When it comes to selling art, seeing is believing. Tearsheets, home shows, and on-approval sales: the art world's traditional ways of helping clients imagine what a piece might look like on their wall.
But to survive in the digital era, galleries need to add new tools to their marketing toolkits. Virtual installations are an effective, inexpensive and easy way to reach and grow your younger, tech-savvy clientele. And they'll impress your not-so-tech-savvy clients, too!
What is a virtual installation?
Virtual installations give clients a true-to-scale way to see what a piece of artwork would look like on their wall, without a) going to the gallery or b) bringing the art to their space.
How can it reach younger buyers and grow your client base?
Amongst galleries we work with at ArtCloud, over 80% of their 2017 sales were to new clients, with less than 20% of sales to repeat clients.
That's no surprise, with an older generation of collectors no longer buying art, and Millennials getting to a point in life where they have more and more disposable income.
What does that mean for art galleries? Simply put, if you're not finding new clients, you might find yourself out of business.
But Millennials have very different buying habits and expectations compared to the previous generation of art collectors.
Most notably, they prefer to shop online or on mobile apps. They also prefer to access marketplaces (like Amazon) that give them many options in one place, rather than physically going to gallery after gallery to find a piece of art. They also demand a stellar customer experience, even if they never interact with you in person.
Digital tools give galleries the opportunity to deliver this kind of experience to their clients and use it as a way to grow their client base.
While these changing art buying habits may seem like a threat to your gallery, they are actually an opportunity.
Virtual installations make it easy for younger buyers to experience artwork in their own homes, compare different pieces and see how those pieces might look in different places -- all without ever leaving the house.
By delivering an experience that aligns with these buyers' expectations, galleries can reach a whole new set of clients all over the world.
How does a virtual installation work?
Some galleries will ask their clients for a photo of the wall where they want to place the artwork. In the past, galleries had to superimpose an image of the artwork onto the photo their clients sent using a tool like Adobe PhotoShop. A lot of work and not always very effective.
But in 2018... you guessed it, there's an app for that!
Apps like ArtCloud make it easy for galleries (and their clients) to do a virtual artwork installation in just a few clicks.