Bakers Journal

Concepts for Success: how to lure clients to your shop

October 18, 2018
By Diane Chiasson

5 easy tips to entice customers off the street and into your bakery

Bakery merchandising can be a simple and cost-effective way to enhance your customers’ shopping experience, and most importantly, boost your sales. Give passing pedestrians a chance to see something they might not have seen before: Turn your bakery into an experience, not just the to buy treats.

Before we begin, you must first put yourself in your customers’ shoes to get a better understanding of what you are currently doing, and ask yourself how you can improve on it. Go outside and take a good, long look at what you see, and ask yourself these questions:

  • What does my storefront display tell me about my bakery?
  • Is the entrance open and inviting?
  • Are my windows clean?
  • Do my signs tell me exactly what I am going to find inside?
  • Are the promotions up to date?
  • Does the space outside my bakery smell good?
  • Do I want to come in and stay?
  • Is my place child-friendly?

To find where your bakery is missing out on sales opportunities, walk through your shop as though you never saw it before. Consumers tend to favour their right-hand side when they enter a store, and continue walking along the perimeter when buying. Stand in front of your displays and look at them as if you were a customer. Walk all around your bakery, and look at all of your equipment, seating arrangements, display and shelves. How does it look, feel, smell and sound?

You should always bring your fresh products right up front, near the cash. Make sure these treats are
eye-catching, symmetrical and smell enticing, and delivered with excellent customer service.


Here are a few quick and easy tips you can use, and watch your sales multiply immediately!

1. Entice customers near the door
First, an affordable way to entice local foot traffic through your bakery doors is to place a colorful chalkboard panel in front of your door or on your patio. A great window display will be the first impression your customer has of your bakery; consider it a “teaser trailer” for your bakery. It’s a great place to show customers your new products, your best sellers, and what’s on sale. Third, use scents to get your customers in the door. Did you know that Cinnabon strategically places ovens near the front of its stores so the smell of baking cinnamon rolls wafts outside?

2. Use proper signage
All your signage should be consistent in size, layout and typeface, and should complement your bakery’s image and brand. Use signs to give your customers the information they need, but might be too shy or busy to ask. Mention the unique way in which it was made, and try to also offer nutritional information.  Always make sure every item is priced appropriately to avoid surprises at the cash register.

3. Offer in-store sampling
People love free samples! I cannot stress how beneficial sampling can be for your bakery. Giving customers a chance to taste your products and opportunities to ask questions is the best way to make a sale. Sampling also gives your staff an opportunity to educate customers. It is probably the best marketing tool a bakery could use.

4. Merchandise and cross-merchandise to boost sales
Your goal is to sell fresh bakery and other food products and the food should always stand out in order to generate impulse sales. Always envision your displays full of products. Colourful displays are not only very attractive to the eye but colours play a major role in luring a would-be customer into your bakery.

Creating displays with different heights and depths is a key merchandising point. For baked goods, this can be achieved by using a variety of different platters, two- and three-tier display units, and cake stands with pedestals. Avoid using large, commercial-looking plates. Your dishes should be small enough to look full when you place your pastries on them, but big enough so that they don’t seem crowded. Place your most eye-catching cakes on pedestal cake stands, so that they attract attention from far away. Cross-merchandising baked goods is also an excellent opportunity to upsell by pairing the right items together. Tiered shelving and glass shelves greatly enhance baked goods, and is a great place to suggest pastry pairings. Avoid routines: Try to mix things up on a regular basis.

5. Pay attention to packaging
Presentation is essential to your bakery; your packaging will boost your brand, and will make your products stand out from the crowd. It should be part of your merchandising. Your products should display yourbakery’s logo, slogan, and website.  as they say when it comes to bakery products, we eat with our eyes first! / BJ

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, or visit

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