Special Report: Xanadu Gallery Sales Trends for the 2023-’24 Season

This past season at Xanadu Gallery has defied the notion that the art market is in terrible shape. Despite widespread concerns about economic challenges and a sluggish market, our experiences have provided a different perspective. Our Scottsdale season typically runs from mid-October, when the cooler weather begins, until the end of May, just before the temperatures rise above 105 degrees. This time frame is essential for us, as it sets the rhythm and volume of our sales, marking the peak of our gallery’s activity.

Reflecting on this period, I would dub it “The Season That Got Better.” The season seemed divided into two distinct halves. The first half mirrored the sluggish trends of 2023, a year marked by a notable decline in overall sales, down between 20-25%, and even more when excluding our online sales. The decline was partly due to the economic climate, inflation, and the fact that a few of our top-performing artists produced work that didn’t resonate as strongly with our clients, through no fault of the artists themselves.

However, as we moved into 2024, things began to shift positively. Our total sales from October through April increased by 13% compared to the previous year, a significant rebound indicating a promising trend. The latter half of the season, from January to April, was even more impressive, with a 30% increase in sales compared to the same period last year.

Seasonal Sales Trends by Year

 

Analyzing Trends and Market Dynamics

This season has provided us with valuable insights into the art market’s dynamics. One of the notable trends was the resurgence of higher-end sales, particularly in the $2,500 to $10,000 range, which collectively accounted for about 35% of our total sales. This shift significantly contributed to the overall increase in our average order value, which rose by 45% to $680.

Total Value of Sales by Price Point: The distribution of sales revenue at Xanadu Gallery based on different price points. Nearly 40% of our total revenue is generated from artwork priced under $500, highlighting the importance of accessible price points. Higher price points, particularly the $2,500 to $5,000 and $5,000 to $10,000 ranges, collectively account for about 35% of total sales. This trend underscores a significant rebound in higher-end sales this season, which has been crucial in boosting our overall revenue. Understanding these sales dynamics aids in strategic planning and inventory management to cater to various market segments.

 

 

 

Sales by Day of the Week: Distribution of sales at Xanadu Gallery across each day of the week. Saturdays emerge as our most productive day, accounting for nearly 30% of total sales. Mondays also show significant performance, contributing 15.8% to overall sales. Notably, although Thursdays feature our weekly Art Walk, they do not result in the highest sales; many customers visit during the Art Walk but complete their purchases on subsequent days. Sundays, when the gallery is closed, show minimal sales activity, though some online transactions occur. Understanding these patterns enables us to optimize staffing and customer engagement strategies throughout the week.

 

 

Average Order Value: Increase in the average order value at Xanadu Gallery, which rose by 45% to $680 this season. This significant rise reflects a shift towards higher-end sales, especially in the $2,500 to $10,000 range, contributing to the overall growth in revenue. The increased average order value indicates a successful strategy in attracting and closing sales of higher-priced artworks.

 

Sales Channels and Customer Engagement

Interestingly, while our total sales increased, we observed a slight decline in our online and social media sales. This dip is primarily attributed to the reduced time and energy we could allocate to social media marketing due to the higher in-gallery traffic. Despite this, our efforts in social media marketing have proven beneficial, with a notable return on investment even with a 60% reduction in ad spend this season.

Our data also revealed that 30% of our sales were to returning customers, highlighting the importance of maintaining strong relationships and consistent communication with our existing clientele. This underscores the value of our weekly newsletters and social media interactions in keeping our gallery top of mind for our customers.

Art Market Preferences and Trends

Our sales this season were almost evenly split between contemporary and traditional art, indicating a balanced demand among our clientele. This distribution reflects the diverse tastes of our customers and the eclectic mix of artists we represent. Additionally, wall art made up 63% of our sales, while sculptural pieces accounted for the remaining 36%.

It’s important to note that these figures specifically reflect our gallery’s sales and don’t represent the broader art market trends. Our unique selection and the subjective judgment involved in categorizing the art contribute to these results.

