The Tank Museum has won the award for Best Online Shop at The Cultural Enterprises Awards 2021, following its successes during a difficult year for the cultural sector.
Despite the major challenges that lockdown had on the Museum industry, The Tank Museum’s online shop grew from a side project to a major earner, achieving over £1million in sales in the last year, compared with just over £100,000 in 2019 – its previous most profitable year.
Simon Prager, Head of Commercial Operations, “Winning this award for The Best Online Shop 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 Enterprises.”
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 audiences 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.
Online store sessions increasing by 506% 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 in comparison to 2019, Online Shop attracted 558.4% more new customers and 742.14% more returning customers.
Judges from the Association of Cultural Enterprises 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”.
The Tank Museum have been shortlisted for two further awards, the Website of the Year at the UK Digital Growth Awards and Best use of Social Media, Shop of the Year and Fundraisers of the Year at the Museum and Heritage Awards.
You can visit the online shop here.