What Should You Look for in a Courier?

An interview with Convelio and Artsper

When buying art, we can forget how much the delivery of the piece can affect customer experience. Even if the purchase goes smoothly, logistical issues can be frustrating for a collector, and discourage them from doing business with you again later. Do you know what to look out for when choosing a good shipping service? Artsper spoke with the founders of Convelio, a young international platform whose mission is to facilitate and streamline art and object transportation to help you make the right choice.

The initial problem

Estimated value of the online art market worldwide from 2013 to 2021 (in million U.S. dollars)

The value of the online art market worldwide is not what it was in 2013, especially after the exponantial rise in 2020 and 2021. © Hiscox, ArtTactic / Statista

The founders of Convelio were alarmed by the frustrating and time-consuming aspects of existing logistics solutions as online sales grew dramatically over the last decade. But the infrastructure hasn't followed suit.

"Now more than ever, clients - and namely young tech-savvy collectors - wish to benefit from solutions suited to their art acquisitions."

The young French firm is now partnering with numerous high profile entities in the world of art and design. How do they make a difference? By keeping promises and offering an impeccable service.

A streamlined experience for professionals

Today's collectors are looking for ease and speed in the services they use. And it's the same for artists and galleries! With many things today readily available at the tap of a finger, it can be frustrating to suddenly face delays that seem archaic.

Convelio Homepage

Convelio's website insists on the direct and speedy aspects of the service, both essential for artists and galleries. © Convelio

Artsper often focuses on the importance of boosting your digital presence, and for good reason. Each additional step in the conversion process makes it more likely for the buyer to give up. That is why Convelio focuses on the very first - essential - step: getting a quote. By creating an almost-instant digital tool, available to all, they are offering a new solution that is more attractive than those used by "traditional" couriers, whose waiting time goes up to 5 days.

An impeccable service for your collectors

White Glove Installation

For your collectors, receiving a professional installation of a work makes a big difference. It shows that even after the transaction, you prioritize the customer - as well as the artwork they fell in love with - at the heart of your concerns. © Convelio

When you sell works on a marketplace such as Artsper, you should make sure that you have a reliable shipping solution that can both manage your sales flow and match - or exceed - your collectors' expectations. Whether it's hanging a painting in a living room or setting up a sculpture in a garden, it's in your best interest to choose a courier that can adapt and offer the best service in every situation.

As Convelio says:

"Maintaining an extremely fluid and transparent conversation throughout the logistical chain is essential in offering a quality service."

Whether it's about a pick-up requiring special packaging tools, about storing pieces, installing them, or even taking care of customs, Convelio's teams systematically contact their clients in order to adapt their service. That way, they make sure they provide a top-quality, personalized experience to each customer.

Art or design objects, a case-by-case basis

White Glove Service

On Artsper's catalogue, design objects now sit alongside works of art. But these goods don't require the same handling! Furniture is usually greater in size, and weight, but often less fragile than a painting... © Convelio

A courier like Convelio organizes teams based on the expertise and number of people required for each specific piece of art or design object. Precautions which are even more essential when it comes to picking up or delivering in a busy city.

White Glove installing Silver Statue

A white glove service takes the experience of getting art objects delivered to the next level for your collectors © Convelio

It's pieces that include protected animal or plant species (leather, shells, ivory...) which often face special conditions or restrictions when imported and exported. All in all, the key to a good courier service is an attentive and personalised treatment of each piece, because that's what will allow you to feel entirely confident when the work leaves your storage.

Working towards a more sustainable art market

The transportation of artworks contributes heavily to the art market's considerable carbon footprint. On a global scale, the transport industry is the most polluting: in 2021, it represented 23% of energy-related carbon emissions. Increased awareness of these major impacts worldwide makes sustainable options more and more attractive to both sellers and buyers. Artprice, for example, has identified that 70% of millenials consider it "essential to reduce their environmental footprint related to their art purchasing practices."

But how does one reduce their ecological impact without compromising on quality of service? For Convelio, this starts with alternatives to air freight, which is by far the most harmful of transportation modes. Sea or road freight, for example, can reduce emissions by up to 95%!

Convelio Crating Centre

Cater to your clients' sensibility to ecological matters with a courier that is concerned with lowering its carbon footprint. © Convelio

Do your collectors worry about the safety and the delays of sea transport? That's where a personalised service makes all the difference. By agreeing on the best packaging and itinerary options, and ensuring a thorough tracking process throughout the journey, a good courier service should lift any anxiety their clients might have.

But for Convelio, being more green is also a matter of education and transparency. That is why they’re releasing a CO2 calculator for each transport on their reservation platform.

A service that can transform your business

Partnering with a quality courier service is a true asset for any gallery or artist. When acquiring a piece of art, the customer experience doesn't end with the transaction, but rather when your buyer has received their work - or even when the work is installed the way they envisioned it. Ask yourself these questions: does the service you use allow you to save time? Does it offer to your clientele the same standards and quality of service that you strive to offer in your own business? Taking a step back and evaluating these important factors is essential if you want to continuously better your customer experience. And don't hesitate to try different solutions and talk to competing companies to find the best fit for you. It's certain: having a good courier will make your life much easier.

October 12, 2022