The Tank Museum has scooped two major industry awards for its online shop, following its impressive financial performance during the pandemic.
The Dorset museum won Best Online Shop at the recent The Cultural Enterprises Awards and Shop of the Year at The Museum and Heritage Awards in July, fending off competition from the London Transport Museum and National Museums Liverpool among others.
Tankmuseumshop.org, which was developed with Bournemouth based JD Ecommerce, achieved over £1m of sales in 2020 compared with just over £100,000 in 2019 – protecting jobs and creating new ones at the Dorset charity.
Simon Prager, Head of Commercial Operations, “Winning this award for The Best Online Shop and Shop of the Year is testament to the hard work of our whole team and we are delighted and very proud to have been recognised by the Association of Cultural Enterprise.”
Nik Wyness, Head of Marketing, “Loyal support from an existing social media audience has proved to be paramount in the success of the Museum’s Online Shop.
“At the beginning of 2020, we already had over 240,000 subscribers on YouTube and an audience of 310,000 followers on Facebook, giving us one of the biggest social media presences of any Museum outside of the US.
“When lockdown hit and the Museum was closed, we were able to go these engaged audience and ask them to support us by buying from the online shop.
“Product placement in our Curator Q&A’s and on the end of our YouTube videos, as well as ‘Product of the Day’ posts on Facebook enabled us to reach our audience in a way that was in-keeping with The Tank Museum brand.”
The Museum used its unique collection to develop products specifically for the online audience, with the Sherman tank slippers quickly becoming 2020’s best-seller. After appearing in several Curator Q&As, the Curator’s dog, Finn, became an unexpected star, enabling the sale of collie hand puppets and dog toys.
Increased website traffic and a larger product range resulted in the need for a complete online shop rebuild, to provide better functionality and easier navigation, allowing users to navigate to any product within three-clicks.
A combination of the new website, competitive pricing and digital advertising on Facebook, YouTube and Google Shopping, meant that the online shop attracted a multitude of new customers and generated sustainable growth, protecting at least 20 jobs and creating 4 new ones.
Judges from the Association of Cultural Enterprise commented, “Absolutely astonishing achievements from The Tank Museum, who have gone above and beyond to connect with their audience and create opportunities for creative commerce – thinking outside the box and responding to opportunity”.
When asked why The Tank Museum won Shop of the Year, the Museum and Heritage Awards Judges said “For their outstanding performance with brave moves at critical times, this winner demonstrated stunning business achievements with relatively small investment and, in the direst circumstance imaginable”.
The Tank Museum have been shortlisted for a further award, the Website of the Year at the UK Digital Growth Awards.
You can visit the online shop here.