What we did
As part of their reassessment of how to respond to the new normal, the St Albans Museums team wanted to expand and diversify their income – something especially important given the challenges the pandemic presented and exclusion of foot traffic for many months.
They also needed support in responding to new measures brought about by the pandemic and put in place to help managing access and in-person visits.
The new St Albans Museums Shopify store sells an extensive range of merchandise and products from the museum’s physical store. This includes prints of historical documents, a range of special gifts and homeware inspired by the historic city, beautiful and unique gifts all inspired by their collections (as well as past exhibitions and installations) and a range specifically aimed at families.
The Shopify store is integrated with the Drupal website, such that products can be introduced to content as part of the website’s content toolkit, and the integration extends to shipping the embedded mini-basket and checkout – so website users can buy products without leaving the site.
The store also supports development, selling St Albans Museums membership (another crucial long-term income stream).
Adjusting to new challenges
A vital addition to the new website and store was the ability for people to secure timed entry slots for the museum.
Similar to our work with Sir John Soane Museum, we achieved this using the BookThatApp app. This is an important feature during any period where the museum could reopen with limited attendance and social distancing rules in place.
The Shopify homepage looks almost identical to their existing Drupal site. The customisation wasn’t simply a case of copying the header and footer. Time was spent on micro animations, scrolling effects, fonts and call to actions to create continuity between the new store and the existing website. This took lots of customisation work but undoubtedly makes things feel consistent and delivering the same seamless experience for users.
To support museum staff in managing what might be new processes, the site’s backend was also configured to be easy to use. This is important given there’s been so much change in recent times.
Working with the St Albans Museums team and a strong brand and design, we’ve been able to bring a beautiful, coherent and easy-to-manage digital experience to the new ecommerce offer.Michael Kent, Operations Director, Un.titled