Visit https://art.xanadugallery.com/collections to view the range of work we carry.

Key Takeaways for Artists

For artists, these insights offer crucial takeaways:

  1. Adaptability and Resilience: The ability to adapt to market changes and consumer preferences is vital. Our collaboration with artists who were open to feedback and willing to adjust their creative direction led to a significant rebound in their sales.
  2. Building Relationships: Cultivating relationships with galleries and maintaining consistent communication with collectors can substantially impact sales. This season’s data reinforces the value of repeat customers and the importance of engagement.
  3. Marketing Efforts: Diversifying marketing efforts across in-gallery promotions, social media, and newsletters can help balance sales channels and ensure steady engagement with potential buyers.

Conclusion

As we look forward to the next season, our focus remains on leveraging these insights to continue our growth trajectory. Running a gallery is a journey filled with ups and downs, but with each season, we learn, adapt, and strive to provide our artists and collectors with the best possible experience.

I would love to hear from you. What trends are you seeing in your own sales and creative processes? Do you have any questions about the sales data I’ve shared or the strategies we’ve implemented? Your experiences and insights are invaluable. Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments below.

 

 

About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.

20 Comments

  1. Thank you for your insights Jason. The art market is different here, of course, but I have noticed a significant increase in sales, largely in the spring, for both last year and this year. I have no internet sales as my work really needs to be seen. Too many layers! I am certainly thankful for the new trend.

  2. Great info! Thanks for sharing this. This kind of source is rare but oh so important!
    Every time I start a new piece, I think about what has been popular with my collectors and what is dropping off the table.

  3. 2023 was the best year I’d had since I started painting in 2009. This year has been really discouraging, with one sale so far. No rhyme or reason to it, from what I can tell. I recently spoke to artists at an art fair here in St Louis, Missouri and they all said their sales had been bad this year. Two were wondering if it was due to election year jitters.

  4. Thank you Jason the this valuable information. I can see why you and your Gallery are so successful you are always on top of your business!. Cecilia Gallagher

  5. As an artist that has been in your gallery for over 18 years(time sure flies) I have always appreciated your insights and support for all artists out there. This was really a very informative blog and so very true for my sales in your gallery this past season. I also wanted to point out your fine staff at Xanadu and the follow up that everyone does makes a huge difference in sales. I look forward to next season and will keep this info in mind!
    Artfully,
    Dave

  6. I have seen a definite uptick in sales.
    For me, it came down to plugging away at the work of creating, taking risks, and building relationships.
    After your critique of my work, I finally reached out and gained gallery representation, which led to several small local sales and one large one. I share these wins with my established followers and collectors, and cultivate relationships in my geographic “hot spots.”
    My gallery noticed. I was just informed that they sold one of the first paintings I delivered to them in April and that they’ve noticed a lot of positive attention on my work from visitors to the gallery.
    This prompted them to ask for more of my work.
    Between the gallery and private collectors, I’ve sold six paintings just in this week alone, and it looks like more to come. Does this mean I am officially emerging?
    I owe a LOT of this to your influence through the Professional Artist Association, your critique, and this blog.
    May the rest of this decade bring you mind-blowing success!

  7. It is not curious to me that the dominant conversation here regards 2-D works which are presented in a format that indeed lends itself well to sales as well as the discussion of presentation and marketing.

    I am a sculptor and still I am questioning whether I should bother with social media and the internet regarding the presentation and marketing aspects of my work – In my experience, the internet does not lend itself well to the presentation and marketing of 3-D work. Since I am new to this site and service, I do not want to make an overly-opinionated or inappropriate comment. But the internet has so far, for me, proved to be a disappointing medium for showing and selling my work. If I don’t get the potential client in my studio showroom or a gallery opening, my sales have tended to be somewhat less than wonderful. I have found that a 2-D presentation of 3-D work is generally less than successful and it is, to me, not surprising.

    Comments are of course welcome

    Vincent in St. Remy,
    Charles Kibby

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