A Look Back on the First Year of MSA Marketplace
We can’t believe we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the MSA Marketplace!
Last year, MSA partnered with Brandwise to create the MSA Marketplace, a member exclusive that launched on November 11, 2020. It’s been wonderful to see the MSA Marketplace grow, host special buying events, and offer new features. Thank you to everyone who has registered—every purchase made on the MSA Marketplace supports the MSA!
Let’s take a look at the past year and how the MSA Marketplace has evolved and helped members shop, sell, and support the MSA. If you’re not registered yet, click here to join as a buyer, and click here to join as a supplier.
What Makes the MSA Marketplace Special?
- An online, wholesale B2B platform exclusive to MSA members
- Features vetted MSA vendors with products specifically aimed at the institutional buyer
- Offers the lowest transaction fees in the industry (3%, compared to other models where vendors may pay anywhere between 8% - 25% commission on orders placed)
- Each purchase helps support the MSA, as a portion of each sale goes directly to the MSA
Facts and Figures
A small selection of the many fabulous MSA vendors and products on the MSA Marketplace
- Over 150,000 products from MSA vendors are available on the MSA Marketplace.
- Hundreds of members are registered to shop and sell on the MSA Marketplace -- over 1/2 of all MSA institutions, and over 2/3 of all MSA vendors.
- Institutions from 47 states plus DC, as well as 3 Canadian provinces, have joined the MSA Marketplace.
- To date, nearly 1,000 orders have been placed on the MSA Marketplace, and nearly 6,000 unique products have been purchased.
- 82% of active buyers have made at least one purchase on the MSA Marketplace, and 20% of active buyers have made at least ten purchases. One institution has placed 65 orders—the most orders placed by one institution so far!
- So far, we’ve hosted two buying events on the MSA Marketplace, featuring vendor specials and prize giveaways for buyers (one even included a cocktail contest!). These were not only successful sales-wise, but we were also happy to see new buyer-vendor relationships forming during the events, as the "new-to-you vendor" contest we held encouraged buyers to place orders with vendors they had never bought from before.
- Sales were significant during both two-day Shop + Sip events. July’s event represented 43% of total month sales for the MSA Marketplace, with September’s event growing to 59% of total month sales.
- We’re thrilled to offer one more celebration on the Marketplace this year (to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the MSA Marketplace and the five-year anniversary of Museum Store Sunday), which will again feature vendor specials and fun prizes. Mark your calendars to participate in this event November 1-11!
- We look forward to hosting more events on the MSA Marketplace next year.
In this screenshot, you can see an example of a vendor's product categories, as well as the Alpha Search.
- Vendors can now create an unlimited number of product categories and up to five subcategories (each with their own URL) to make the shopping experience easier for buyers.
- Vendors can now upload an unlimited number of shoppable catalogs for buyers to page through and place orders (great for seasonal releases, product categories, sub-brands and more). No other B2B online marketplace offers this feature!
- Pro Forma (used by international buyers) is now an available payment method.
- It’s now easier to communicate product availability through the Available Date field and Quantity on Hand feature.
- An Alpha Search has been added to the brand listing, allowing buyers an even faster way to search for a brand of interest, simply by clicking on any letter of the alphabet.
- For more information on any of these new features and to see what other features are available, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Your Words
- “The MSA Marketplace has become a powerful tool for sourcing new products, especially when searching for exhibition-related merchandise. It is a good feeling to know I am supporting both our vendor members and MSA!” -- Judy Coughlin, Tower Hill Botanic Garden
- “I so appreciate the opportunity to purchase from vendors who care enough to be MSA vendors, and to benefit the organization as well. It is easy, fast, and fun!” -- Jan Banister, Columbus Indiana Visitors Center Gift Shop
- “I like how easy it is to shop. The brands are organized and it's clear when I've hit minimums or have specific dollar amounts until I get there. Fun exploring brands and searching by keyword to see what is available.” -- Kim Zsembik, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
- “I had a great shopping experience! I found new vendors and ordered from ones I've known about for years. Thank you to all the vendors for participating. I know it takes a great deal of work to set up virtual shops. And thank you to Brandwise and MSA for making everything come together.” -- Lorri Wright, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
- “I love the MSA Marketplace. I have found some great vendors on the Marketplace that I feel I wouldn't have found elsewhere. It also is a convenient way for me to shop at any time of day!” -- Amanda Crosby, Putnam Museum
- “I found 5 new vendors on the MSA Marketplace that I may have missed completely, or not seen until our next MSA FORWARD in Boston - plus many of my existing, reliable sources right at my fingertips! When staffing is a challenge, I can do my buying at home in the evenings when I’m not rushed or doubling as floor coverage.” -- Blue Anderson, Columbia River Maritime Museum
- “I just want to send out a huge thank you to the MSA folks and all the vendors that are making the MSA Marketplace available. It has been a godsend for our store. We don't go to many shows and this has allowed us to fill our shelves with a lot of new and interesting products for our guests. Again, thank you to all that have been involved and keep up the good work.” -- Steve Barnum, Cosmosphere International SciEd Center & Space Museum
- “It was so easy and I found exactly what I was looking for!” -- Stacey Stachow, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
We are thrilled to hear how the MSA Marketplace has been helping our buyer members throughout the past year—and we want to thank all our participating members for supporting the MSA. Just by joining the MSA Marketplace to shop and sell, you are helping the MSA.
And finally, a thank you to our partner Brandwise, without whom we would not be able to provide this exclusive opportunity to our members! Along with the new features listed above, Brandwise is continually looking for ways to improve and grow the MSA Marketplace, making the buying and selling process easier and more convenient to our members.
We hope to see you all on the MSA Marketplace to celebrate our one-year anniversary (as well as the five-year anniversary of Museum Store Sunday) with vendor specials and prize giveaways this November 1-11!