As an artist, expanding your customer reach online opens the door to a whole new world of possibilities. But with so many different website and marketplace options, how do you know which one is the best fit for your art style and business goals?
It’s important to consider factors like the types of art you create, your target audience, payment processing options, and level of involvement you want to have in order fulfillment and customer service. Here’s a brief overview of some popular platforms for selling artwork digitally.
For Print-on-Demand Products
Sites like Society6, Redbubble, and Zazzle allow you to upload your designs and have them printed on physical products on demand. This is great for things like phone cases, wall art prints, home decor, and apparel. You don’t have to deal with inventory or shipping – the sites handle production and fulfillment. They take a percentage of each sale but require no upfront costs. These work well for artwork that translates well to a range of products.
key reasons to sell artwork on platforms
- Established Customer Base – These sites have millions of active users already searching for and buying art. Building your own audience from scratch takes huge effort.
- Printing/Fulfillment Infrastructure – They handle the entire production and shipping process, removing that workload from artists. No need for print/POD connections.
- Payment Processing – Credit card transactions, invoices, etc. are all managed by the site’s systems. Artists don’t need merchant services.
- Global Reach – The sites market and ship worldwide, vastly expanding an artist’s potential customer base beyond local sales.
- Lower Overhead Costs – No need for website hosting/domains, shopping cart software, inventory storage, packing materials, etc. It’s all provided.
- Discoverability – Art is browsable across extensive product categories, increasing chances of new customers finding the work.
- Data & Analytics – Useful sales and traffic insights are available to help market and improve performance over time.
- Less Technical Knowledge – Artists can focus on creating without specialized web development or e-commerce skills.
So in summary, these marketplace sites remove significant startup barriers for artists and boost sales potential through broader exposure, turnkey services, and large built-in audiences. For many, it’s a lower-risk way to establish an online sales presence. Read our Guide: Comparing Online Art Selling Platforms
For Fine Art and Limited Editions
If you create one-of-a-kind or limited edition fine art like paintings, photographs, or sculptures, an online gallery on your own website allows more control over presentation and direct sales. Consider platforms like ArtSystem to easily set up a professional looking online portfolio and checkout. For limited print runs, Printful or Printify let you upload designs and handle on-demand printing and shipping yourself.
Selling Digital Files
Sites such as Gumroad sell digital versions of your work like photography, vector graphic files, brush sets, and more using a simple sales page builder. Buyers get instant download access. This is great for creative assets that customers will use rather than display. Consider bundling add-ons for more value and bigger cart sizes.
The right sales channel depends on your goals and artwork genre. Test out a few different options to see what provides the best fit and supports your ideal customer experience. With the right online presence, you can build sustainable success from anywhere in the world! For some artists, they will want their own website for branding and promotion – see our guide: Creating a Captivating Website for Your Artwork. For many, both are possible with website and shop. Of course, it is possible to integrate a shop within your own website too.