Services provided: Ecommerce, Systems integration, Digital marketing, Design and UX
Sir John Soane’s Museum is a fascinating treasure trove of intrigue and artifacts hidden away in the heart of central London.
Located in the one-time home of revered architect Sir John Soane, the museum welcomes more than 120,000 people through its doors each year. Visitors take in an incredible collection of approximately 45,000 objects belonging to the late architect at what is the UK’s smallest national museum.
Williams Commerce and our sister company Un.titled have had a working relationship with the Sir John Soane’s Museum team since late 2014.
We were initially approached to pitch for the redevelopment of their website. From these humble origins, we are proud to say we have now completed three phases of work with the museum. This has included the redevelopment of the museum website, migrating and upgrading their online ecommerce and retail offering, and providing ongoing digital marketing services.
The old website the Sir John Soane’s Museum team had been dealing with was far from ideal. It was hard for staff to manage, was hard to navigate from a user perspective (something evidenced by analytics) and worst of all, was only available on desktop.
Data-driven Digital change
We worked closely with the museum team to get a deep knowledge of their mission, where they wanted to be in the near to distant future, and the kind of person they wanted their site to appeal to.
We also used audience and visitor data to support the creation of a better, more user focused sitemap. This helps to enhance the user experience substantially, allowing visitors to access the areas of the site they seek with greater ease.
Our design team also gave the site the once over, creating something contemporary and with clear call to actions. The website was also redeveloped with management of the site in mind. This means that site editors now have a far easier task, changing the management of the site from a frustration to something simple.
A second phase focused on delivering a new Shopify store. This store includes both retail and the museum’s event programme, which includes timed entry to ticketed events.
We successfully integrated Shopify with the Drupal-powered museum site. From here, we looked to design a modern Shopify ecommerce store that fits nicely into the main website.
We created a shop landing page that showcases the full product range of the museum. We also created and applied brand and style guides to the museum’s Shopify store, which allows the admin team to apply a consistent visual standard to the site.
The customer experience has improved hugely compared to that provided by the museum’s old Amazon webstore, and there is far less jarring between platforms.
Toby, Voss, Digital Transformation Manager, Sir John Soane's Museum
"Our website is a key part of our larger digital transformation and the site has been designed and built for us has gone a long way towards exceeding our online objectives. We have a website that is responsive, easy to navigate, beautifully designed and crucially, achieving results."
Together, these projects have made a significant difference. The Sir John Soane’s Museum website has seen:
- A 100% increase in annual ecommerce revenue
- A 70% increase in online event bookings
- An award given for Best Online Shop award from the Association for Cultural Enterprises
And that’s not all. We have also provided the museum with our expert digital marketing services. This work has led to higher PPC conversion rates that consistently sit above industry averages.
Xanthe Arvanitakis, MD of Soane Museum Enterprises
"The team has helped us through the journey using their understanding of the museum and heritage sector as well as their technical skills and experience and are now a trusted partner helping us to continue to develop our online user offering."