Enabling the V&A to deliver a unified ecommerce experience
The V&A Museum
User Experience Design
247 CloudHub Integration
What if a 150-year-old cultural institution could embrace digital to deliver a world-class ecommerce experience?
Today's consumers expect brands to deliver a seamless digital experience whenever and wherever they want. To enhance the V&A’s online services we were asked to blend their digital systems together to create a world-class user experience - not just for visitors exploring from afar, but also inside the museum walls.
Enabling V&A visitors to shop across a portfolio of services
The V&A Museum in London hosts one of the most prestigious collections of art and design in the world and welcomes more than 3.5 million visitors each year from every corner of the world.
The organisation generates revenue from multiple sources including ticket sales for exhibitions and events, educational courses, memberships, merchandise, donations and print on demand services. However the team’s responsible for each revenue stream were all running their own systems. As a result, visitors using the V&A’s online services had numerous individual websites they could visit to complete a transaction – like the ticketing website, or the online shop – but they weren’t able to shop across the V&A’s entire portfolio of services in a single visit online.
247 Commerce were challenged to create a more cohesive system which presented purchasing information to online customers at checkout for a single basket of goods and services.
towards a single basket view
To enable consumers to make a seamless transaction with a single basket of goods at checkout, our team needed to work closely with each department at the V&A to map data flows between their existing systems, and develop a plan to pull transactional data from their systems and present that information to online customers at checkout in a single form.
The V&A also needed the new system to support a bank of digital self-service ticketing kiosks at the newly refurbished Blavatnik Hall entrance, and integrate with an external supplier of print-on-demand services to make high quality prints from their poster collection available to online visitors.
integrating multiple systems for a unified ecommerce experience
247 Commerce recommended the V&A migrate away from it’s Amazon Webstore platform to a Magento Open Source solution, where we could apply the V&A’s new branding to front end ecommerce pages and offer a fully-responsive, full screen view to visitors.
Moving to Magento would enable us to integrate the Galaxy ticketing system with Navision warehouse management software and King & McGaw’s print -on-demand solution. To facilitate this, we used our own proprietary middleware called 247 CloudHub, which is designed to support the integration of multiple systems to a single back-end solution through API’s.
Using 247 CloudHub also meant we were also able to support new ticket purchasing options through the digital self-service ticket kiosks which enabled visitors to check availability and then book, purchase and print tickets on-site. And make a donation, if desired.
A new, more cohesive online shopping experience
247 Commerce has successfully enabled the V&A to do something it had never been able to do before – display a single basket of goods from across the V&A's ranges to online shoppers at checkout.
The new Magento platform has dramatically exceeded usage expectations; volumes from online ticketing alone grew from 100,000 in 2015 to over 400,000 in 2017. Powered by 247 CloudHub, the entire platform now handles between £4-5m annually for the V&A across multiple departments, providing a stylish and seamless experience for patrons, and a polished user interface for staff to exercise a high level of control over the V&A’s ecommerce operations.
Creating new purchasing opportunities and revenue streams allows The V&A Museum to fund future innovation. Visitors can now purchase tickets, make donations and buy retail items (such as gifts from the museum shop or prints directly from their digital collection) with the click of a mouse or tap of a finger.
Extract from the V&A's Annual Report 2017-18
Published on 16 July 2018
"The opening of the V&A Exhibition Road Quarter saw pioneering touchscreen ticketing points in the Blavatnik Hall, a first for the V&A. For the first time it is now possible to purchase courses, tickets, events and items from the shop all in one go as the short, evening, year and professional development courses went on sale on the same ecommerce platform as the museum’s other products."