COVID-19 restrictions meant Mall Galleries were forced to close their venue, the very driver of their revenue: visitors come in, see artwork they like in-person, and buy the art right there. But the pandemic closed the door on art appreciation and its mental health benefits.
The team at Mall Galleries sought a way to expand their offer online. Ecommerce had never paid off before, but customer research, technical consultation and investment approval from their board of trustees meant they could at least make an attempt.
Like everybody, Mall Galleries took a hit due to the pandemic. But rather than sit and wait, they were proactive in bringing us in and adding something new and important to their website in the form of ecommerce.Michael Kent, Operations Director, Un.titled
Following an eCommerce audit and road map exercise we ran with Mall Galleries (designed to help the organisation continue to grow online, with recommendations for making the most of their website), Mall Galleries asked Un.titled to make some significant upgrades to their ecommerce capability that would supercharge how the organisation could sell artwork to customers via the web. Their own metrics showed significant issues with the existing infrastructure and UI, many of which contributed to high cart abandonment and general disinterest. More than that, artwork sales as they existed on the site had no “hook”: they were untethered to any programming at the gallery and were rarely updated or promoted. Audience research showed that visitors wanted a connection to the exhibition on display, not a random selection.
The course was set: make exhibition artwork not only more visible but directly available for purchase, and smooth out any impediments between customers navigating the site and payment completion. But would it work?
The existing site uses Drupal 7 running the Drupal Commerce module, so bespoke development was needed to achieve these goals. We started by connecting existing exhibition artworks to the payment gateway and making account creation optional, reducing friction. Site visitors can now buy art and checkout directly with PayPal. Refreshed shipping options cater to post-covid realities, and a new automated workflow has been implemented to create hundreds of artworks and products in a single step, which means that inventory is continually refreshed. Iterating the process pushed further refinements such as an expanded artist search tool, better messaging throughout the payment pathway and more integration of the artworks throughout the site.
Implemented in time for the reopening 2020 exhibition last summer, ecommerce sales registered a jump of nearly six thousand percent (yep, 6000%) and have not really slowed down since. Cart abandonment has dropped by over ten percent, and international purchases up an equal amount. More importantly, artists were having their works presented and sold more quickly than ever before, and audiences both old and new were connecting to work digitally that they may have seen in-person. To further compound these impressive figures, we helped achieve these results with an equally impressive Return on Investment of 1125% (RoI = Gain - Cost)/ Cost).
Discovering these untapped sources of revenue is not easy, but with deep audience analysis and excellent technical deployment, you too can win the proverbial lottery.
To browse the artworks available and see the new ecommerce functionality in action, visit the Buy Art section on the Mall Galleries website.
With Un.titled’s help, we were able to open up a revenue stream that was only dreamed of before. It proved to us that our audience was open to digital buying, but that they needed the art to be presented to them in a meaningful way first. It’s extremely gratifying to be rewarded by your visitors like this, and it has emboldened us to push our digital footprint even further. Un.titled was an instrumental part of this success.Liam Kilby, Digital Manager, Mall Galleries