Menu strategies and Internet Sales
One of the reasons bakery products sell so well is that they are all but irresistible to most people. This is largely due to the Wow Factor of bakery products. Bakery products with a high "Wow Factor" look, smell, taste and feel terrific. If you remember, a few articles ago we talked about the various ways that the "Wow Factor "can be increased. This month we will talk about some of the strategies that can be employed to increase the sales of your high "Wow Factor" bakery products.
Specifically we will talk about menu strategies, and internet sales. We will talk about other sales avenues in future articles.
What is the definition of a good menu? A good menu has at least one item in each category that appeals to every customer. An appetizer, an entrée and a dessert. Surprisingly this definition applies equally to a bakery counter as it does to a restaurant. Why is an effective menu strategy so important to the profitability of your bakery or restaurant? Consider this - desserts are a very high profit margin products yet less than a third of restaurant patrons base their dessert decisions on the price of the dessert. There are other factors that override price when it comes to influencing customers. These factors are: textures, flavors, shapes, and presentations.
Work on your menu strategy and you will maximize the appeal of your dessert offering. Sales will grow and customer loyalty will be strengthened.
Selling desserts over the internet is a growing trend. The internet offers a buying experience that is suited to dessert connoisseurs. The internet is a convenient way for those people looking for that special unique item to send as a gift or to order in for a catered affair. The range of selection available on the internet is growing daily. The shopper can find much more selection on the internet than they can by actually going to their local shopping district. For the seller the internet eliminates the requirement of a store front or a middleman broker or wholesaler. The result is better shopping for the customer and more profit and less hassle for the baker.
Internet marketing sounds terrific but there are still some fundamentals that have to be practiced to be successful. The website has to follow the fundamentals of good menu strategy and the internet marketer has to drive customers to their website. The elements of texture, flavor, shape and color and presentation all have to be worked out and represented clearly on the web site (see above).
There is also the element of shipping and packaging. Gifts in particular have to be packaged in an appealing way. At the same time the packaging has to protect the product during delivery. The internet marketer has to work out a convenient secure payment system. As well shipping rates and schedules have to clearly laid out and easy to follow.
Driving customers to your website calls for creativity. The most powerful and least expensive way to drive prospects to your web site is to use public relations techniques. The key to effective public relations is "word of mouth" to get people to write or talk about you and your product. One of the most successful websites we have come across took off after the products were written up in Oprah Winfrey's magazine. Do what ever you can to get written up in newspapers and magazines or to get featured on radio or TV shows. Combine your P.R efforts with your advertising efforts and you will see amazing results!
Lilyfield Cakes is an example of a successful web based cake business. Lillyfield sells gift cakes and puts an emphasis on the packaging. The cakes are homemade and packed in chic collectable boxes featuring vibrant fabrics and whimsical silk flowers on the outside, a hand written card, a sterling charm and a handtied posy of fresh flowers on the inside. Lilyfield has attracted a lot of media attention. Over the years, the owners of Lilyfield, have been interviewed on radio and television shows and their business has been written up in magazines including Better Homes and Gardens, House and Home, Canadian Living, Flair and Lucky Magazine. Lilyfield sells cakes around the world. For days like Mother's Day and Valentines day Lillyfield will sell hundreds of cakes per day.
Mailing or emailing to a list can be very effective for an established bakery that sets up a website. We know of a bakery in New York that sells gingerbread houses for all occasions, Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the 4th of July. The ginger bread houses are good internet product because they are packed in kit form and can be shipped flat. This protects the pieces and reduces shipping costs. The bakery has been in business for several generations and it now has customers who have moved out of the New York area. For these customers the ginger bread houses bring back special memories from their child hood. They will pay a premium over regular retail to buy over the internet. Even with the premium the cost will be less than having to travel back and forth to New York. The ginger bread pieces pack well in a box and can be shipped easily.
TBN Staff Writer. Copyright 2012 The Bakery Network