There are a lot of gift shops out there, each in very touristy places. But, how can you stand out from the crowd? Well, here are some surefire ways to help you run the gift shop that you want to run.
Add Valued Services
Services that help others are often a great way to set your gift shop apart from others. Services such as gift wrapping allow for more convenience. I mean, most people are buying knickknacks at these that cater to tourists, and many buy them as gifts, so naturally, this is a very beneficial idea. Classes or events are good too, and you could even help others if they’re struggling to figure out what they should buy.
Cater your Merchandise to Tourists
These are your main clientele, and you should try to bring products that are catered to tourists. Bring in products that tourists want. it’s definitely hard to do though, and much easier read than done. I do suggest trying to step outside of the box of touristy-y items. don’t try to only sell novelty shot glasses, but instead, bring out unique items that have an appeal to them. Bring something new t the table, and that will foster excitement to bring this home to their friends and family.
Try to Sell Branded Items
While of course, the purpose of a gift shop is to sell touristy-y items of attractions and sights, you can actually sell branded items. For example, t-shirts and apparel can have your logo on there too, and this will set you apart from the competition. This might even bring others to you versus other tourist gift shops.
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Wall-Drug, for example, used to be a gift shop near Mount Rushmore, but they decided to try to offer free water to the tourists, and more people came, and they started to brand these water bottles. You could do this too, but with shirts, mugs, wristbands, and the like. There is so much potential for branding with these, you just need to think outside the box.
Invest in a POS System
Lots of tourists carry cash because they might not want to use their card, but with more and more banks offering worldwide coverage and service, more cardholders are appearing at gift shops. You don’t want to be that old hat “cash only” gift shop, so a POS system is a great idea. Once you decided on that check our review of the top 10 retail POS systems to help you with choosing a pos system for your gift shop.
If you plan on going the branded item route, this is another great addition, because you can take inventory of what you’re selling. You can also if they want to be part of a mailing list, especially if you have branded items and events, you can get them to come in again, or maybe visit the gift shop in the future. These are especially good if you want to have multiple service points, especially if you don’t want to be that gift shop with a huge waiting line. So yes, these are good, and they will give you an edge over other gift shops.
Carry last-minute items
If you have tpace, put some everyday items that they’ll need on the shelf. Sometimes, tourists will be there for a while, and if it’s a tourist attraction out in the middle of nowhere, chances are there isn’t a Walmart close by. Mammoth Cave, for example, isn’t that close to a Walmart and the gas stations are average at best. A good gift shop would also be a one-stop-shop for these people, so make sure that not only is this a gift shop, but it’s also a place where people can buy drinks, snacks, toiletries, sunscreen as needed, alcohol, chargers, any reading material, and cigarettes. Depending on where you are, you can add extra convenience as well. It definitely will put you over other gift shops if a person needs something and doesn’t want to drive their RV 30 minute out just to maybe find a convenience store.
Cycle the Inventory
If you go to most gift shops, you’ll probably notice that they feel stale, uninspired, and they definitely are quite boring. it’s kind of same stuff, different location. The best way to prevent this though, is to rotate the products, and at the very least, most should be cycled in a seasonal manner, so sell winter items during the winter, and summer items during the summer. You can also do an A/B test in order to see what products sell best at the right times.
Add tour Info, guides, and Tickets
This might be a bit harder to do, but if you want to stand out from the rest of the people, you’ll want to consider offering different services in partnership with local tourism. For example, you can maybe sell tickets to the local cave, or some white water rafting adventures. You can also give some tour info. Some gift shops may also have trained guides who can do tours. This will set you apart from the crowd.
Some gift shops also may even offer a slight discount on tickets, and you can also educate your guests on the area, and even hosting events in the space will help you stand out from the rest. People will remember, and a gift shop doesn’t just have to sell trite knickknacks, it can be the place where people come to for information
Running a successful gift shop is hard work, but as you’ve read here, there is a lot that you can do, and a whole lot that you can implement in order to create a better gift shop experience. Try this, and see for yourself the differences these little changes make.