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MSA Culture & Commerce News Brief
Jan. 6, 2010
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In this issue ...
  • 2010 MSA Conference: Managing an Online Store -- A View from the Back of the House
  • Holiday Related Online Sales Grew 15 Percent in 2009
  • Top Ten Trends in Small Business for 2010
  • Meet the New Consumer
  • A Data Explosion Remakes Retailing
  • 37 Percent of Smartphone Owners Purchased Merchandise via Their Phones in 2009
  • Philadelphia Drawing More Internationally
  • Coweta Has Resources to Attract Tourists for Civil War's 150th
  • Creating Your First Online Store -- Tips for Success
  • Check Out Your Checkout
  • Seven Keys to Customer Experience in 2010
  • Seven Ways to Get Your Marketing Back on Track in 2010
  • How Consumers Killed Customer Service
  • What's Working for Social Media Marketers?
  • Shoplifters? Studies Say Keep an Eye on Workers
  • Groton Center Store Is Set to Take Over Museum's Gift Shop
  • State Museum Shop Tops $100,000 in Sales
  • Air Zoo's Free-admission Promotion Nearly Doubles Attendance for 2009
  • Scout's Question Prompts Historical Society to Create Patch
  • High Culture, Meet Low Revenue
  • The Gift of a Gift Shop


  • MSA News

    2010 MSA Conference: Managing an Online Store -- A View from the Back of the House
    from MSA
    Is learning more about e-commerce one of your New Year's resolutions? Then join Candace Allen from the Museum of New Mexico Foundation on April 17 in Austin as she discusses the daily operations of your Web site's "back office." Candace will walk you through a full cycle of operational activity, from selecting products that underscore the uniqueness of your online store, to managing marketing logistics via the site and ending with the online sales process and product fulfillment. Don't miss this timely topic from one of your cultural commerce colleagues! Check out the full 2010 MSA Conference program and log in to register today! More    E-mail article

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    Holiday

    Holiday Related Online Sales Grew 15 Percent in 2009
    from PCWorld
    Shoppers looking to avoid crowded malls -- or shut in by a massive snowstorm on the east coast the Saturday before Christmas -- took to their computers this year, boosting online sales 15.5 percent over last year. Traditional retail sales, meanwhile, jumped 3.6 percent, according to a recent report. More    E-mail article

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    Trends

    Top Ten Trends in Small Business for 2010
    from USA Today
    Small business expert Steve Strauss predicted the downturn of the economy last year as a top trend, which sadly didn't disappoint. This year, the top trend is also related to the economy, but thankfully it is not bad news. In fact, it offers fantastic opportunities for the savvy entrepreneur. From frugality to going green and social media to mobile mania, Strauss gives his top ten trends for the small business. More    E-mail article

    Meet the New Consumer
    from Chief Marketer
    How do you reach an audience forever changed by the recession? In reality, price is important -- but never enough. Quality and performance are first and can dial up value for a consumer. The downfall of focusing on price alone is it risks devaluing your own brand. A brand's inherent value means a lot more than just cost. Shoppers are keen at making meaningful distinctions among good value, affordable and cheap. More    E-mail article

    A Data Explosion Remakes Retailing
    from The New York Times
    Retailing is emerging as a real-world incubator for testing how computer firepower and smart software can be applied to social science -- in this case, how variables like household economics and human behavior affect shopping. More    E-mail article

    37 Percent of Smartphone Owners Purchased Merchandise via Their Phones in 2009
    from Internet Retailer
    Mobile commerce is poised to explode this year, says online marketing and research firm Compete, which has found in new research that 37 percent of smartphone owners purchased merchandise via their phones in 2009. However, smartphone owners are not all alike. More    E-mail article

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    Cultural & Heritage Tourism

    Philadelphia Drawing More Internationally
    from Philly.com
    Thanks to aggressive overseas marketing by the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau; an increase in tourist attractions with global appeal, such as blockbuster exhibits at the Art Museum; and partnerships with Amtrak and bus operators in New York City, Philadelphia continues to gain in international tourism. More    E-mail article

    Coweta Has Resources to Attract Tourists for Civil War's 150th
    from The Newman Times-Herald
    Tourists will be heading to Georgia starting in 2011 for the Civil War's 150th anniversary, and plans are already being made to get some of them to stop in Coweta County. More    E-mail article

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    Retail Tips

    Creating Your First Online Store -- Tips for Success
    from bytestart
    Everywhere we turn at the moment there seems to be economic doom and gloom. However, even with the current downturn there is one area of retail that's booming -- e-commerce. Despite many predictions of a slowdown, e-commerce is still showing double-digit year-on-year growth. So what are the key considerations in developing and managing a good and successful e-commerce site? More    E-mail article

    Check Out Your Checkout
    from Entrepreneur
    A couple of simple fixes, including letting customers check out without a password and withholding a request to send them a newsletter until after the transaction had been made, helped cut the abandon rates of one e-retailer to less than 20 percent. More    E-mail article

    Seven Keys to Customer Experience in 2010
    from Retail Customer Experience
    Despite the economic difficulties in 2009, we've seen a significant uptick in customer experience efforts. These efforts address systemic issues like poorly designed interactions, broken processes, outdated business rules, insufficient customer insight and cultures that are far from customer-centric. More     E-mail article

