This is Part 2 about rethinking the commission structure between artists and galleries and affiliate links. Part 1, Online Marketing Tips: Gallery + Artist Collaboration and Affiliate Commissions can be found here.
To take full advantage of Internet marketing and promotion, the artist and gallery should collaborate to create a web of links to enable buyers to find and make a purchase as easy as possible. And there should be monetary incentives to encourage such collaboration.
The incentives need to reflect that buyers may be attracted to make a purchase from several different paths. The incentives should also accommodate the fact that galleries represent a number of artists and likewise that some artists may have work available for purchase that is not at the gallery location. Both the artist and gallery would benefit from a retail purchase and the Internet no longer limits the selection to the shelf space or pedestal displays in the gallery.
A BOLD PROPOSAL
I am suggesting a performance-based, shared commission structure. In many business fields, a referral earns a referral commission of 10% of the ultimate proceeds in a transaction. Taking this precedent, I propose that artists and galleries set up "affiliate links" where either party would get 10% of a purchase price simply by referring a buyer to the other website. Here are a few scenarios.
Scenario 1. If the client finds the gallery through the gallery's website and makes a purchase from the gallery, the artist and gallery split the retail price with the usual 50%/50% commission structure. In this example, the gallery's online marketing efforts facilitated this purchase entirely.
Scenario 2. If the client finds the artist through the gallery's website and buys the artist's work not currently represented by the gallery, the gallery gets 10% of the purchase price. In this example, the gallery's website achieved the introductory marketing and facilitated this purchase.
Scenario 3. If the client finds the gallery through the artist's website and buys another artist's work at the gallery, the referring artist gets 10%. In this example, the artist's website achieved the introductory marketing and facilitated this purchase.
Scenario 4. If the client finds the gallery through the artist's website and buys the artist's work at the gallery as a result of this referral, the artist gets 10% plus their usual 50% (a total of 60%) because the artist's website facilitated this purchase.
This may all be on the honor system, or an affiliate structure can be set up through an affiliate website. (There are many affiliate websites that track the cookies and traffic of online purchases.) There are many possible variables, but I hope this starts a dialog.
A radical idea? The fact is that this is a performance-based incentive program for artists and galleries to become advocates for each other. It simply follows the precedent of millions of other business affiliate links on the web. Just another step into 21st-century marketing.
What do you think? I'd like to hear your opinion about this idea. Either leave a comment or email me directly by CLICKING HERE.
This post was updated on December 28, 2021.