The Impact of Covid-19 on the Luxury Market and What it Means for the Future of eCommerce

A recent Art Basel and UBS Art Market Report showed that online sales of art, collectibles, and antiques reached a record high of $12.4B in 2020, doubling in value from 2019. The accelerated growth of eCommerce for these types of items comes as buyers are more comfortable purchasing everything online.

For many sellers of high-value goods, the biggest hurdle for a successful eCommerce strategy is simplifying or automating logistics and fulfillment, a nuanced and complex endeavor for items requiring specialized handling. Moreover, consumers are looking for the same, frictionless experience they encounter when buying other types of goods digitally; namely: upfront shipping costs and single click checkout.

As a result, players in the luxury market must adapt to meet the evolving needs of their customers. And it starts with a seamless eCommerce experience, from pre-sale to fulfillment.

The Past

Safely transporting these often fragile, oversized, and valuable objects requires specialized handlers, transit insurance, and other niche services. Because a single seller could need multiple carriers to adequately ship their goods to buyers, and the process for shipping has been manual and fragmented to date, there is a high barrier to entry for online sales of high-value goods. For this reason, buyers often find a “click to inquire” button when browsing items for sale online, as opposed to a “buy now” button. It’s time for sellers to evolve and meet consumer expectations with an end-to-end online purchase experience.

The Present

With this surge in digital initiatives — accelerated by COVID-19 and changing consumer behaviors — marketplaces, auction houses, galleries, and other online sellers are focused on delivering an eCommerce experience that meets the evolving needs of the market, including a more seamless purchase and fulfillment experience. Sellers today need to provide greater transparency into shipping costs during the buyer consideration phase, so users have a clear picture of total costs upfront. It is also critical to deliver a seamless click-to-buy transaction, including automating end-to-end fulfillment and returns.

The Future

As the world opens back up and life returns to a new normal post-pandemic, galleries, sellers, and auction houses will need to approach the market in a new way. While consumers will slowly return to in-person shopping, the rise in eCommerce won’t subside meaning consumer shopping patterns have inevitably changed forever.  By delivering an end-to-end eCommerce experience that eliminates the inherent friction in selling unique items online, this industry can finally realize the promise of reaching a bigger market and can capitalize on the demand for these types of items.

Rupixen for Unsplash

The next wave of global commerce — where any item, regardless of size, price point, or fragility can seamlessly be bought and sold online — is here, and it’s time for sellers to evolve their strategies.

About the Author: Adam Fields is the Founder and CEO of ARTA, which automates shipping and fulfillment for high-value and collectible objects. ARTA’s software provides instant shipping costs for any item type—regardless of size, material, or price point—allowing clients to reduce overhead, scale faster and offer a frictionless purchase experience for their buyers. Prior to founding ARTA, Adam was a Vice President at Artspace.com, where he became hyper-aware of the difficulties that came with shipping art for both online and offline sellers. With end-to-end global fulfillment services including shipping, packing, tracking, and insurance, ARTA is an all-in-one logistics solution for merchants and marketplaces. For more information about how to leverage ARTA’s platform to ship everything and anything requiring specialized care, visit shiparta.com.

The post The Impact of Covid-19 on the Luxury Market and What it Means for the Future of eCommerce appeared first on Art Business News.

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