We learnt by running multiple timed drops for our clients that you should only sell one artwork at a time, with certain exceptions.

Here’s the thing: A single artwork converts better or has a higher conversion rate. What does that mean? It means that a higher percentage of your store traffic ends up buying it if you’ve only got one artwork because it’s a very simple decision to make. If you’ve got two artworks then your conversion rate will be slightly lower but if they can be bought together, as a set, then you would actually make more money because a proportion of people will buy both. That will increase your average basket value or the average value of all transactions in your print drop. The average basket value will go up and the conversion rate will go down slightly because there’s more choice and people don’t like choice. But ultimately the conversion rate only goes down a little bit and the basket value goes up by more, so you make more.

So if you have two pieces of art that could work together such as night and day pieces, black and white pieces, two pieces that sort of feed off each other that would be one exception to the rule of one at a time. We have also seen people drop a whole series of images where there’s a really strong story that links them all, almost like they have to be dropped together in some kind of way. We have seen that to be successful but it’s not often that happens and you need to talk about that for way longer before you drop it, so people can understand the project and also decide which one they want. 

Most of the time when you drop more than one or two images, the conversion rate just goes through the floor… it just crashes. So if you are going to try releasing a bigger selection then definitely have the sale open for longer because it will take people longer to choose. But your work has got to be really unique with a strong story and you’ve got to have a really strong following of people who really want to buy so they keep coming back again and again to choose which one they want. And that’s why most of the time that does not work.

There’s outliers and exceptions to all of these rules but if you follow the general principles, establish your own baseline metrics amongst your audience, revenue per drop, conversion rate, traffic numbers then you can experiment a bit and see what the effect is.

Updated on 13 March 2024

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