Is 2024 the year to review your museums IT systems?

There’s never been a better time to take a good look at the commercial technology systems you use every day and evaluate if you are getting the best value.

Independent museums utilise a wide range of technology, more perhaps than most of us think, and there are some new great new technologies on the market at very affordable prices. These modern solutions can help make us more efficient, more profitable from our commercial streams and improve our visitor, staff, and volunteer experiences. Let’s focus on a few areas for potential improvement.

Ticketing and admissions

During COVID there was a significant uptake of online ticketing systems to help manage controlled re-opening and timed ticketentry. Despite that challenging period, many haven’t looked back and have continued to push online admission and event ticketing harder to get more revenues in advance, plan resources better and offer upsell opportunities. Online ticketing now accounts for over 70% of purchases and many see secondary spend in shops and cafes increasing from visitors who have prepaid for entry. The ticketing system market is crowded and there are some attractive options even for the smallest museums.

Membership Management & Fundraising

Growing the membership base and raising funds through building advocacy of museums has been a hot topic in the last couple of years. There are some great new technologies that have come onto the market that not only make the mechanics of this easier by automating the subscription process and managing direct debits; but can also take information from other systems such as ticketing, retail and catering to provide greater insights into visiting behaviours. A recent study by IMPACTS Experience in the US concluded that members have a 4.5x monetary value to museums than general visitors and that almost 63% members
that had lapsed intended to on their next visit. A good membership system will help improve renewal rates significantly.

Retail & eCommerce

Online shop technology for museums was another area that saw massive growth during COVID and there are some great lowcost options for fully joining up the physical gift shop with a professional online shop that is not onerous to manage and many
of them at a cost less than a traditional shop only EPoS system. For museums with a gift shop, a well-run online shop could add
10-15% of additional retail income and allow you to reach a wider audience through new emerging shopping channels.


Overhauling your commercial technology solutions should be a high priority for those museums who want to increase commercial profitability, grow the membership base, become more efficient and improve the visitors experience in transacting with you … and these new generation of systems are very affordable.
Rod Barlow Digital Consulting specialise in providing practical support to cultural organisations looking to overhaul or improve their use of digital systems. We provide general advice as well as support with system selection and implementation.

Rod Barlow

Rod is an accomplished senior executive with considerable experience in supply chain solutions for the retail and visitor attraction industries.



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