Heritage retailing has come a long way in the past few years as museums and galleries rely more heavily on their commercial income streams to bolster budgets. In this article, Michael Richards explores the different marketing methods that can be used to drive traffic to the museum and gallery shop and increase overall profitability, whilst reflecting that the shop is one of the strongest marketing tools an organisation can possess.
Some marketing methods are easier to measure and track than others, and these have a very clear and defined impact on the reach of a brand. Some results can be immediately tangible, such as calls about your product ranges from around the globe, editors wanting more information, photographs and copy for special articles. To get an exclusive item of merchandise featured in a high quality design / home magazine is worth its weight in gold and also helps to raise the overall profile of shop. Better still, invite the editor of a glossy or a media sponsor to come in and tag their favourite pieces in the shop.
Museum shops that showcase and sell the work of artists and designers, established and emerging, can greatly benefit from publicising these special collaborations. Producing and selling limited editions and artworks can create ideal marketing opportunities and word can be spread via gallery networks and collectors groups. Museum shop suppliers can also be close allies in the search for publicity and it is always worth asking them to spread the word
via their own websites or social media networks.