Ecommerce store for selling contemporary art

An online eCommerce store that allows buyers to experience the process of buying fine art online.
Ecommerce store for selling contemporary art




MVP release in 4 months / ongoing



scope of work

MVP Development

Website Development

UX & UI audit

Product Maintenance

Quality Assurance







Django Rest Framework


Wagtail CMS


The state of art sales over the last 2 years

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a reason for virtually any industry to intensify the digital presence to keep up with the previous years’ sales levels. Even though in 2020 there was a significant decrease in global artwork sales (22% to $50.3 billion), the global art market smoothly recovered in 2021, reaching $65.1 billion of global revenue (up by 29% from 2020), exceeding the pre-pandemic level.

Over the last 2 years, it seems that many art sellers have adjusted to the new strategy and mastered the way of selling online, so such a shift is not going anywhere.

The state of art sales over the last 2 years
PLATFORM - entering the online market

Our client, PLATFORM, was among the businesses that managed to react to the global situation swiftly. The ecommerce website store would sell artworks represented by American galleries, created by both emerging and established artists.

The concept behind the store is to be the only place to buy artwork by the most desirable young artists online and without any of the elitist hurdles of the art world. The site was designed to show artwork at its best, using tools, images and information that make it easy for anyone – from experienced collectors to those buying art for the first time – to get excited about and buy the extremely high quality art offered on Platform.

The client wanted to create and launch an MVP in 6 months. Luckily, we managed to complete the task even faster - in 4 month.

PLATFORM - entering the online market
Technical Requirements

Such an idea required lots of research, backend and frontend collaboration, and integrations with external systems to be brought to life.

Here are the expected components of the to-be-built website:  

  • Extremely high image resolution with a high page loading speed accordingly;
  • BigCommerce integration as a chosen engine for the store;
  • Admin Interface - to manage product pages, add content, and access customer data;
  • Supplier Interface - unique profile and login credential management.
  •  Access control - separate content for VIPs and partners, separate links for early birds;
  • ‘Preview in your space’ feature - the website visitors should easily upload the image of their space, provide the measurement of other objects located in the space, and see how the piece of art will match the interior.
  • A custom checkout process matching the overall website design;
  • Integration with email marketing service and triggered email sequences;
  • Integration with Google Analytics;
  • Consistency with the languages and frameworks previously used in the company;
  • Additional UX research to match the art-appropriate experience and employ the standard eCommerce best practices for high discovery and conversion rates.
The Challenge

Are short time frames and limited budgets compatible with complex ideas?

Apart from a complex MVP idea, strict, inflexible deadline of 6 months, and a limited budget, PLATFORM wanted to ensure the development team could work in coding languages consistent with other projects in their organization.

In the end, with proper planning and role assignment, we managed to bring meaningful results and bypass the restrictions.

Our Process

For the PLATFORM project, we provided a team consisting of:

  • 1 team leader,
  • 5 frontend developers,
  • 3 backend developers,
  • 2 QA specialists,
  • and 1 Project Manager.

Then, to ensure continuity and logical progress, we adopted the following steps:

  1. Market & stack research – involving user needs, the competitors' offerings, tools, technologies and UX & UI and allowed to pick the best-fitting tech for developing the expected functionality.
  2. Product discovery – shaping our MVP that was to be delivered in 6 months max, while minor parts of the discovery phase took place during the next stages of the process.
  3. Backlog creation – identifying the key deliverables, dividing them into smaller parts and fitting them into several 2-week plans with set priorities and regular reviews in the future stages of the project.
  4. Backend + Frontend development – we decided to build our frontend application using NextJS, NodeJS, and ReduxJS. For the backend, we went with Django and Python + Wagtail CMS.
  5. Integrations – the development team integrated Klarna payments option, Art Shipper shipping service, Omnisend for marketing campaigns and BigQuery for SQL inquiries.

Read more about the process on our blog.

what partners say about us?

Daniel Kiyoi
CEO & Founder Magic Dust
Daniel Kiyoi
CEO & Founder Magic Dust
“The code and the work were good quality and really what we were looking for. They were able to bring technical design thinking to the project. Project management was tight and I always knew what was happening.”
Daniel Kiyoi - Apptension Client
Daniel Kiyoi
CEO & Founder Magic Dusk
Mateusz Oleksiuk
“Apptension was flexible and professional. When I needed to quickly add capacity, it took a week or two at worst - often days. The cooperation enabled me to slowly scale up my own IT team, and the company was very helpful until the last moments of the transition.”
Mateusz Oleksiuk
“The technical creativity delivered by the team at Apptension was invaluable in the formation of our mixed reality start-up Hyper.”
Nathan Sparshott
Co-Founder & CEO of Hyper
Nathan Sparshott
Co-Founder & CEO of Hyper
“The SaaS Boilerplate Appension built was a huge reason we were so successful, because all these little seeminaly unrelated tasks and integrations needed to happen. If we had been working with anybody else, It would have probably taken months to do the same work.”
Kwame Nyanning
CEO blkbx.
Kwame Nyanning
CEO blkbx.
“We needed their help to build the backend services and capabilities needed to deliver a production level on demand. Their ability to produce high-quality work with consistency while dealing with a new type of project was impressive.”
Kelly O’Conor
Product Lead, Siberia
Kelly O’Conor
Product Lead, Siberia
“The project’s success has resulted in a long-term partnership for design and development. Apptension is a fantastic partner, who is willing to go above and beyond in order to deliver what the client needs.”
Catarina Rocha
p(r)oud solutions
Catarina Rocha
Business Development Manager, p(r)oud solutions
“Apptension fared well in our project, working with our bespoke CMS and complex requirements. The designs were implemented well and the schedule was kept tight.”
Christian Marc Schmidt
Partner at Schema
Christian Marc Schmidt
Partner at Schema
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