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Art.sy: the Latest Social Network Modernizes Collecting with E-commerce
By: Jennifer Stack
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Today I was indoctrinated into the exclusive invite-only Art.sy, a new platform to “Discover fine art,” currently in private beta! According to the network, “Art.sy’s mission is to make all of the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.” The network is Pinterest-esque in the sense that it is visually based ( duh!) and allows users, who must register before discovering, to follow artists. The organization system is quite impressive, as it allows users the option to search (“receive works by the artist searched, a profile about them and works by similar artists") or to browse ( “find artworks organized according to art terms, such as historical art movements and styles, subject matter, mediums and techniques”)  and to filter (“to see all artworks, with the ability to filter them by size, price, medium, color, and more”). Heeding the importance of social integration, users can register with either or both their Twitter (the current investor list includes Jack Dorsey, creator of Twitter) and Facebook accounts to the network in addition to linking. The “Collection” tab allows users to add works by clicking the star to amalgamate and showcase their most desired pieces from the catalogue, which features over 15,000 works of art by over 3,000 artists.

This tool is an amazing resource if you are interested in art but without a coveted BFA, as it allows you to search by Style or Movement, Contemporary Art, Subject Matter, Medium or Technique, and Region; every OCDers dream! On top of that, it provides definitions for each of the entities, educating every step of the way. E-commerce? They have it, perhaps thanks to the influence of prominent investor Peter Theil, founder of PayPal and member of the board of Facebook. Just click the handy “Only Works for Sale” and identify your price point on the sliding scale of $O to $1m+ to find your latest collection addition.  My favorite aspect of the categorization frenzy is that the Sort By consists solely of the option “Artwork Year.” Art.sy works with over 220 of the world’s most respected galleries in 40 cities on 6 continents.

Taking e-commerce to the next level are the Art.sy specialists. You'll have a personal contact at Art.sy (assigned to a user upon account activation) who can answer questions and help you acquire artworks by confirming pricing and connecting you with galleries. They will be in contact with you within 24 hours of your account activation. The specialists typically join Art.sy after working for several years at leading auction houses, galleries, or museums. They have personal relationships with gallery partners and will ensure that you have a positive experience with them, whether you are acquiring your first work or building upon an existing collection. The “INQUIRE WITH ART.SY” button connects the user with a personalized specialist who will follow-up to answer questions about specific works of interest. Specialists can then introduce the user directly to the right contact person at the gallery.

Art.sy is more than a new niche social network; it is a symbol of what future e-commerce will evolve into: a highly interactive environment with multiple touch points to affect the consumer's path to purchase.


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About the Author
Jennifer Stack is a Social Media Strategist at a digital advertising agency. She was a 2011 Notable.ca YP Social Media Finalist. International Marketing Communication, MA. International Marketing Strategy, MSc. LinkedIn + Twitter.
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