With people practicing social distancing or adhering to Stay at Home orders, your bakery might be taking a hit right now. Some of the same tactics you use under normal circumstances can be shifted to help get your bakery through this period of stagnation or decline.
We’ve put together some ideas to help your sales during this time. If you have other ideas, please share and help other bakers make the most of what they can.
Offer an Online Store
Now is a great time to promote if your bakery has an online store. Customers can place their orders without leaving their homes and without clogging up your phone lines. During these times, online ordering can make all the difference in a customer’s buying decisions. With e-commerce sales skyrocketing, your bakery stands to benefit.
- If you don’t have a parking lot that your customers can use for curbside pickup, see if you can work with businesses close to you to designate temporary curbside pickup locations.
- Double-check your limit settings to make sure that you can feasibly fulfill the number of orders that come in, especially if you’re operating with less staff than normal.
- If you can deliver right from your online store, that’s even better.
If you don’t already have an online store, check out how BakeSmart Online can build one in minutes and offer your online customers same-day pickup.
Use Food Delivery Services
Online ordering and food delivery services have been steadily growing, and bakeries are no exception. As more customers opt to have their food delivered, especially now, bakeries should follow suit. Being able to offer delivery services means that you can potentially expand your reach, offer your loyal customers more, and attract new ones.
If you’re using an outside delivery service, then you’ll want to cut down on the opportunity for miscommunication. Give your customers all the options ahead of time so that there is very little need for special instructions calls with questions. If it can save you time and a frustrated customer, it’s worth giving your customers more options.
If it can save you time and a frustrated customer, it’s worth giving your customers more options.
Though choices per item cut down on miscommunication, don’t feel like you have to offer your whole menu to your delivery customers. Consider items that travel poorly or require staff members that are temporarily unavailable.
Here are some more best practices for using food delivery services.
Use Specials and Coupons
People will never tire of saving money, and a promo code or coupon may be the key factor that brings in business at the moment. Here are a couple of examples of specials that might be helpful at this time.
Multi-buys, such as buy one get one specials, are a useful way to make your customers feel like they are getting the most out of their money. Deals like these allow customers to try new items and find new favorites.
Future-use coupons may be especially helpful now (ex. spend $25 and get $5 off your next purchase). They encourage customers to spend enough to qualify for the coupon and get them to make a purchase later when they will likely spend more than the discount.
Check out some more ways you can use specials.
Go All-in on Bread
Since many grocery stores are having trouble keeping up the demand for bread, consider promoting your fresh breads to individuals and stores.
- Contact grocery stores to sell bread wholesale.
- Take the opportunity to sell bread to restaurants that are still offering curbside or delivery.
- If you have the means, try to share with your community. People will remember the bakery who donated bread to those in need.
And after all this over, you may have gained a few more customers who can tell the difference in quality between your bread and standard grocery store bread.
Keep Your Bakery Top of Mind
As you’re implementing these ideas and others, spread the word! Use social media and email marketing to keep people in the loop. You can also share with your local news sources that you’re trying to help your community.
Even if your bakery is currently on hiatus, you can still post to social media about looking forward to getting back to the bakery or how you’re testing out new recipes at home. Try not to go radio silent, and most importantly—stay positive!
This is an unprecedented time in the world, especially for small businesses like bakeries. Do what you can to support one another, other small businesses, and your community. This won’t last forever.
For more updates and resources, follow BakeSmart on social media.