E-commerce and the art market
- Leonard Wolk
Electronic transactions of art over the internet. Since the introduction of the World Wide Web in the early 1990s, e-commerce has grown to become a very important channel for the trade of goods as well as services. Several attempts to transition the art market to the internet have been made since the late 1990s and initial results have been mixed. The e-commerce of art has mainly captured the lower end of the market and only recently efforts have been made to create an electronic presence at the upper end of the market. This segmentation, in combination with concurrent technological advancements, led to new ways of experiencing art online and is driving the transformation of the art market that we see today.
Consumer markets on the internet have grown rapidly since the 1990s and, in 2014, e-commerce represented more than 6 per cent of all retail trade in the USA, growing at 15 per cent annually. Globally, it exceeds $1 trillion every year. Thus, e-commerce has grown vastly since the mid-1990s, when one of the most prominent operators of internet auctions opened to the public: eBay.com. Due to its success, eBay has become one of the most studied online markets and it has also had a large impact on many other marketplaces around the world, which, with only small modifications, have mimicked its design....