Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

People don’t want to buy everything online

Our society over the years has developed a whole different consumer option on the internet. Amazon provides everything, (including bulk toilet paper,) that can be delivered to your door. We also have PeaPod that delivers groceries, and take out that can be literally delivered to your apartment door. But when it comes to art, people want the real, live, experience.

In this New York Times article about trying to auction art off online, it seems that at least for the regular art purchasing clientele, they would prefer to view and bid on their items in person. As is mentioned in the article, there arebusinesses who have quickly tried to help create platforms for this to encourage the bidding of art, but so far the largest bid has been $1 million through the internet, but in person a sculpture went for $101 million.

Why, with visual art, are people unsatisfied purchasing the item online, and want to purchase this in person? Why with performing arts do we consider the ability to get all of our shows, operas, performances online a bad thing?

Somehow, visual art has been able to keep its place with in person purchasing. Maybe, if we figure out their secret, we can get more people to enjoy performing arts in person as well.

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3 comments on “People don’t want to buy everything online

  1. trishayoung
    November 7, 2014

    I feel like we’re talking about two very different things: an exchange of thousands, possibly millions, of dollars versus an exchange of hundreds of dollars at the most. I can imagine the hesitation of moving online if I’m spending such a significant amount of money. It is definitely happening to a small degree but people like to feel connected to something before they make large purchases: cars, homes, artwork, etc. I think performing arts can more easily shift between live and online because the monetary value is significantly less so the shift feels easier. We regularly deal in terms of a few hundred dollars whereas artwork is an investment. It would be wonderful to pull people back to live performing arts events so I guess we have to find a way to increase the experiential value since increasing the monetary value probably won’t help.

  2. amyjoforeman
    November 7, 2014

    I agree with Trisha that buyers are less willing to spend such a large amount of money online. They want to be able to see the piece in person, discuss contracts, ensure credibility before buying a piece. I don’t think the internet can quite accommodate the needs of online super spending just yet. It will be interesting to see how this changes and if people become more comfortable buying online.

  3. gaochang619
    November 7, 2014

    Yes I agree with the idea concerning online visual arts transaction. Dealing with this issue,a newborn transaction form for visual arts in China called Online to Offline which is abbreviated as O2O. In this transaction mode, customers scan and get to know their target product on the website of galleries and make a reservation, and then they will come to the store and finish the whole purchase process. It has just started its first step, but it seems to be a possible future trend of such online visual art trading.
    In fact I think the O2O mode is a imitation of performing arts realm, just like people will know their upcoming concert online or in brochures and then go to experience it.

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