Every business wants more business, and you know fine well that the quality and price of your product are just a part of your overall success or failure. As a local baker, you strive to make the tastiest and most appealing products possible, and you know there is often a significant wow factor to your work.
However, with so much competition in the market (locally or nationally) and consumers making more challenging decisions when buying items, the High Street baker must create the best possible impression in every aspect of their business.
This is a daunting task, but local bakers can generate interest in their products in many ways and see customers beating a fast track to their door. We’ll take you through several ways to connect with likely buyers and whip up a storm that generates sales and repeat custom.
Ensure the shop smells good with baked goods
One of the most effective ways to entice customers into your bakery is by ensuring that the shop smells good with the aroma of freshly baked goods. You can achieve this by baking more frequently or strategically placing baked goods near the store entrance.
Of course, if you can’t do this, perhaps you don’t bake on-site, or your goods aren’t as naturally aromatic as others, you can enhance how your shop smells. The following measures can enhance the atmosphere in your store while placing customers in a receptive mood to enjoy your products:
· Use a room spray or candle with a bakery scent.
· Use a diffuser with essential oils like cinnamon, vanilla, or nutmeg.
· Boil a pot of water with cinnamon sticks or vanilla extract.
· Use a baking mix with a strong aroma, such as cinnamon rolls or gingerbread.
· Use an air purifier or humidifier with a scent-diffusing feature.
The property market and retail sector utilise aromas to attract customers and make them feel at home. One of the most popular home-staging tips involves baking cakes or bread to fill the house with a homely smell, and supermarkets use aromas and audio as much as visual elements.
All senses are viable ways to market your items and entice customers in, and who can resist the smell of fresh baked goods?
Have a website that showcases your goods and shares your story
Having a website is a must in today's digital age. Ensure your website is easy to navigate, includes your menu and prices, and has your bakery's contact information. Having a website will also help customers find your bakery through online searches.
You don’t need to spend a lot of time or money on a website, but please ensure it matches your values or identity and that you update it regularly. If you have a vintage style, your website should reflect this, but if you are a contemporary bakery with innovative products, it makes more sense to have a progressive and sleek website.
Have a social media platform
Social media is a great way to connect with potential customers and build a following. Use platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to showcase your bakery's products, share customer reviews, and post promotions.
If you are proud of your creations, or people always tell you that they love your products, social media platforms are the perfect place to showcase your work. A new bakery creation or store goes viral on social media virtually every month, generating interest and traffic in significant numbers.
Viral success never lasts as a constant, but the boost many bakeries receive from significant interest can make all the difference in their long-term success. Also, simple steps like sharing your opening hours and responding to questions create a connection between yourself and potential customers which will generate traffic and sales in the long term.
Offer free samples
Offering free samples can be a great way to entice customers into your store and give them a taste of your bakery's products. You can also use this as an opportunity to showcase new products or get customer feedback.
You will get some people who only want free samples and nothing else, but if your products are of a high standard, you will draw more people to you. If these customers also share images and reviews online, your reach will grow considerably, which can only be positive when bringing more people to your business premises.
When baking, most people will bake extra items in case of problems or spillages, so there is a good chance you will have additional products on hand you can offer as free items. You can even factor the production of these items into your overall cost, helping you to better manage this activity without overextending your finances.
Work with suppliers to create better promotions
Collaborating with your suppliers can be a great way to create a better standard of promotion to attract more customers. For instance, you can partner with a coffee supplier to offer a deal where customers who buy a certain amount of baked goods get a free cup of coffee.
Similarly, you can collaborate with other local businesses to provide your audience with a more compelling product or service. Partnering with other local companies, such as cafes, restaurants, or florists, can help you cross-promote your business and attract more customers.
Even simple cross-promotional support on social media helps you tap into new customers who are local and have an interest in what you offer. A growing number of people are intent on shopping locally and supporting businesses at the heart of the community.
Here at BFP we will always share good material from our customers especially when it comes to their bakes. If you would like our marketing team to share something, please give them a shout on our social media pages.
Join industry organisations
Knowing that other businesses are in a similar position to you is comforting, and networking is essential for finding fresh ideas or keeping yourself sane on trying days! A helping hand is always of benefit, and outside of industry agencies, there will likely be community groups that can assist you in promoting your business.
Effective signage can be a powerful tool in attracting customers to your bakery. Ensure that your signage is clear, visible, and reflects the character of your bakery. You can also consider using chalkboards or A-frames to showcase your daily specials.
If you have footfall passing your store, many of these people might take you for granted or not even recognise you are there. When people walk by the same store daily, it is easy to overlook what is on offer. However, if you change your livery or add something exciting or enticing, you will likely get people to stop and pay attention.
Other quick tips to consider include:
Offer online ordering and delivery: Offering online ordering and delivery can make it easier for customers to purchase your products. This can be especially important during busy periods or for customers needing more time to enter the store.
Ready mixes over scratch bakery: Consider using some ready mix products which can free up valuable time and often save on cost. Ready mixed products have advanced so much and give you some continuality in your bakes. Remember, you don’t have to stick to what it says on the packet, get creative with frostings, filling ingredients and more.
Cater to special diets: Catering to special diets and trends such as gluten-free, vegan, or keto can help you reach a broader customer base. Ensure you clearly label these products and showcase them prominently in your store and website.
Participate in local events: Local events such as farmers' markets, food festivals, or holiday markets can help you connect with potential customers and build brand awareness.
As a baker, you are busy and often feel there aren’t enough hours in a day to cover your essential business activities. However, if you can find the time to take on one or a couple of these tasks, you’ll hopefully reap the rewards of more custom, positive feedback and a blooming audience of people who love your products.