning that they’re looking to online resources—like digital fairs and marketplaces such as Artsy—to buy art.

2. Make it more convenient to buy art from your gallery 

As more collectors turn to buying art online, their expectations are shifting, too—challenging long-standing habits and norms around acquiring art. Now, they’re looking for the simplest, safest way to discover new works online and build their collection. How can your gallery guarantee a pleasant, secure experience for collectors looking to buy works?

First, take fundamental steps to ensure a simple, frictionless transaction process. Focus on simplifying key moments in the collector’s buying journey to make the biggest, quickest impacts.

In the recent Art Basel and UBS report, collectors were asked their thoughts about access to prices of works for sale online. The majority (81%) said it is “important or essential” to have access to price information while browsing artworks online, while 16% said they find it helpful to have the price posted, but don’t mind contacting the gallery. Only 3% of collectors said public pricing is not important. Therefore, listing the prices of your works is no longer just “nice to have”—it’s essential if you want to sell more art.

Artsy’s e-commerce options, Buy Now and Make Offer, were built with visible pricing and ease of transaction in mind—and the volume of transactions made through them have increased more than 130% year over year. Additionally, galleries that partner with Artsy receive a suite of protection tools that allow them to transact securely and confidently on our platform.

Beyond the quick wins of incorporating visible pricing and partnering with an online art marketplace, you can utilize channels you already have to sell art. Consider enabling e-commerce functionalities on Instagram, Facebook, and your gallery’s website.

3. Capture the attention of collectors with compelling digital content

It’s always important to get noticed by collectors looking to buy art, especially during the holidays. That’s why it’s crucial to leverage your gallery’s digital channels and share content that collectors will enjoy, making it more likely that they’ll find your works online. Take time to plan a campaign around the holidays that frames the stories of your gallery and artists. For more tips on content strategy, read the Gallery’s Guide to Content Creation.

Here are a few quick holiday campaign tips from our digital marketing experts:

  1. Create open-worthy subject lines for your holiday campaigns. For example:
    1. Your Holiday Gift Guide: Our Top 10 Picks
    2. 5 Meaningful Pieces of Art to Gift This Holiday Season
    3. [Gift Guide] Give Something Meaningful This Holiday Season
    4. Happy holidays. Treat yourself to a new artwork.
    5. Gift the Joy of Art: Browse our Curator’s Picks
  2. Curate a Viewing Room or online-exclusive exhibition on Artsy and promote it across email and social media
  3. Write a personalized holiday message to your clients or email newsletter with a link to a gift guide and your top artwork picks for the holidays 

In this time of increased online spending for items around the home and changing collector expectations, it is imperative to place your artists’ work in digital spaces where serious collectors frequently visit, and where the purchase and discovery process is easy and frictionless.

Artsy connects collectors with art they love (or will love!) and has an audience of millions of art enthusiasts around the world. Our gallery partners have access to state-of-the-art tools that help them leverage our qualified collector base, including analytics to learn about their audience, conversation interfaces to connect with interested collectors, online exhibition tools including Artsy Viewing Rooms, and a variety of purchasing options to offer collectors who are ready to buy. Learn more about an Artsy partnership today.