Title:Selling More without Selling Out: Museum Merchandising That Supports a Museum’s Mission
Authors:Dean Johnson
Publication:MW2000: Museums and the Web 2000

This paper discusses how a museum can partner with an established commercial entity to utilize more effectively the Internet to reach the museum\'s constituency, establish a professional Internet presence, increase merchandise sales, simplify museum gift shop operations and more proficiently use scarce capital resources. Museums have Internet sites that range from modest translations of their brochures to award winning multimedia presentations. However, Internet funding and the talent to develop Internet sites are both scarce. Partnering with an established, reputable commercial entity to develop a professional Internet presence while at the same time enjoying the benefits of increased Internet gift shop traffic is a powerful combination. This concept is made even more attractive because it can be done at no additional cost to the museum and will result in substantial cost savings. In summary, such as partnership can (i) achieve better member outreach through a professional Internet presence and analysis of member purchasing behavior, (ii) stimulate product development based on commercial viability of the product and the various planned exhibitions (iii) dramatically improve onsite and Internet museum shop operations by reducing onsite inventory, providing additional Internet product opportunities and offering one stop fulfillment and (iv) reduce the financial commitment to shop inventory while developing additional revenue sources.