The museum bookshop is an activity that is depopulating among entrepreneurs who want to deal with the market of gadgets dedicated to the place where the business takes place. To design, realize and take care of the commercialization of gifts, artistic reproductions also in miniature or collected in an album, catalogues, postcards or calendars. There can also be CDs, audiovisual systems up to the classic toy cameras with images of the place. Everything that can be useful for visitors to remember a beautiful day at the museum.
What are the 5 guiding principles for a successful bookshop?
Who wants to start this kind of business must know the 5 basic principles to start a successful bookshop. Let’s analyze them to understand what they are and how to use them to develop a business in continuous expansion.
1. The knowledge
First of all, it is important that the owner of the shop inside a museum is in perfect harmony with the place. You cannot offer someone objects whose meaning or connection with the environment or the city that houses the facility is unknown. It is therefore essential, for the management of a bookshop, to gain an in-depth knowledge of the museum and the works it houses, its history, any legends and the link it has with the places where it is located and its characters.
2. The museum merchandiser
The sale of museum gadgets is not an activity like any other. Those involved in this trade must have special requirements such as personal interest in the product and the museum. They must be part of the atmosphere as well as be sensitive enough to understand the emotional state of those who have experienced the museum experience. His or her cultural background must turn towards art history with the integration of corporate marketing and communication. The two things are inextricably linked.
An activity that is generally chosen by graduates with a humanistic or artistic and archaeological history. Since this is a fairly recent type of business in Italy, it is advisable to keep up to date with the fashion and trends of the moment by attending courses, conferences and seminars on the subject.
3. Marketing and communication
An essential requirement to achieve a good turnover with museum bookshops is to have a good knowledge of corporate marketing and a good entrepreneurial spirit. In spite of the historical-artistic character, it should not be forgotten that this is still a commercial activity that must lead to an optimal final profit. Communication also has its importance with regard to the promotion of the products and the way to communicate and tell each object to visitors so that a story is created, a link between the souvenir and the place.
The ability to speak in several languages is also a fundamental characteristic for the museum bookshop attendant as, being a tourist place, there will be many foreigners visiting. For this reason it is essential at least the knowledge of English better if combined with German and French.
4. Setting up museum bookshop
The taste in setting up the windows and spaces of the museum bookshop is a fundamental requirement for those who run a business of this kind. The layout of every single gadget cannot be left to chance, marketing techniques teach how to distribute every variety of objects for sale in the shopping area. In the same way, great attention must be paid to the position of the signs and lights that highlight each area of the shop located at the exit of the museum path.
5. Originality and elegance
The realities present in this sector are still few and far between, but this does not detract from the fact that a touch of originality is always of considerable importance. This does not mean that you have to fall into excess to hit, you must always keep in mind the place where you are. For this reason, style and elegance must never be missing both in the shop fittings and in the clothing and behaviour of the museum bookshop managers.