Augmented Reality is at the core of a major change in many areas of our lives including the business of selling and buying art. Over the past few years, online art marketplaces have reshaped the rules of offer and demand. Ten of thousands of artists and art galleries now have access to online marketplaces, opening a channel to buyers anywhere on earth, but also adding to an already highly competitive environment.

Augmented Reality is an emerging new medium that enables both artists and art galleries to revolutionize the way they promote and sell their art by enabling buyers to experience artwork in their own space, as they would in real life. The ability to utilize existing digital images and turn them into “physical”, size-accurate digital twins serves a variety of needs that can push the barriers of art engagement, experience, and commerce.

Emotional Limits of the Web vs Augmented Reality

The improvements of e-commerce platforms led the art industry to accept traditional ways to promote and sell art pieces over the web. As the web became a super trove of information, the art business had no choice but to join and adopt to e-commerce. The way to sell art became very similar to selling any other product. Information about ratings, user comments, recommendations, comparisons can be found for both art and detergents. No real difference.

Maybe we should look into our own brains to understand why selling art online is ready for a different approach.

decisions vs emotions in our brain

The web, as we know it today, is perfectly suited for our Prefrontal Cortex. It is a part of our brain that makes decisions, based on information we acquire such as star ratings, comments, recommendations, or comparisons. The same type decisions we use when we buy detergent is when we buy a piece of art. The reasoning and evaluation take part with rational. Get the best deal.

However, buying art is not about logic and feature comparison. It is about the emotional connection we establish with what we see on our walls or in our spaces, connection with artist’s vision and concepts. Emotions drive us to decide what piece of art is right for us, for our homes or for other spaces we want to enrich with art. That’s where the other part of brain called Limbic System -the lizard brain- kicks in. And that is what experiencing art in Augmented Reality is all about.

AR Boosts Conversions and Engagement

Augmented Reality represents a real boost to conversions and engagement, according to several recent studies. Based on results published by Houzz.com, after surveying more than one million users, the findings show users are 11 times more likely to purchase after experiencing products in AR. The study also found that prospects who had AR experience stayed 2.7 times longer engaged with the products. There are lot of similarities how this study applies to the business of selling and buying art.

We asked the owners of several art galleries that deployed Hoverlay how Augmented Reality experience influenced their customer engagement and the sales.

KAB Gallery Directly Corelates Sale to Augmented Reality Experience

Kerry-Ann Blanket is an Art Gallery Director for KAB Gallery. Established in 2013 and located in Terrigal Australia, KAB Gallery specializes in collectable and investment art from a range of Australian artists. Kerry’s vision for KAB Gallery is to be ahead on the technology front, and provide the smoothest possible experience for clients purchasing art.

As many KAB Gallery clients are remote or located overseas having AR solution has really saved time for them in providing a visual understanding of how the art will look within their space. Hoverlay’s AR platform has become a daily essential at KAB Gallery and online at KABGallery.com. KAB Gallery is the first gallery exhibiting art in both physical and virtual gallery spaces to feature Hoverlay.

Just recently a KAB Gallery client located in Hong Kong used Hoverlay to help her quickly decide on the purchase of two pieces. Before KAB Gallery offered this feature, the client had been deliberating for too long and kept missing out on the pieces she liked. Being able to quickly visualize exactly how the pieces will look in her home and around the works in her collection, allowed the client to make a quick decision with confidence.

Karry tells us that soon after the launch Hoverlay was already used by at least 60% of KAB Gallery’s new and returning clients looking to purchase online at KABGallery.com.

Art Lovers Australia Brings Artworks to Every Home and Every Wall

Nancy Donaldson is the co-founder of Art Lovers Australia, an online gallery that offers over 10,000 artworks online, from over 500 contemporary artists. She thinks that the AR technology is game changing for the art world. Every client wants to know “how will it look on my wall?” And now they have an answer. This technology will quickly become industry standard as clients love it.

Customers anywhere in the world will be able to use their mobile phone and make their home an instant art gallery. “Traditionally, galleries looked after the marketing and promotion for artists but with so many galleries closing each year, artists are finding they have lost access to their customers. Hoverlay AR platform allows artists to connect and have their work displayed exactly where it needs to be display – on the potential buyer’s wall,” said Ms Donaldson.

Jeska Valk, winner of the 2019 Art Lovers Prize, sees AR technology as a dream come true. “Bigger pieces are often more difficult to sell, as art lovers are sometimes concerned about the piece fitting in terms of size and the overall aesthetic. To have that exact artwork to scale on their wall in seconds will change everything. Artists are so excited to see this new technology in play,” said Ms Valk.

The Future is in Augmented Reality

The digital world is moving fast; new ways of promoting, selling and creating are quickly emerging and evolving. The digital tools now exist to enable anyone to experience art the way it should be. Augmented Reality is here to stay and with that begins a new era for artists and galleries to enable anyone to fall in love with their creation.

Hoverlay is a new way to distribute and share digital content, social and professional profiles, video and images, by simply placing it into the world. Using the Hoverlay camera, anyone can find, interact, and collect content using augmented reality.

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