In these questions and answers, Lia Drake, photo gallery manager and head of technology at UGallery, talks to DTC Daily about how to change its business in the way people buy art, and the set of technology needed to ensure consumers are ready to change how they interact with art galleries.
Tell us how your product differs from the old traditional brands in your sector?
As one of the original online art galleries, one of the first questions we sent from investors was "Do people want to buy art online?" Keep in mind that this was before people buy cars, groceries, and telemedicine online, so it was just a question. Since our launch in 2006, we have proven that people really love buying art online. One of the main features of traditional brick and mortar galleries is our 24/7 access to every city in the world. A client in rural Iowa recently shared that our showroom is the place where he finds his art because his local art scene often catches ducks and dogs. Although we appreciate this technique, we can also provide a variety more than a regional group. The same is true for rural artists who have a limited number of photos at local exhibitions. We have sold artwork to clients in all 50 states and more than 50 countries.
What platforms do you use to get your customer base?
As an online art exhibition, customer acquisition strategy follows the principles of standard Web acquisitions. Social networking allows us to stay in touch with our customers, and Instagram is the preferred platform in the art world. We also stay active on Facebook and Twitter. Google is another platform that brings customers to our showroom, so we focus on producing high-quality content and other practices for SEO.
How important is technology marketing and advertising technology to run the company's daily marketing operations?
Marketing and advertising technology is similar to the wheels on the car – they are an integral part of our operations and send our message to new and loyal customers. Our marketing technology basically takes the form of an email service provider. A recent client has been waiting for each new email from us enthusiastic about the new art and the artists you will discover. Through another client they are always busy working, but even if they do not have time to look at the art, they can only take a peek at the new emails. Ad tech is a different ball game, where we get new customers who love art and want to find the right gallery for their needs. When art lovers turn to search engines to find new art, our gallery uses search engine marketing to make that connection.
Do you have your own store or are you working with third party platforms?
UGallery.com is a fully functional website where art lovers can search, filter, favor and buy their artwork. In addition to being one of the top 200 direct brands of consumer brands according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, we also share with other DTC brands to sell art. Our partnerships include lists of brands and white brands to enhance our mission of enhancing the fun of living with original art. We believe that the most original art in the world, the better!
How important is modeling attribution to your business?
Original art is a well thought out buying process and represents an interesting challenge with regard to attribution modeling. We recently made a customer purchase for the first time after five incredible years from our email list. This was a person who regularly opens and clicks through emails, and After he was waiting for the stars to go along with their budget and correct artwork. In a more common purchase life cycle, we see customers visiting the site and then making a purchase within six months. At this time, customers interact with the website, emails, and social media multiple times, so the last clickthrough rate is not the best way to look at our data. Historically, we have divided the data by using the linear model, where each interaction shares an equal balance, or the Time Decay model, where subsequent clicks receive a relatively larger balance.
What does the future hold for your UGallery?
UGallery provides universal access to an exceptional collection of original art, and this mission will never go anywhere. Given the future of technology, we are excited about the potential integration with enhanced reality and virtual reality technologies (AR / VR) to visualize art in more space. Where technology moves, our mission inspires us to advance the original art of the digital age.