Artsy on Leveraging Mobile Payments to Drive Cross-Border Art Sales

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The ongoing pandemic has not stopped collectors from acquiring creation from some caller and established artists astir the globe. Galleries and auction houses, similar galore markets, progressively person moved to online and mobile platforms, expanding their footprints done planetary eCommerce marketplaces.

Providing consumers with simple, unafraid and transparent cross-border payments is simply a apical precedence for marketplaces specified arsenic New York-based online brokerage Artsy, which sells creation for starring galleries, auction houses and museums worldwide. Bringing these historically brick-and-mortar players online is an ongoing challenge, however, adjacent arsenic much buyers question this channel. Ensuring frictionless cross-border payments for specified high-ticket items is captious for some the selling and the buying sides of these transactions.

“Galleries and auction houses person built their businesses based connected an in-person model, and the creation satellite successful wide is not known for its transparency oregon for its openness,” Artsy Chief Revenue Officer Dustyn Kim told PYMNTS successful an interview. “So, it’s been an ongoing effort to displacement our partners’ behaviors toward a much unfastened and much flexible mindset.”

Kim described however Artsy has risen to this challenge, uniting brick-and-mortar creation dealers with mobile-savvy consumers to make a booming planetary concern portion efficaciously addressing cross-border outgo frictions.

The Challenges of Building a Cross-Border Online Art Marketplace

Kim explained that dealers’ accepted absorption to selling online has been a hurdle for Artsy, but pandemic-driven restrictions served to lessen this obstacle.

“If [galleries and auction houses] privation to turn their business, they request to conscionable their buyers wherever they’re at,” she said. “Sellers present recognize that ‘online’ does not mean that their carnal beingness oregon [in-store] acquisition goes away. [Buyers want] much information; they privation to cognize the price; they privation to beryllium capable to click a fastener and bargain it.”

The pandemic not lone accelerated the integer displacement of galleries and auction houses but besides brought a melodramatic summation successful radical buying creation online, including a surge successful newbie creation buyers. Younger buyers successful peculiar grew up with the net and are comfy buying online for everything from groceries to location furnishings, truthful creation was not a acold stretch.

“We had existing buyers — radical who already cognize astir the creation satellite and emotion our creation — coming online due to the fact that they were present moving from location and wanting to capable their walls,” Kim said. “We besides saw a batch of caller buyers, and implicit the people of past year, our galleries reported that 70% of their buyers from Artsy were caller to the gallery.”

Artsy’s eCommerce income grew 2.5 times successful 2020, and much than 2 cardinal collectors and creation enthusiasts presently usage the platform. The immense bulk of Artsy’s income enactment is completed via mobile app, reflecting the integer modulation of consumers astatine large.

“There’s a beardown penchant for mobile, truthful [we] built [the platform] with an app-first mentality,” she said. “We conscionable did a survey of collectors and younger collectors successful particular. Two-thirds of those collectors reported purchasing creation via their phones. So, I’d accidental mobile is the starring [channel, not only] for discovering and researching the art, but besides [for] really clicking that ‘Buy It Now.’”

Addressing Payment Frictions to Build Consumer Trust and Ease of Use

Most creation galleries and auction houses are small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that bash not person the resources to code the method issues of establishing an online presence. Artsy enables them to migrate online without having to tackle these headaches.

“Galleries and auction houses, galore of the smaller auction houses successful particular, person much of a method situation erstwhile they effort to bash it connected their own,” Kim said. “So, erstwhile they’re trying to acceptable up their ain websites, fig retired their ain online outgo processing systems and instrumentality their ain cybersecurity, it tin beryllium precise overwhelming.”

To process the afloat transaction from outgo to delivery, Artsy’s outgo processing strategy integrates with third-party partners for shipping and taxation calculations, peculiarly for planetary invoice compliance. Artsy besides has enactment home-grown information protocols successful spot portion moving with extracurricular cybersecurity firms to guarantee Artsy is simply a trusted and unafraid marketplace.

“In the lawsuit of our auctions, for example, we are vetting buyers connected the platform, and, depending connected the level that they’re bidding at, we’re really doing beauteous rigorous fiscal vetting arsenic well,” Kim said.

Credit cards marque up Artsy’s superior online outgo mechanism, yet its lawsuit enactment squad volition measurement successful and manually assistance with different types of transactions arsenic well. Kim said the level is looking to connection further options, specified arsenic PayPal, and marque escrow and ligament transfers much wide available. Currently, each cross-border payments are made successful U.S. dollars, but the quality to some database and transact successful assorted currencies is connected the merchandise roadmap for the adjacent future, she added.

Kim acknowledged that Artsy sees cart abandonment connected eCommerce income channels and, successful that case, seeks to larn much astir wherefore customers changed their minds.

“We volition person radical [who] really scope retired to enactment with creation collectors to amended recognize what happened,” she explained.

Kim said she sees the ongoing intersection of brick-and-mortar and integer income arsenic a win-win that volition proceed to turn the creation marketplace business.

“That [intersection] really serves to further turn the creation market, without 1 [platform] taking distant from the other,” she said. “People volition spell to a assemblage oregon store astatine an creation fair, but past privation to implicit the transaction connected their telephone due to the fact that that is simply wherever each their accusation is and wherever they are utilized to purchasing everything other successful their life.”

The inclination of buying creation online surely volition proceed post-pandemic, and user expectations volition turn with it. Marketplaces specified arsenic Artsy tin expect to thrive arsenic they strive to make ever-more-seamless experiences successful the evolving cross-border landscape.

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