Artists · Business Development

Which website style would convert more sales?


March 27th, 2021

It's a website selling art subscriptions to commercial spaces - hotels, offices etc. Should I have a website that showcases the artwork itself (there would be too many to upload every month) or should it just be a simple website explaining what we do, the kind of art we offer (paintings, prints, sculptures, commissions) and then an enquiry/request art form where they answer a few questions on what type of art they want and we get back to them with a few options?

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

March 28th, 2021

This has been done before. Subscription art and even subscription fashion has been done, and it didn't last very long. There are still a couple companies doing it, but the whole issue with subscription art is that most people with authority to make such a purchase have no idea what they should be purchasing.

For commercial (not individual) buyers what you're really selling in this business is advice. It has little to do with the tastes of the purchaser. If they knew how to pick the art, they would just buy it outright. If they have someone managing the impression made by the art, that's a specific niche type client different than most commercial buyers. You're probably looking at companies like law firms who want to impress their clients with the art displayed, or ones who choose to use their office space as a gallery showing cultural connection, like an apartment complex that rotates in pieces from local artists or a cafe that does the same thing.

People aren't in offices these days, so artwork on the walls isn't even a consideration for most. The same with the reduced traffic for hotels and other commercial spaces. Sure, maybe someday things will return to normal. Right now landlords and owners are thinking about how to stay operating, not about frivolous subscriptions to non-essential art.

Timing is bad for this idea. Take a look at what happened to the many companies who attempting this art-on-demand concept. Where it's working is in private homes where people are choosing pieces based on personal tastes. It is not working in commercial spaces where the interior designer makes this decision.

Also look at how people shop for art in general. It's not online, unless it is low-end, inexpensive work, or it is from an artist with whom they are already familiar in-person. The reason art galleries exist as retail spaces is because being in the presence of the piece is an experience that does not translate to online. Sure you can visit art online, but to "own" it, you need to meet it in-person most of the time.