The bakery industry has been in growth mode in recent years in the United States. Customers are drawn to hand-made, fresh-baked items and we’re seeing niche shops abound. But how can you increase sales and boost your bakery’s fan base so you stand out from the crowd?
The technologies offered by mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) services allow you to bring data intelligence into your cupcake store or doughnut shop, so that you can build a customer-centric menu that can nimbly adapt to market needs. The technology is actually allowing you to become closer and more understanding of your customers—responding to their needs in real time.
Here are three ways that mPOS systems can boost your bakery’s ROI:
Deliver what your customers want
In order to make your bakery flourish, you need to know what’s working in your market. You need to respond to the neighborhood in which you’re based—and sell the items that are most in demand. Beyond your gut instinct of what’s working and what’s not, an mPOS system allows you to gain a bird’s eye view into data analytics, allowing you to analyze repeat visits and chart which items are bringing the most customers through the door. The data points even allow you to study what is selling on certain days of the week, or at certain times of the day, to allow you to refine and plan your promotions to answer the desires of your customers.
Reward your loyal customers
Once you’ve landed a new customer, you need to make your establishment the go-to source of his daily bread (or cookie). Get to know your customer’s names and favorite items. Kick-start a customer loyalty program and reap its many rewards. mPOS systems such as Instore have made such programs a breeze to organize. In an instant, you can set up deals, whether a free bakery item or special discount.
You can get as creative as you want: Take note of your customer’s birthdays—and a week before the big day, let them know that a birthday cupcake awaits them. Maybe they’ll be inspired to order a bigger cake—regardless, you can be assured that it will bring a smile to their face and they will remember the gesture. Once your program is set up, remember to talk about it. Give your loyalty program an interesting name, promote it via your staff, your social platforms and by email to your customers. Each time they visit the store, you are building a comprehensive picture of their preferences—and you are building a relationship.
How does your menu look online? Can people place an order if you’re closed one day of the week? Online ordering is having tremendous impact across the food industry, and bakers are no exception to this rule. The first place many people go in search of a made-to-order birthday cake is their smartphone. And if you’re closed a certain day of the week, you could be missing out on a sale by not being available when they call. By setting up an online ordering platform, you can keep your bakery’s virtual door open at all times to welcome people and take their orders.
Be sure to match your website with a vibrant presence on social media platforms. Set boosted Facebook posts for businesses in the area with mid-afternoon treat deals, so that when they’re falling into a mid-afternoon slump and turn to their smartphone to help them wake up, you’re there offering them a special deal. Are you pulling out a batch of fresh croissants? Snap a photo and post it to Instagram. (Check out Magnolia Bakery’s luscious feed for tips on how it’s done.)
Bakeries are one of humanity’s oldest forms of food service, but you can give this ancient art a boost with the help of modern data analytics technology. mPOS-enabled tech can help you monitor the health of your business and streamline operations. It’s easy to implement, fun to use, and can help your creative, artisanal juices flow even more into the joy of baking.
Photo copyright: Susanne Nilsson by CC BY 2.0