TEFAF Art Market Report: Online Focus was launched today, June 29th, at a packed breakfast in London for the TEFAF dealer community. Written by Professor Rachel Pownall, the trend report looks at the extent to which the art world is embracing digital opportunities and the impact new technology is having on the art market. 

Well-established international auction houses are leading the field in e-commerce and online engagement, leveraging their brands to advantage in the online space.  Auction houses are using e-commerce, either through developing their own platforms or using third-party platforms, to reach new buyers and collectors, a trend that is only likely to accelerate. 

Dealers have been slow to adapt to new technology, with a third operating off-line only, and 20% of galleries and dealers surveyed saying they have no intention to move online.  Although the dealer market for online sales of art and antiques is currently small, the growth stated by dealers in the TEFAF Art Market Report 2017, released in March 2017 during TEFAF Maastricht, is high at 18.8%, meaning that although overall engagement is low, sales online are expanding. 

Fastest growth is seen at the lowest price points, which is bringing new buyers into the market.  Growth at the upper end of the market is being limited by issues of trust and transparency, but advances in technology may serve to address this.  Young collectors and millennials, used to organising their lives via an electronic device and entirely comfortable with buying art and luxury goods online, are vitally important to future market growth at all price points.

To date, no one dominant player has yet emerged in the online market but those that are innovating and developing their product portfolio – for example, Artsy,  1st Dibs and Invaluable - are those that are currently succeeding in this very competitive marketplace. There is a shakeout in this segment, as other business models falter or fail.

There is no doubt of the sheer potential of digital and mobile channels to impact the art business. The report confirms the suppositions that TEFAF had been making about dealer engagement with the opportunities that e-commerce can provide. To assist the dealer community in this endeavour, TEFAF is launching TEFAF TEN in partnership with Invaluable.

In the lead up to TEFAF New York Fall (October 28 – November 1), a different group of ten Fall exhibitors will be highlighted each month on both TEFAF.com and Invaluable.com via a dedicated microsite. Each participant in TEFAF TEN can highlight eight to twelve works on this microsite, with a view to marketing the TEFAF dealer community to a receptive online audience (the Invaluable website has 3 million unique monthly visitors). The microsite will profile TEFAF TEN dealers and highlight a wide variety of objects. It will also have a Buy Now capability.

Download TEFAF Art Market Report: Online Focus

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TEFAF is a not-for-profit foundation acting as an expert guide for both private and institutional collectors in a global art marketplace, and inspiring lovers and buyers of art everywhere. TEFAF now runs three Fairs internationally: TEFAF Maastricht, TEFAF New York Fall and TEFAF New York Spring.
About TEFAF New York
A joint venture between TEFAF and Artvest Partners, TEFAF New York was founded in early 2016 to host two annual art fairs in New York at the Park Avenue Armory, TEFAF New York Fall and TEFAF New York Spring. Each Fair feature over 90 leading exhibitors from the around the globe. Tom Postma Design, celebrated for its innovative work with leading museums, galleries, and art fairs, has developed designs for the Fairs that interplay with the spectacular spaces while giving them a lighter, contemporary look and feel. Exhibitor stands will flow throughout the Armory’s landmark building encompassing the Wade Thompson Drill Hall and extending to both the first and second floors of the Armory’s period rooms, creating a Fair of unprecedented depth and impact in New York City.
TEFAF New York Fall 2017 will be held October 28 through November 1, 2017.
About TEFAF Maastricht
TEFAF Maastricht, the world’s leading art and antiques air, champions the finest art dealers and experts from around the world. It was the first art fair to be run by dealers for dealers, and inspires lovers and buyers of art everywhere. TEFAF is a not-for-profit foundation acting as an expert guide for both private and institutional collectors in the global art marketplace. The 31st edition of TEFAF Maastricht will be held in the Maastricht Exhibition & Congress Centre from March 9-18, 2018. 
Since 2005, TEFAF has been supporting research and international collaboration by means of a special Chair of Oncology at the research institute GROW, the School for Oncology and Developmental Biology at the Maastricht University Medical Centre.
About TEFAF’s Sponsors:
Invaluable – TEFAF Marquee Sponsor
Invaluable is the world’s leading online marketplace for fine art, antiques and collectibles. With best-in-class online bidding technology, along with a fixed-price retail platform, Invaluable provides sellers with e-commerce and marketing solutions, as well as auction management software. Headquartered in Boston, Invaluable also has offices in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium and Australia. For more information, visit www.invaluable.com or follow Invaluable on Twitter at @InvaluableLive.
Athena Art Finance
Launched in October 2015 with $280 million of equity capital led by the Carlyle Group and investors of the private equity unit of the Pictet Group, Athena is an independent specialty finance company, dedicated to serving the financing needs of the global art market. Building upon the strength of its founding shareholders, The Carlyle Group and investors of the private equity unit of the Pictet Group, Athena specializes in lending solutions secured by blue-chip fine art collections. www.athena-art.com
For further information:


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