Ready or Not, Here Comes the Internet – influence of electronic commerce on art industry and online information resource

Ready or Not, Here Comes the Internet – influence of electronic commerce on art industry and online information resource – Brief Article

Julie Keller

DEAR READERS,

In last month’s issue, ABN introduced eART, a biannual supplement devoted entirely to the World Wide Web and its influence on you. We’ve also implemented a dot.com news section, which focuses on Web-related news, and a monthly column devoted to helping you get plugged in and become competitive online.

Since then, we’ve been barraged by press releases, telephone calls, letters and e-mails telling us about your thoughts on subject. Most of you have embraced the Web and are looking forward to becoming master surfers. According to our exclusive survey of 175 galleries, 76.6 percent of you have Internet access; 32.6 percent of you already have Web sites; and 28.6 percent more of you are in the process of building one. Many of you are also buying and selling art and framing supplies online.

Some of you, however, have expressed some apprehension about the Internet’s looming presence and potentially negative impact on traditional brick-and-mortar shops. Some fear online art sites may take away business. Others are concerned about the complexities of technology and being left behind.

I think there’s room for everyone. The Internet has made the world a lot smaller and has introduced a whole new generation of art buyers. It also provides you with an efficient and inexpensive tool to keep your customers up-to-date. E-mail coupons, correspondence and Web-only deals can help bring new and old customers into your store. Even the simplest of Web sites can teach viewers about your artists and give them a peek at your products. And for the more adventurous among us, e-commerce allows you to market and sell your products to collectors who may live thousands of miles away. The possibilities of productive Internet use are endless.

Like you, we at ABN want to take advantage of those possibilities. To do so, we’ve launched www.artbusinessnews.com. The site provides a monthly glimpse at several of your favorite aspects of the magazine. From artist profiles to new editions to news and more, the industry’s top art and framing authority is now available online. We’re new to Web and we would love to hear your thoughts on ABN’s virtual presence. I invite you to visit our site and give us your feedback. We want to find out what you think about it and what you think we could do better. Please take a look and let us know.

BEST WISHES, JULIE KELLER Senior Managing Editor

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