Museums are places where people go to learn and have an experience but the shop is often overlooked as a vital part of any museum. The shop can add to the overall experience by creating a sense of discovery for customers through the objects they sell or by offering products that aren’t sold anywhere else.
Museums provide a great opportunity to experiment with different products as most of them are created for entertainment purposes or tell stories. Most museums also have plenty of space and not many restrictions on product design, which means that they can display a huge variety of products for many different occasions.
Museum shops are often found near the entrance to a museum and they act as a part of the overall experience. They need to be well-designed in order to capture attention and make customers want to come back and visit again. They need to be clear about what their strengths are so visitors will know what they can expect when visiting their store.
Come to think of it, we are not so different from our cave dwelling ancestors. There is an evolutionary function that drives all of us to spend money on things we don’t need. We have evolved in such a way that it feels good to own new stuff; it’s part of the human condition – we want to accumulate objects and then show them off to other people and we’re more likely to do this if we’ve spent a lot of money on them. Your task as the museum shop manager is to tap into the inner caveman and collect the right objects to display in your shop.
You need to figure out what’s important for your brand and find the items that relate to that. You also need to think about whether you sell products online or if you’re just going to have a physical store. If you’re going to sell online then it is possible that people might not come into your store in real life, so you’ll need to adapt. It’s important that you know who your target audience is so you can establish what they are interested in and easily reach them through social media channels as this will allow them find out about all the latest products from your museum shop. You also need to consider where you are based and what time of year you should be carrying out a particular promotion.
Museum gift shops
Museum shops are fun places to visit and many visitors will spend as much if not more time in these stores than the main exhibition space itself. The reason for this is that museum gift shops offer something that most other museums don’t provide, which is a glimpse into the minds of our ancestors and the stories behind their travels and discoveries. However, it’s important to remember that your customers want to learn about the world around them while at the same time feeling comfortable and at ease with your brand. These are all things that you need to strike a balance between if you want to create a memorable brand experience.
Showcasing the museum’s story through your products
When it comes to putting together your brand, you need to think about what makes your museum special and how you can translate this into products for your customers. Think about what resonates most with the people who come to visit the museum and then use this as the basis for your story so that customers can connect with it. The more you make them care, the more likely they will purchase something from your store as they understand its purpose and relevance in a way they never have before.
Your brand should be telling a story
Your museum’s brand should be telling a story to customers, and you need to make sure that this is clear in any communications. For example, if there is an ancient civilisation that is being showcased at your museum, then you might want to think about creating products related to this culture and selling them in your shop. This way you can take the story of the civilisation and turn it into something tangible for customers with useful products and objects they can purchase.
Museum shops are all about taking a brand’s story and making it tangible; so as the museum shop manager, you need to make sure that your store is culturally relevant but also authentic as well.
A well-stocked gift shop can also answer many questions that visitors have about the world. It’s a place where you can bring historical artefacts to life for customers. Think of your museum as a storehouse of knowledge and your brand as the curator. When it comes to your store, you need to remember that you are the gatekeeper of this knowledge so you need to use your expertise to curate an experience that will engage and inspire customers.
Shopping as entertainment
Humans love spending money and doing so makes them feel good, even when they don’t need the object they are buying and even if they can’t afford it. It is also easy to sell products in a museum gift shop. It helps if you have a large product range, but for smaller stores it is possible to be creative and use objects and items that will make customers dream about their lives. People want to feel special so they will want to buy something unique that they can’t get anywhere else.
Museum shops are not just for tourists, most museums have one or more shops where people who aren’t visiting the museum can buy souvenirs. For example if you are at the Natural History Museum then you can buy items related to travel or animals that are on display within this particular museum. So a brand like this needs to appeal to a wider array of people if they want to sell more than just museum merchandise, e.g. you would want to have items that appeal to those with an interest in the subject matter that is being displayed and not just the tourists who are visiting the museum.
The first thing you need to think about when it comes to creating a promotional campaign for your shop is what you want customers to think or feel when they visit your store. This will help you to know what kind of products and service you need to offer the right customers. You can then use this information to drive sales so you can feel confident that your promotional campaign is working for you.
The best answer is to think about what kind of people you want to attract and sell products to in your store. If you are a large chain then it will be important for the customers who visit your shop that they don’t feel like they are being sold things they don’t want or need; unless that is their intention. If you are trying to appeal to a local target audience then it is easier to find out what they are interested in and create a culturally relevant campaign that will make them want to spend more time in your store. Museums don’t just appeal to tourists as they also attract locals so it’s important that you cater for both of these groups.