    Seven Ways to Get Your Marketing Back on Track in 2010
    from ClickZ
    As 2009 draws to a close, we must accept that the interactive market has changed. The challenges of online marketing have evolved in many and unpredictable ways over the past decade. SOS (same old stuff) marketing no longer cuts it. Here are five important interactive marketing realities that require adjustments to ensure that your marketing remains relevant and effective. More     E-mail article

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    Retail News

    How Consumers Killed Customer Service
    from Retail Customer Experience
    A recent Brandweek article titled "Retail Customer Service Stinks" reported that the service received by shoppers in more than 1,000 retail interactions in the study rated 48.2 out of a possible 100 points -- a flunking grade. Essentially, staff weren't actively anticipating or delivering on the needs of their customers. The problem is that retailers didn't make this happen. We -- the consumers -- did. The fact that "service stinks" is entirely our fault. We're the only ones to blame. We demanded the lowest airfare wherever we flew. We went to the buy-one-get-one sales. We made Walmart what it is today. We camped out for Black Friday. We built the dollar-store channel. The bottom line is that we voted with our wallets and customer service lost. We killed customer service. More    E-mail article

    What's Working for Social Media Marketers?
    from eMarketer
    A September 2009 survey of marketers found that the marketing tactics most often used on social sites are not necessarily the best ones. The most common marketing tactic used on Facebook was attempting to drive traffic to corporate materials through status updates, followed by friending customers. But the most effective tactic for consumer-oriented companies was creating a Facebook application, which was done by less than one-quarter of total respondents. More    E-mail article

    Shoplifters? Studies Say Keep an Eye on Workers
    from The New York Times
    Gift cards are just so easy -- so easy for dishonest employees to exploit, that is. Employee fraud involving gift cards appears to be growing sharply as retailers struggle to contain overall theft, now estimated at $36 billion a year in the industry, or 1.51 percent of retail sales, according to a leading national study. Even as total sales have been falling, employee theft and shoplifting have been rising across the United States, industry experts say, with occasional arrests making headlines. More    E-mail article

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    Industry News

    Groton Center Store Is Set to Take Over Museum's Gift Shop
    from Lowell Sun
    From rustic blue pottery fresh from Groton artist Kristen McEvoy's kiln to magnets made of sparkly high-tech dichroic glass, the shelves at "noa jewelry, fine handcrafts and gifts," a shop in downtown Groton, will soon become available to anyone visiting the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, now that noa (the store's name is intentionally lowercase) is expected to take over the museum's gift store when the museum reopens on April 15. More    E-mail article

    State Museum Shop Tops $100,000 in Sales
    from The Charleston Gazette
    Sales at the shop at the West Virginia State Museum have far exceeded expectations since the museum reopened in June after several years of renovations. The store, tucked into the Culture Center at the Capitol Complex, frequently has to be restocked. "The holiday season was exceptional," said Zan George, retail director for Tamarack. "The business is showing steady improvement." More     E-mail article

    Air Zoo's Free-admission Promotion Nearly Doubles Attendance for 2009
    from Michigan Live
    Free admission for the last six months of 2009 nearly doubled yearly attendance to the Air Zoo and could propel the museum over the 200,000 visitor mark. As of Tuesday, 199,520 people toured the flight and aviation museum, more than doubling the attendance up to that date in 2008, said Jennifer Cunningham, the communications and public relations manager at the Air Zoo. More    E-mail article

    Scout's Question Prompts Historical Society to Create Patch
    from Maryland Gazette
    A Russett Cub Scout's question on an outing to the Laurel Museum has led the Laurel Historical Society to create a new patch depicting the old mill boarding house that houses the museum. After a tour, Matthew A. Leight, 8, asked whether he could purchase a Laurel patch from the museum's gift shop. Scouts traditionally collect patches to sew on vests and blankets. When they learned the museum did not have a patch for sale, the scouts collaborated with Lindsey Baker, the museum's executive director, in creating a design. More    E-mail article

    High Culture, Meet Low Revenue
    from Bond Buyer
    Across the country and in New York City, museums and other cultural institutions are trying to cope with lower revenue brought on by big declines in donations and losses on investments even as admissions hold steady. The national economic downturn and the credit crunch also have made it more difficult for such institutions to access the credit markets. More    E-mail article

    The Gift of a Gift Shop
    from the Denver Post
    Gift shops are a necessary irony of the nonprofit art museum business, allowing a bit of money changing to take place in the temples of high culture. Consider: Museums spend millions creating great architectural altars for their artworks, followed by long campaigns reminding everyone how precious these objects are. Then they're willing to reduce them to refrigerator magnets to raise some cash. But people love to shop. So, a slick museum boutique, especially the new one in the Denver Art Museum's Hamilton wing, makes me feel right at home. I say bring on the Botticelli bookmarks, the Monet mouse pads. More    E-mail article

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    The articles that appear in the MSA Culture & Commerce News Brief are chosen from a variety of sources to reflect important news relevant to the cultural commerce industry. An article's inclusion in the Culture & Commerce News Brief does not imply that MSA endorses, supports or verifies its contents or expressed opinions. Factual errors are the responsibility of the listed publication.

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