Founded in 960 AD, Westminster Abbey has been the coronation church of every English and British monarch since 1066. May of 2023 will see the Abbey once again in the spotlight for such an occasion. It will be the stage for a show of Britishness that will have the eyes of the world on it.
The Abbey is also the final resting place of thousands of people of prominence in British history. At least 17 monarchs and eight prime ministers are interred there. Poet laureates, actors, scientists, military leaders, as well as the Unknown Warrior, are also buried here.
The iconic structure we see today was begun by Henry III in 1245 and is one of the most important buildings of the Gothic style in the UK. At the same time, to this day, the Abbey also retains the tradition of Christian worship and welcome.
While Westminster Abbey continues to have a larger than life reputation around the world, it didn’t have an ecommerce website that could keep up with the times. Their old site was buggy and outdated, which was causing the Abbey to miss out on significant amounts of ecommerce business. Un.titled was approached back in 2020 to help bring the online store of this 10th century icon, into the 21st. The pandemic slowed the project down but we are delighted to finally announce that the new online store for Westminster Abbey is now live.
After running extensive evaluation of their old site and updated requirements, we ran a detailed platform comparison exercise against three platforms - Magento, Shopify and BigCommerce. Un.titled and Westminster Abbey agreed that moving from Magento to BigCommerce was the best fit. The consensus and recommendation being that BigCommerce would be able to deliver the best online shop for the Abbey’s requirements, helping expand their ecommerce footprint both in the short and longer term.
To begin with, Westminster Abbey wanted a site that was easier to maintain, with a more simplified checkout process, and had a better overall user experience. We both agreed that moving to a robust and reliable SaaS platform was necessary.
Secondly, the Abbey’s ecommerce operations needed to grow and develop over time and one of the most important factors in choosing BigCommerce for Westminster Abbey’s overhaul was its ability to handle payments and currency conversions from customers all around the world. The Abbey online store already pulls in a lot of business from abroad, and will more than likely see record numbers of transactions leading up to the coronation in May 2023.
The new site has succeeded in giving Westminster Abbey the 21st-century ecommerce presence it needs. Their new online store allows for more items to be available to the public and gives the team at the Abbey better control over offers and promotions. The site also ups the Abbey’s abilities around user data retention and management. It’s been a while coming but Un.titled thinks this site is a winner for everyone involved.
Check out Westminster Abbey’s new online shop here: https://shop.westminster-abbey.org/