Art Star Case Study

An Online Art Marketplace with Star Power


You love contemporary art, but feel nervous actually buying it? You’d like to own your own pieces but are intimidated by the wealth of choices and the potentially exorbitant prices. If this sounds familiar, we know just the place for you: ArtStar. Offering limited-edition prints and original works at affordable prices, ArtStar is opening up the world of contemporary art to new collectors.

ArtStar’s all-star team of curators searches the globe for the most gifted artists and collaborates with them to create numbered, authenticated photographs and prints on paper, which are then sold via the online marketplace . ArtStar also offers great educational resources and savvy collecting advice. And since it is never too early to learn about art, the ArtStar team has also created, a site committed to inspiring the next generation of art lovers.


Chrissy Crawford opened her art advisory business in New York City in 2006 and worked primarily with galleries, private clients and corporations focusing on contemporary art. While the majority of Chrissy’s clients were experienced collectors, she also developed a passion for matching gifted artists with new collectors. When the recession hit, in 2008, many clients were faced with shrinking art budgets, but their love for contemporary art remained unchanged. Chrissy understood that collectors needed a way to discover and buy exquisite pieces without having to hire a private art advisor, travel to art fairs around the world, or spend their entire art budget on a single purchase. It was at this point that ArtStar was born.

After assembling an experienced team of curators and finding some of the most talented artists around the world, ArtStar proceeded to create an online marketplace where artists could showcase their work for individual collectors to browse and buy. With two distinct target audiences “the adult art lover” and “the inspired child,” ArtStar wanted two separate store fronts. The challenge: A well functioning art marketplace, such as the one ArtStar had in mind, required a website that was both highly complex and thoroughly user friendly. That is when ECommerce Partners entered the picture.


To ensure would meet all the requirements and grow to become a successful ebusiness, ECommerce Partners started developing the site’s strategic foundation leveraging two of its key methodologies. ERS (Ecommerce Requirement Specifications) covered comprehensive research & strategy, planning, and information architecture and provided all necessary blueprints and guidelines for a successful ecommerce site. SDC (SEO Development Component) focused on current and foreseeable search engine requirements. Then Ecommerce Partners set out to design and develop the site creating two distinct, highly artistic, and visually stimulating store fronts: one for ArtStar, and one for Little Collectors. On the front end, the site features separate custom functionality for curators, artists, and buyers and a host of additional add-ons, including a gift registry, a blog, a wish list, gift certificates and multiple landing pages for different artwork types.

Because the site houses so many high quality images, page load speed was a concern. ECommerce Partners addressed it by adding a separate caching system that now supports very fast page views. As for the back end, ECommerce Partners integrated the Little Collector and ArtStar sites so both can now be maintained via a single administrative console. At the same time, they also optimized the administration for access by various users, including artists, shippers, curators, printers, and framers. Artists, for example, can directly upload pictures of their artwork, post and edit their own biographies, and track their sales figures. As a result, ArtStar has far less administrative strain, and customer service is significantly accelerated. Finally, ECP created a dynamic tool so that images posted always appear in a unified layout regardless of their size and shape.


ECommerce Partners has provided the following services:

  • Consulting
  • Ecommerce Strategy
  • Ecommerce Web Design
  • 3rd Party Application Integration
  • User Interface Design
  • Graphics Design
  • Content Management Systems (CMS)
  • ERS (Ecommerce Requirements Specifications)
  • SDC (SEO Development Component)
  • ECommerce Development Module for Custom Cart Features
  • Unlimited Catalogue Management
  • Payment Processing
  • Multiple Address Checkout
  • Ongoing Support and Maintenance

“At Art Star and Little Collector we are committed to opening up the world of contemporary art to all art lovers regardless of their budget and expertise. And what better way to reach a wider audience than via an online marketplace? That is why we decided to build a sophisticated website, one that would adequately display and frame the fine pieces it housed, and would support the exchange between gifted artists and their enthusiastic clients. At first, we worked with an interactive agency that lacked the technical expertise to create the easy-to-use, easy-to-handle, high-end site we had in mind. Then came ECommerce Partners, and we were immediately impressed with their experience, technical expertise, and dedication to customer support. We sensed that we were finally in the right hands, and, indeed, the results proved us right. The site looks amazing, and we are so grateful to ECommerce Partners for the hard work and dedication they put into it. Really outstanding work and kudos to the ECommerce Partners team! ”

Chrissy Crawford, Founder and Director, Art Star