Careers at Art.com
Art.com’s mission is to make art accessible to all by transforming the way the world discovers, personalizes, shares, and purchases art.
Michael Heinstein and Brandon Carr had a dream of helping people find the art they love so they could love their living spaces more. So in 1998 they founded AllPosters.com, with the goal of providing the largest online offering of prints and posters. They operated out of a small office in Emeryville, CA, and faced competition from AllWall.com, which had been founded two years prior.
In 2001 AllWall.com acquired the art.com web domain from Getty Images and renamed itself Art.com. 2004 saw many milestones for AllPosters, including the opening of a manufacturing facility in Ohio, the launching of its first foreign domain, www.allposters.fr (France), the unveiling of its first catalog in the U.S., and the raising of $20 million in a Series A round of funding led by Polaris.
2005 saw significant growth. AllPosters.com acquired Art.com. It then expanded internationally through the launch of websites in England, Germany, Italy, and Spain; added distribution to its Ohio facility’s activities; and added tapestries to its portfolio. In 2006 it merged with its Art.com subsidiary and took its name, establishing a separate website for AllPosters.com.
Later in 2006 the new Art.com incorporated original art into its selection. It then started the Business & Trade Program, through which it catered to businesses ranging from offices to spas. By 2008 it was serving more than eight million customers in more than 120 countries in six languages, and had 500 employees. In 2009 it debuted a new website tool enabling search filters for its products.
In 2009 Art.com celebrated its 10 millionth customer, and by 2011 it had over one million images, including everything from maps and wall murals to works by Basquiat and Van Gogh. In 2012 it acquired Zenfolio and Poster Revolution, and unveiled its artCircles mobile app. By then, Art.com was providing prints to the world’s most respected museums from The Whitney to MOMA in New York.
Benefits at Art.com
Business model of Art.com
Art.com has a segmented market business model, with customer groups that have slightly different needs. The company targets its offerings at individuals and businesses (primarily offices, hotels/spas, restaurants/cafes/bars, medical/dental facilities, and designers/architects).
Art.com offers five primary value propositions: accessibility, convenience, customization, cost reduction, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It sells art prints, wall murals/decals/signs/tapestries/mirrors, framing services, and movie, sports, and music posters. It has acquired a number of firms since its founding, including Zenfolio and ArtSelect. This strategy has enabled it to diversify its portfolio. Through Zenfolio it offers a solution for photographers to display and sell their work online.
The company offers convenience by making life simpler for customers. It enables visitors to create an account on its website through which they can track their orders. It also provides a set of interactive visualization tools that allows them to see how art will appear in different settings and a suite of mobile apps that allow them to browse curated collections on the go. After customers make a purchase, Art.com lets them to return it within 30 days if they are not satisfied. They receive either a full refund or a free replacement.
The company enables customization through personalization capabilities. It allows customers to search for art on its site using filters such as artist, subject, and product type.
The company reduces costs in a variety of ways. It features a “Clearance” section on its website that provides daily discounts and offers exclusive offers and deals through an e-mail newsletter. It also offers businesses special pricing packages.
The company has established a powerful brand due to its success. It bills itself as the world's largest online specialty retailer of high-quality wall art and complementary décor, with over three million unique images. It serves over 19 million customers (including over 500,000 business customers) in 150 countries, and operates 25 localized sites across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia, Mexico, and South America. Lastly, it has won a number of honors, including the following:
- Two Gold Advertising Ogilvy Awards from the Advertising Research Foundation
- Recognition as a Hot 100 Best Retail Web Site by com
- Recognition of its Zenfolio brand as Best Photo Service at the 2015 TIPA Awards
- Recognition of its Zenfolio brand as Best Professional Customer Service, Best Professional Product, and Best Professional Website Provider at the Societies Trade Awards
- Recognition of its Zenfolio brand as Best Website Provider at the Advanced Photographer Awards
Art.com’s main channel is its website, through which it acquires most customers. It also sells products through its seasonal online catalog and uses its direct sales team to sell items to businesses. The company promotes its offerings through its website, social media pages, and advertising.
Art.com’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize its website while having limited interaction with employees. The site offers a number of useful resources, including a blog that provides home décor tips, access to an e-mail newsletter, and answers to frequently asked questions.
Despite this orientation, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone, e-mail, and live online chat support. The company also operates the Art.com Business & Trade Program through which it provides business customers with a free art consultation.
Art.com’s business model entails maintaining and updating its platform for customers. The platform includes its website and suite of mobile apps.
Art.com’s key partners are the suppliers that provide it with the products and services it needs to run its operations. It also maintains an affiliate program through which it invites third parties to promote its offerings on their platforms (websites, mobile apps, etc.) in exchange for a commission.
Art.com’s main resource is its online platform, which serves 19 million customers.
It depends on human resources in the form of the technology employees that maintain its platform, the sales employees that promote it, the experts that provide art consultations, and the customer service workers that provide support. It has an important physical resource in the form of its distribution center in Lockbourne, OH that occupies 175,000 square feet.
Lastly, as a startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $56.2 million from five investors as of January 2013.
Art.com has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is likely transaction expenses, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of customer support/operations and sales/marketing, both fixed costs.
Art.com has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from commissions it earns on sales of art products to customers on its websites.
info: Kira earned a Bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University and an MBA at Duke University. She previously served as Chief Marketing Officer of Lyft, as Chief Marketing Officer and head of the Consumer business at Trulia, and as VP of Product and Marketing at Lytro.
info: Chuck earned a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Economics at Iowa State University. He previously served as Executive VP, Chief Financial & Administrative Officer at Mervyns, and as VP of Finance and Treasurer at Ross Stores, Inc.
info: Jonathan previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of BuildingSearch.com and as Vice President of Product, Growth, and Design at Trulia. He oversees all day-to-day operations for the Trend Business Unit at Art.com.
info: Gary earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and East Asian Studies at the University of California. He previously served as Director of Merchandising at Internet Shopping Network and held senior roles at Macy’s and Mervyns.
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