As frequent readers of this blog are aware, I am often advocating the importance of making mobile product purchasing as simple as possible. Thirty percent of my art website’s sales originate through mobile devices and the site’s responsive format has really helped solidify this number. Many industry experts have been touting 2013 to be the year of responsive website design and, based upon my own experiences, I don’t doubt the truthfulness of this assumption.
It is interesting to note, however, that responsive websites are not the only mobile-friendly selling tool that many businesses are beginning to offer. As more and more mobile device and tablet computing formats are coming into existence, each is possessing its own app store and accompanying these stores are a plethora of retail applications. These device-specific retail apps are generally free and are growing in numbers daily. Many websites are beginning to embrace this format as an additional way to connect and interact with consumers. If the applications are for sites that peddle work for artists and crafts people, they often offer additional functionality that allows the artist to upload work, change prices and availability, and otherwise manipulate products in their online store.
The popular online art and craft selling site Etsy, for example, has apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Android market. The apps allow one to explore the products on the site, purchase products, and manage merchandise and orders anywhere an Internet connection is available. The Etsy application for the iPhone/iPad has even prompted me to open a small Powers Fine Art Etsy Shop to investigate its usefulness and consumer reach. It is only .20 USD to list an item for sale for four months so I couldn’t resist.
Another application that has recently entered the iOS marketplace and is currently specifically for the iPad, is the FineArtAmerica.com application. While it doesn’t appear that one can upload work to the site from the application at this point, it does provide an excellent platform for viewing and purchasing artwork. A potential purchaser can see how a piece looks with a mat and frame, see the purchasing cost, buy online, and even utilize a “Wall View” mode that uses the iPad’s camera to allow one to view the artwork in the environment where it is to be displayed. The application is free and provides an excellent platform for exploring the many works that grace the FineArtAmerica.com marketplace. You can even find my paintings by typing “Ken Powers” into the app’s search box. As an additional feature, the application can also be used as a portable portfolio for designers, photographers, and artists who have a need to showcase work for potential clientele. I would expect this application to become available for other platforms in the future and is a great addition to FineArtAmerica.com.
ImageKind, which is another online marketplace for artwork and photography, has also embraced the mobile app revolution. Their ArtView application for the iPhone has similar features to other apps on the market and allows the consumer to browse work, change frames and mats, share work through social media, and immediately make purchases. Allowing users to instantly purchase available artwork is essential since one often only gets a single chance to make the sale.
Artists such as Ben Hope have even opted to utilize specialized mobile applications to showcase their artwork and to present biographical information to potential clientele. There are several companies that offer an app creation service for artists and Sysmoko is the one that Ben Hope has chosen to use. I believe we will begin to see more and more artists embracing this new technological approach to reaching potential purchasers as the years progress.
As you can see from the examples mentioned above, mobile specific sales websites and applications are getting to be an important factor for online sales. Have you created your own mobile-based application for selling your artwork and products? If so, let me know about it in the comment section below. I am always interested in learning more about the way fellow artists use the mobile platform to reach the world.Tagged with: art, business, ecommerce, etsy, faa, fine art america, imagekind, marketing, mobile, shop