What’s better than the smell of freshly baked bread? A whole day dedicated to celebrating the people who work tirelessly to bring us that bread. Happy World Baker’s Day!
We like to think bakeries are the heart and soul of a community. But gone are the days when people would spend hours sitting at their favorite bakery with a warm pastry and a newspaper. Today’s consumers want speed, efficiency, and convenience – even when it comes to their pastries. To give them what they want, today’s bakers need to meet their customers where they are – online.
While restaurants and other food retailers are quickly jumping on the online sales bandwagon, bakeries have been slower to adopt the model. There’s huge potential for establishments that set up online stores before their competitors do.
At Local Express we believe every baker should have the opportunity to succeed in the digital world. That’s why we’re sharing a guide to help you plan your next steps.
1. Choose the eCommerce platform that’s right for you
With so many options, it can be overwhelming to choose a platform that fits your business. Online marketplaces offer little customization and do nothing to enhance your brand identity. Ideally, choose a platform that enables you to build your own branded website, manage inventory, and get help with marketing your products. Local Express provides all this and more – register for a free trial and see for yourself.
Once you’ve found a reliable platform, start designing your online bakery. Choose a color palette, logo, and social links that reflect and highlight your brand.
3. Create your catalog
Unlike grocery stores and supermarkets, your bakery is most likely famous for unique in-house recipes that can’t be found anywhere else. As an online retailer, you should be able to transfer this originality to your digital catalog. Uploading your catalog accurately is just the first step – we also recommend integrating with your POS to inventory management. This will save you a lot of time updating inventory and moving items in or out of stock.
4. Set up delivery
As a general rule of thumb, the more options you offer for shipping, delivery, and pickup, the happier your customers will be. It’s all about creating seamless and convenient purchasing experiences. When planning how you’ll fulfill orders, keep in mind your team’s availability and operating hours. Local Express ensures hassle-free delivery methods like curbside pickup, rush delivery, and shipping with integrated delivery services.
5. Define your marketing strategy
Taking the time to reflect on your key messages and priorities will help you create an online storefront that delights your customers and reflects your unique brand. Identify your target audience and the value propositions you want to communicate. A complete strategy contains (but is not limited to) these important elements:
- your ideal customers
- your market position
- measurable goals and forecasted results
Don’t forget about social media. A good social media presence will serve you well as both an info page and marketing tool. Add email campaigns, and you’ll see how many more online customers you’ll be able to reach.
6. Ensure a seamless customer experience
The better your digital shopping experience is, the more loyal your customers will be.
When launching marketing campaigns, be prepared to handle higher traffic to your website.
Don’t neglect transactional and customer support emails. When customers are in the process of placing an order, requesting changes to their order, or reaching out for any other reason, be prepared to respond to them in a respectful, friendly, and helpful way. Having talking points and email templates for common customer issues can be a big help.
This is just a brief overview of how to build a successful online bakery business. Sign up for a demo today to get started.