12- Nov2021
Posted By: John Franzini

5 Pro Tips for Increasing Museum Retail Sales During the Holidays…

Museum shops are well known as a creative and unique source of holiday gifts. We all have heard that retail per caps are up (in some cases double) previous years. Now is the time to finish off strong in 2021. The clock has started ticking; don’t miss your opportunity to maximize retail sales during the holiday season!

Always start with a strategic plan. Look at what you have done in the past that has been successful and build upon it. What will be your unique promotional strategy to increase sales at holiday time? Can you use promotions to increase sales while at the same time reduce slow moving inventory?

Check out JGL’s 5 Pro Tips below:

  1. Discounting (holiday shoppers are usually looking for a bargain) – Museum stores have the unique advantage of having a built-in target audience – museum members! Typically, members receive discounts at museum shops as a benefit of membership but creating special member discount days is a great way to engage with this target audience and increase the value of their membership. Below are some additional ideas to help sell non-members on a good deal at the museum store!

    • “Beat the Clock” Promotion on Black Friday -Shoppers are out in force this day so take advantage of them looking for a bargain. The earlier they shop the bigger the discount. This works particularly well for e–commerce.

    • Bundle pricing BOGO’s – Buy One Get One for 50% Off or Buy One Get One Free, or Buy Two Get One for Free, etc.

    • Multi-Tier Discount – This is an ideal way for shoppers to spend more in exchange for a bigger discount.

    • Gift with Purchase – Gift with purchase incentivizes shoppers to spend more in exchange for a free gift. This is also an ideal way to liquidate slow moving inventory.


  1. Special Promotions – Putting together a calendar of events for the holiday season is a must. Promotions can be a combination of store events and special discount days. Ideally, the retail team planned ahead and was able to create custom merchandise themed to current exhibitions that can be promoted during the holiday season.

    • Exclusive Events – Photo with Santa, Book Signings, Artist Signing, Fashion Shows, Food and/or Wine Tastings are great examples of events that attract holiday shoppers. Once again, museum members are a great audience for this type of promotion.

    • Become a New Member in December and Get Rewarded – Offer new members a double discount at the store for a limited time or provide a free gift with their new membership for the month of December. This helps build the Museum’s constituency while also supporting the retail shop.

  1. Omnichannel Shopping JourneyIf you operate an on-line store in addition to a brick-and-mortar store, be sure to cross promote your holiday strategy at both locations.


    • Offer a bounce back coupon that drives people to the other channel for their next purchase or back to your store later. Make sure the omnichannel retail is seamless.

    • Producing an e-gift catalogue that can be shared in email communications to museum members is also an excellent idea for promoting the omnichannel shopping journey.


    • Collaborate with your museum’s marketing department to ensure that the store is benefiting from any Search Engine Optimization tools that are put in place for the institution. The marketing department might be thinking about reaching museum goers only and not thinking about how the store can attract non-museum participants; particularly as it pertains to holiday gift shopping. For example, parents might be interested in purchasing STEM toys for their kids from a science museum or a daughter might be inspired to get her mother a journal with a Van Gogh inspired print from her favorite art museum.


  1. Social Media is One of the Best Ways to Communicate Your Holiday Promotions – Be sure to feature products, discounts, promotions, e-gift catalogues, and events daily on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.


    • Use hashtags to help connect your merchandise to those that have specific interests. This might spark ideas for gift giving! #sciencegifts #kidsthatloveart

    • Appeal to people who do not want to order gifts from Amazon or big box stores. Craft social media messaging that reminds people that purchasing gifts from the Museum store helps support the mission of the institution. #giveforgood #buylocal


  1. Offer Free or Speedy DeliveryFree Shipping is an ideal way to encourage e-commerce consumers who aren’t able or ready to return to a physical store to shop. Also, free delivery or fast delivery will encourage people to buy from you knowing they can get their purchase delivered at no additional cost. This is especially important for those last-minute shoppers!


Follow these pro tips for your museum retail location and make December 2021 the most successful holiday season to date!

Please follow and like us: