While many museums use Yahoo Store for their online shops as my previous entry indicated, some like LA County Art Museum are using other vendors. After experimenting with the Yahoo store, their technology staff discovered that the software wasn't malleable enough to suit the many and varied requests for design and content that were being brought to the table. After some research, they discovered Earthstores, a online storefront asp.
Earthstores offers a 30-day trial period and also provides great tech support - a human can be reached by phone. The museum staff was able to customize the Earthstore's templates to fit the look and feel of the rest of the lacma site. The initial pilot was a store that included 35 or so items. The staff person recommends allowing plenty of time for a pilot and testing as the number of people who need to be involved and responsible for signing off on the final look and content of each item, can make setting up shop on the Internet a slow process.
After a few months, the museum had a working model and a contract with Earthstores on their Silver plan which accommodates up to 50 items @ $50/month. The museum tested the shop extensively using museum staff, and modified the shipping and cart features as well as the site navigation buttons, privacy policies, etc... in order for the site to work for the general public and especially museum members.
The work was not done entirely in-house. The museum worked with a site designer/cart builder who provided the additional technical and asethetic expertise needed. He optimized images, ironed out a compromise between the shop departments wishes and the capabilities of Earthstores (Earthstores was not able to meet all the shop departments requests, given the low prices of Earthstores packages, but many issues were rectified.), developed shipping formulas, checkout forms, etc...