Mall Galleries achieve an 84% increase in site performance through headless ecommerce

The objective was to enable ecommerce functionality, improve back-office processes and offer an exceptional experience to Mall Galleries customers.

"From the off, we were guided by a professional, experienced team who understood our needs, especially regarding audience development; were not deterred to refine and improve on manual processes and unconnected software; and advised on an excellent approach. Clear objectives were set at the start with the modern user at the centre of the thinking. A calm, organised, understanding and knowledgeable project manager guided us throughout the detailed process. This has been essential given the digital knowledge within the organisation. Mall Galleries now has a beautiful finished product of two connecting websites. The journey does not stop here. Un.titled and Williams Commerce will continue to work with us, keeping an eye on the objectives through a clear dashboard of KPIs to help us meet our user expectations in the best and most fruitful way. What is more, the process has been fun and enlightening!"

84% Increase in site performance

95 Accessibility score

100 Best practice score


Mall Galleries needed to find a better way of selling their artworks. Previously, they were selling via the content management system (CMS) on Drupal 7, rather than a dedicated ecommerce platform. The CMS severely limited what they were able to achieve. For example, it was difficult for any new users to realise that they could buy artworks from the Mall Galleries website.

Additionally, Mall Galleries were starting to attract an increasingly younger demographic. With this new, modern-thinking audience to cater for, Mall Galleries required a solution that would be tailored to their requirements. This meant a mobile-first approach was a must.

To achieve these objectives, the Mall Galleries team wanted to update their website’s Content Management System (CMS) and adopt an enhanced content toolkit. The previous content toolkit had no flexible way of showcasing some of their rich content.

Additionally, having reviewed their existing ecommerce setup, the Mall Galleries team wanted to find a more user-friendly option in.

Framed art work and piece displayed in Mall Galleries
Female viewing art work hanging on a wall at Mall Galleries


The Williams Commerce team began by creating a detailed project scope, with the aim of supporting Mall Galleries in revolutionising their digital presence and reinventing their ecommerce operations.

A key part of our work was to switch the content management system (CMS) from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10.

Additionally, we planned to create a new online storefront for Mall Galleries running on BigCommerce, and operating in a headless way. Drupal itself offers limited ecommerce functionality and capability. Elements such as ecommerce insights, marketing, sales tracking and integration with other systems were not proving as strong on Drupal compared to what would be expected with a dedicated ecommerce platform. We recommended BigCommerce to Mall Galleries so they could benefit from the enhanced capabilities and flexibility.

Addressing pain points

As part of the introduction of both Drupal 10 and a headless BigCommerce solution, our team also worked to address a number of pain points the Mall Galleries team had been facing.

Uploading artworks onto the Mall Galleries website was one particular pain point. Staff needed to use an external system called OESS to do this. This system allows external artists to submit their artwork to the Mall Galleries website, which are then reviewed and selected by a expert committee. Once approved artworks have been selected, staff then upload the artworks for sale on the Mall Galleries website.

To complete this task, Mall Galleries staff needed to extract a CSV file from OESS for any artworks they wanted to sell. This CSV file then needed to be cleaned and converted, to ensure it was in the correct format for the website. This manual process included checking names, images, image sizes, and text associated with each artwork. Given that exhibitions can include as many as 500 artworks, this process was taking staff many days to complete.

Gallery at Mall Galleries
The Pastel society art work displayed at Mall Galleries


Our team created a solution whereby all data can be cleaned in OESS itself. Once completed, all the necessary artworks can be published on to the main Mall Galleries website via an API feed. Removing this laborious manual process freed up resources, allowing staff can focus on other tasks, such as promoting events and marketing tasks.

Since details such as artist biographies and methodologies are better served on the main CMS, our team integrated the CMS and BigCommerce elements of the site. This allows people interested in purchasing artworks to click directly through from ‘artist’ pages hosted on the Drupal 10 CMS to product pages hosted on BigCommerce. This makes it easy for potential buyers to learn more about an artist and the artworks they are looking to purchase.

We also delivered a content toolkit that allows staff to add elements like galleries, videos, according and embeds to the website, something they were not able to do through their previous setup.

Pantheon was chosen as the hosting platform for Drupal 10 CMS because of its support features and how well it aligned with the requirements Mall Galleries had.


Bigcommerce logo



Mall Galleries now operates a dynamic website with both an excellent Drupal 10 CMS and a superb headless BigCommerce ecommerce element.

As part of our work, our team placed great emphasis on accessibility and performance scores. We worked to enhance benchmarks in this area resulting in a marked improvement on the previous iteration of the site. We also ensured our work with Mall Galleries met the high standards we set for ourselves and all of our builds.

The desktop accessibility score on the CMS site increased from 86 to 95 and from 79 to 91 on mobile through adding our own theme files to the Drupal 10 base build. The ecommerce store also scored 100 for best practices on Google Lighthouse, which has set the new website up for success.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can enhance your customer journeys and be your dedicated ecommerce partner, get in touch.




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