Concepts for Success: Creating a great website
By Diane Chiasson
Every bakery should have a website, and not just any website: an effective, impressive online presence.
By Diane Chiasson
Does your bakery need a website? In one word, the answer is yes – every bakery operation should have its own website. When people are looking for products and services, the first place they will look in on the web. Your bakery website needs to showcase your menu, contact information and directions.
As you know, it is now very unusual for a business not to have some sort of presence online. The internet is an invaluable tool to create the particular buzz you are looking for. A website should be your virtual storefront, just like your bakery’s building façade. Your website should showcase the products and services you offer in a way that would appeal to your customers just as they would stand in front of your bakery’s front window. A website will give your customers an idea of the atmosphere and offering before even stepping foot inside your bakery. There are a number of advantages that can benefit your bakery. Here are four main reasons your bakery needs to have an effective website.
To attract new customers
What’s the first thing you do after driving by a bakery that looks good? You want to see the yummy bakery products, the special event services and price list. If you don’t have a website, chances are that your potential customers will end their search and move on to another bakery. Here comes Google! Whether it is a last minute event, a planned birthday celebration or a family treat, when customers are looking for somewhere to buy bakery products, they will most likely use a search engine to look for bakeries in their area. If your bakery doesn’t come up in the search results, those potential customers will not become your actual customers.
To establish, create, and extend your brand awareness
A presence on the web will give your bakery great online visibility, which in turn will enable customers to find you right away. Unlike large bakery chains, most local bakeries don’t have the luxury of launching expensive national branding campaigns. A website will help your bakery to build a professional image; it’s the perfect tool for helping potential customers become acquainted with your brand. You should identify your bakery as a professional brand even if you only have one bakery store. If you don’t have a website, it’s like you don’t exist. A website will let people know who you are and will give potential customers a feel for your bakery, menu and atmosphere. Make sure that your website design matches the look and feel of your overall brand, and above all you want your website to be accurate, unique and attractive.
To showcase your important information
A good website should give your virtual storefront a platform to provide the basic information about your bakery including hours of operation, directions, menu and signature items, special events, services and promotions, gift cards, as well as payment methods, contact information, social media links and a lot more. Show a variety of cakes, pies, cupcakes, and use only your best photos.
To differentiate your bakery from the competition
Competition is fierce in the bakery industry and you only get one opportunity to make a first impression. If you really want to stand out from the crowd, use your website to tell your unique story. Treat your website as if it were a bakery storefront. The design of your website should reflect the design of your bakery operation and should show your bakery in the best possible light. Tell your visitors what you are all about. Who are your professional bakers and your pastry chefs? Show off what they do with your products. It’s an opportunity for you to provide an experience for your potential customers. Customers connect best when they can relate to the story. Delight your potential customers with colourful photos and descriptions of the products you offer. Your website needs to have updated content on a regular basis to consistently engage and draw in new visitors. Don’t forget to analyze your competitor’s products regularly for improvements, weaknesses and quality trends.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. She is recognized as the industry leader in providing innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com