Bakers Journal

Improving Sales by Improving Displays

September 23, 2008
By Diane Chiasson

dreamstime_1437459Recent surveys conducted on bakery customers reveal that product
appearance is the most important factor for customers to make an
impulse purchase. Aroma came in second, followed by price, and customer

dreamstime_1437459Recent surveys conducted on bakery customers reveal that product appearance is the most important factor for customers to make an impulse purchase. Aroma came in second, followed by price, and customer service.
To determine where your store may be missing out on opportunities for selling your freshly baked products, take a look at what your customers see when they enter your store. Shoppers tend to stay to their right-hand side when they first walk into a store, and continue walking along the perimeter to do much of their buying.

You should bring your fresh products right up front to the customer, and make sure these products are of the highest quality, well presented and delivered with excellent customer service.

You can also position your breads on a tiered table placed right at the entrance of your store. Next to your table, offer your customers free samples of hot bread fresh from the oven with a variety of jams, butters and spreads that you also sell.


Think those ideas are easy enough to handle? Here are a few more quick and easy tips that you can use – and watch your sales multiply immediately!

1-The first rule of thumb for displaying baked goods is to treat every item with the utmost care. Do not pile, stack or cram your products onto a shelf. Not only is this visually unappealing, but you are most likely damaging your products as well.

2-Bake small batches of goods throughout the day to attract customers with aroma. If you can, use a fan to blow the bakery smells out onto the street to entice passersby. An inviting aroma is a great in-store bakery sales driver!
3Bake smaller loaves or offer bread by the half loaf to entice curious customers to try new breads that they might not want to spend the money on for a full loaf.

4-Keep your specialty breads separate from your traditional breads to draw attention to their uniqueness. Use proper signage to indicate what makes these breads so special, such as the ingredients you use or the unique way that you made them.

5-Add simple extras to your products, such as streusel or coconut toppings on your muffins and banana breads. They dress up the products and increase their perceived value to the customer.

6-Use traditional baking equipment such as flour bags and scoops, wooden breadboards and shelves, wicker baskets and pottery to add authenticity to your displays.

7-Pay close attention to the volume of your products. Making your muffins bigger, for example, turns them into a “gourmet” muffin – translating into bigger sales.

8-Desserts are largely regarded as an impulse buy in most bakeries. They are best sold at or near the cash register, on top of the bakery counter, on the top row of a display case or at the take-out pickup point.

9-Another great place to sell dessert items is to place them wherever customers wait to be served. As they wait, they look around. And who can resist buying a tempting dessert treat?

10-People also tend to purchase desserts based on size. The bigger the better. They are also always looking for something unusual, especially when it comes to shape.

11-If you use display cases, highlight and dress up your products by pairing them with fresh fruits, herbs, flowers or even a bottle of champagne. All those props help to convey the feeling of freshness.

12-Offer free samples! I cannot stress how beneficial sampling can be for bakeries. Giving your customers a chance to taste your products and opportunities to ask questions is the best way to realize a sale. Sampling also gives your staff an opportunity to educate your customers. It is probably the best merchandising tool a bakery has available.

13-Use colourful point-of-purchase materials such as posters, brochures, pamphlets, shelf-takers, bags and recipe ideas.

14-Drive impulse and repeat sales by training your staff in effective merchandising, such as seasonal displays, appealing product presentation, in-store promotions, sampling and product bundling.

15-Ensure your staff is well trained and knowledgeable about your bakery’s products, including the basic nutritional information and ingredients used.

For more than 25 years, Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has worked with North America’s leading restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail owners and operators to deliver truly unique dining and shopping experiences for their customers. Contact her at 416-926-1338 or 1-888-926-6655, by fax at 416-921-6994, via e-mail at or go to

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