In today’s museum shops, visual merchandising plays a key role in attracting customers and increasing sales. However, it can be difficult to attract visitors to your museum’s physical shop. Sabetrend suggests the following merchandising techniques that will help you to increase sales in your cultural institution’s shop.

1. Shop windows make the first impression – The shop window has the power to attract customers. A boring or messy shop window will be ignored and the visitor will go on his way. When designing the front window, I could think of the power of story telling to cause greater impact. Linking the window to the exhibition of the moment will also help. Use the same techniques in the window as in the shop when combining colour, texture and lighting for something eye-catching.

2. Convoking desires – Once customers enter the shop, it is essential to conjure up their desires rather than just meeting their needs. A shop window can artistically combine both needs and wants, but the windows closest to the entrance should present items that arouse desire.

3. Create a connection – A customer is more likely to buy an item if an emotional connection is made – in the world of art, this is very possible! Showing what a T-shirt looks like if it is worn with earrings sold in the museum shop can help create this emotional connection. Shoppers also like to imagine how products can fit into their home, from a space dedicated to design, to a “counter” displaying a selection of tableware, as well as table cloths and other related accessories.

4. The power of cross-merchandising – Museum shops can be very successful with cross-merchandising, placing a selection of hoodies, with hats and scarves for example. Temporary displays are a great opportunity to use the power of cross-merchandising, but the technique can also be used to connect the customer with the artwork in the permanent display. What items in your shop naturally complement each other? What items can surprise your shoppers when displayed together?

5. Design the shop with the rule of three following the pyramid principle – Group the items in sets of three because the average person is naturally attracted by this. You can choose three references of the same item but in different colours or three related items (cross-merchandising). When working with the rule of three, don’t forget the principle of the pyramid. This involves arranging the counters with the largest article in the centre (the base) and the smaller ones at the outer edge. Alternatively, place the tallest item in the centre with the smaller ones on the outside to form the pyramid.

6. Pay attention to the lighting – lighting makes a difference. Put the spotlights on the products of the moment, the lighting creates atmosphere and the simulated daylight works effectively to attract the customer’s attention.

7. Simplicity – Consider the adage, less is more. Clear the display areas, so that the items that really need to be seen become the focus of attention. Sometimes a simple display with a trio of items creates more impact than an overflowing shelf full of the latest arrivals.

8. End the price search – Buyers don’t like looking for price tags and many won’t buy a product rather than ask a partner for its cost. Forcing customers to search for a price is a quick way to lose sales.

9. Keep it fresh – Visual merchandising displays should be changed or rotated often. Play with the seasons, the exhibitions, especially at certain times of the year when there is greater demand for specific products.

10. Play with customer movement patterns – Determine the high traffic areas of your shop and position your displays to capture these movement patterns. Products displayed in the window should be easily accessible and closer in the shop. This increases the potential of your museum shop, leading to higher sales.

11. Communication is important – Use a few well-written messages in your shop. By doing this, you will communicate to customers the characteristics of a product, its price and its brand. Messages should be short, clear and visible. It is recommended that you always use the same graphic style and the same text font.

12. Play with colours – A colour strategy, when playing with merchandising on a visual level, can attract customers’ attention and influence their decision to buy a product.

To present products, use colour in one of three ways:

– Monochrome: A single base colour and its different shades

– Complementary: Combination of opposing colours on the colour wheel, such as red-orange and blue-green

– Analogous: Three adjacent colours on the colour wheel – such as orange, yellow-orange and yellow

A solid colour background in a neutral tone often works best when the display has vivid colours.