Thanks for popping over! Thank you for your time and attention at the Conference. There are so many changes in retail and consumer behaviour there was a lot to get through – but we made it!
I wanted to give you a few things to think about and a few of my observation of the Museum Store category.
Before we get into it, some information for you:
- The pictures are great and for those of you who didn’t come on the Great Bus Ride, ie. The Rural Day, which was so much fun and of course interesting, you can view the pictures here or on Facebook here & here.
- I have comprehensive notes for you on the Online Tools: Website & Social Media here: MS_online_tools
- The Book “7 Powerful Ways To Boost Retail Profits” is the best handout for the most important part of the information as it is the foundation of a sound business. Buy the Book here. We will refund the $5 delivery for MSAA Members.
Although you work within certain guidelines and have some constraints on your buying and activity, fundamentally you are a niche retailer with a targetted customer.
There are 4 ways that you will increase sales and profitability:
- Increase foot traffic – independently of the Museum / Institution
- Get your product mix right
- Sell online
- Location! Ensure the store is visible and obvious
These topics could be a seminar on their own, so just briefly:
1. Increase foot traffic – independently of the Museum / Institution
Make yourself known as a destination store. Make your products known – their diversity, quality and uniqueness. Encourage locals to visit the store. You are not just a holiday destination.
I liked that many of you are holding children’s parties in your store / museum. Parents are ALWAYS seeking unique venues – and they can buy products to match the theme, eg. Pirate costumes @ Australian National Maritime Museum.
Remember that people always have a wonderful time visiting a cultural institution and will have a very positive association with the venue and the store. When you stay in touch and make it easy to buy from, you will find that customers will order or consider visiting as part of a shopping trip.
As I said in my presentation The MET has stores all over the world as they are leveraging the prestige and experience of their NYC location.
2. Get your product mix right
Really look at your range and cover as many bases as you can.
BRANDING branding BRANDING. This is just as important as the product itself, not only does it promote the institution, it is a mark of quality and makes the customer feel they have a unique item.
I encourage you al to visit the local markets and source locally made product. In this world of generic homogenised product, finding product that is unique to a location or venue is rare. When customers find this they are more likely to spend.
3. Sell online
Really says it all doesn’t it? Get online – make it easy to buy from you. You go to all the trouble to get people in the door, make sure you extend the relationship beyond one visit or purchase.
4. Location! Ensure the store is visible and obvious
People like me finish every visit with a trip to the shop, but others ‘surprisingly discover’ the store at the end of their visit. Make sure that you are visible from the front door OR there is clear signage with a great hook to get them in the store.
Either way, ensure you capture visitor information and ‘speak’ to them online and be creative with your communication and message. Remember to highlight that you are a store that trades all year round and has interesting merchandise perfect for gifts.
You are very lucky to have the association and access to stores and people doing well.
Some of the things you can do NOW:
- Think like a CO-OP
- Join forces and buy as a group
- Learn from association members
- Ask questions
- Share pictures with eachother
- Ask for feedback on something you are doing or thinking about doing
I will post another story about the products and things I observed on the Rural Day soon.
I look forward to hearing and seeing all your news and sharing it with the world!