Sales of art online rose to $2.64 billion in 2014, from $1.57 billion the previous year, according to a report to be issued on Tuesday by the British insurance company Hiscox. Online art buying, the report found, accounted for 4.8 percent of the value of the global art market, which it estimated at $55.2 billion.
These figures are somewhat more conservative that those published in March in the European Fine Art Foundation Art Market Report,which estimated that online sales totaled about $3.6 billion, or 6 percent of the global art market, whose value it put at $55 billion.
The Hiscox Online Art Trade Report, now in its third year, analyzed data gathered by ArtTactic, an art-market analysis firm, to explore what people are buying, how much they are spending on art online and the barriers to purchase. The findings were based on responses from 519 international art buyers surveyed through ArtTactic’s client mailing list, Twitter, Facebook and the mailing list of Own Art, a British online art seller.
The majority of online transactions — 84 percent — were below $15,000, the report stated. It also found that social media were influential in the online market, with 24 percent of respondents saying that posts by museums, galleries and artist studios had a direct influence on their art-buying decisions.
Almost half of this year’s respondents, or 49 percent, said that they had bought art online in the last 12 months, up from 38 percent last year.