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White House Gift Shop, a Sign of the Times

Posted on 1.21.2013

What role does Volusion, an e-commerce software and shopping cart solutions provider, play in President Barack Obama’s second Inauguration Day? The official and only recognized White House Gift Shop, of course. 

The White House Gift Shop’s location over the years has certainly been a sign of the times. Originally, the White House Gift Shop operated in the basement of the Old Executive Office Building within the White House complex, but for security reasons the store was accessible only to White House staff and their guests. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, forced the White House Gift Shop to move its store to a brick and mortar outside the White House, which stayed open until Aug. 2012. Since then, the White House Gift Shop closed its physical doors and moved its entire operation (including its existing e-commerce site) to a Volusion online store, something many retailers today can relate to. The White House Gift Shop turned to Volusion for help with the transition, and White House Gift Shop Director Tony Giannini, who has experience as a systems engineer at Harvard, is pleased with the partnership. He considers Volusion effective, efficient and reliable, with a support staff and e-commerce technology second to none. 

Some of the features that have made a difference in the way WhiteHouseGiftShop.com operates are: 

Volusion’s Deal of the Day and Featured Product features allows Giannini and his team to quickly and easily highlight certain products on the homepage of their online store. 

Product photos capabilities give Giannini the flexibility to upload multiple photos and show many aspects of the White House-approved products. 

CRM system and newsletter functionalities are extremely important to the organization’s mission.

The ability to create private pages, products and categories is going to become even more important, as the White House Gift Shop builds out different sections for unique customers.

Since teaming up with Volusion, the White House Gift Shop has doubled its revenue and almost immediately tripled its organic search presence, compared to its old online store.

As a note of interest,  the White House Gift Shop (in operations since 1946) is a nonprofit benefiting the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division Benefit Fund. Additionally, all employees of the White House Gift Shop are military and intelligence veterans or their spouses, with service-connected injuries. 

 

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