Every week, shiny new apps, tools, features, plug-ins, and gadgets come out promising revolutionary benefits.
Some are all hype.
Some are pretty helpful.
And some are so profound, they change the game.
For fine artists and photographers, in-browser Augmented Reality is one of those.
AR solves a fundamental problem in selling art that has existed forever.
When buyers have an empty wall in their home or business, they begin the process of finding an art piece.
The problem? Along the way, they have to search through dozens, if not hundreds, of possible artists and images – and this can take up a whole lot of effort and time.
In a perfect world, they would have the art come to them. The photographer or fine artist they found online would fly out and bring 10 or 20 or 30 pieces for the buyer to consider while sitting back and sipping some wine.
They could make a perfect decision in a single evening.
Does it work with the wall color? The furniture? The other art pieces nearby? How about sizing? No more mysteries.
After experiencing this effortless way of buying art, can you guess which artist they would go back to when they needed another piece? Which artist they would recommend any time a friend, family member, or colleague is looking for art?
Of course, doing this has never actually been practical or possible.
Well, until now...
Augmented Reality solves this problem.
The concept of projection selling is not new, photographers have been doing it for years.
They ask clients to send them a picture of the room they plan to hang the piece and they superimpose the image into the picture using Photoshop or Lightroom, and send it back.
It's cumbersome and unscalable, but it works.
Even fine artists have been doing it in a manual sort of way, when they bring several originals to the home of a client. Abstract artist Kim Vergil did this and turned 1 original sale into 5!
And it doesn't stop with the art industry. Car dealers want you in the car for a test drive. Jewelry salespeople want to get the ring on your finger. Real estate agents want you in the house.
The concept is simple but powerful: when you experience a product in a way that allows you to truly imagine your future life possessing it, a strong emotional connection is created. You have to have it.
That emotional connection is what sells art, and your goal as a business owner is to be the first to create that connection.
Because like there is an endless supply of expensive rings, there's a seemingly endless supply of fine art and photography available for purchase. The massive advantage, and typically the sale itself, goes to the artist that strikes up a connection first.
That means grabbing a potential buyers' attention and holding it long enough for them to follow through on the purchase.
For this purpose, AR is a dream come true.
Why This Matters to You
This way of buying art will become the standard, simply because it is better for customers.
Eventually, every art seller will have and use this technology. At some point, buyers won’t even remember the old days where they couldn’t try art on their walls while they're buying it.
But because the technology is new, there will be a transition period. There will be websites that have it, and websites that don’t.
The ones that do will have a massive advantage during this time, and will capture more business as a result.
Since you are now “in the know”, it only makes sense to be part of that group.
But this isn't just about AR, it's about in-browser AR. Let's clear up that distinction.
In-Browser Augmented Reality
The fact is, augmented reality technology isn't new - even in the art market.
Most large gallery websites (i.e. art.com) have AR apps that their users can download, install, and use.
But there is a problem with “apps": it is widely known that people don’t really use them!
Sure, you've got your productivity apps (Google Maps, Calculators), and you've got your viral game sensations, but beyond these categories it is pretty much impossible to make money as an app developer.
People don't want to download and install something in order to shop. It's just too cumbersome. As a result, many are unaware that AR technology is even available on these art websites.
All of this means that app usage is extremely low. However, among those that do end up using them, their buying experience is fantastic. Just read a few reviews and you will see that those who managed to use it successfully (and those that didn't run into bugs in the app) are thrilled with the experience.
These apps deserve a lot of credit. They played a vital role in validating the concept of buying art with AR. But they were the first generation.
Now, the goal of the second generation is to solve that usage problem.
And if you've got people loving the experience, but hating the fact that they have to download it, what do you do?
Well, you make it available right on your website. Right on the image they're looking at, with no apps, no downloads, no installs needed.
Live Preview with Augmented Reality is the second generation of AR technology.
Buyers on a site that offers Live Preview are able to jump into AR right from the webpage. It's a natural, effortless experience.
They see an image they like, so they lift up their mobile or tablet device and try it out on their wall.
They re-size it, they move it around to find an ideal location. They confirm it works with their furniture, their wall color, their other art. Perhaps they screenshot it and text it to their roommate, spouse, and/or business partner to get some quick feedback.
Then, they buy it.
Or, if you don't sell online, they reach out to you (or the gallery your art is in) with their selection and their money ready.
It doesn't matter how you sell your art, what matters is that Live Preview with AR helps you do it faster.
This technology is brand new, and at the time of this writing, none of the large art-selling websites have it yet.
But Art Storefronts customers do.
Will you be one of the relatively few photographers and fine artists that seize the opportunity of this transitional period and reap the benefits?
Request a demo today - we'd love to show you what we can do for your art business.
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