Museum Best Practices: Why Exit Through the Gift Shop?

Museum Best Practices: Why Exit Through the Gift Shop?

As a museum retail professional, when you encourage visitors to exit through the gift shop you’re inviting them to take the final steps in the seamless experience you work so hard to create. By the time they reach your museum store, you’ve given them a number of opportunities to see your offerings so they’ll arrive looking forward to browsing and shopping.

Ellis Island Museum Store
Ellis Island Gift Shop

At the entrance. The museum store is often visible from the entrance so visitors see the front windows as they arrive. Make them relevant with items referencing special exhibitions or seasonal products.

In the dining spaces. Give visitors something to look at while they’re eating, besides their phones. Decorate the restaurant with prints. Install a retail display case in the café full of coffee cups, vases, and other home wares available for purchase.

Outside the rest rooms. You can also put display cases with popular and fun items near the rest rooms, water fountains, and lockers where people congregate, and may have down time waiting for the rest of their group.

Around the learning areas. Children’s items are often bestsellers. Put samples of toys and books out where youngsters can play with them.

At special exhibition exits. Major exhibitions create lots of new merchandise. Set up temporary shops so visitors can start shopping as soon as they leave the galleries.

A museum store is more than a source of revenue. It’s part of the visitor experience that ties in with the collection, the special exhibitions, and everything your institution offers to your community, and art lovers far and near. It may be the last stop, but it’s certainly not the least.

Learn more about how Flonomics can help improve the museum store experience.