How to develop your bakery's customer journey: our tips for attracting and retaining customers
Improve your customer journey: the 6R rule
What is the 6R rule?
The 6R rule is a technique specific to retail merchandising that will help you to properly design your store. The 6 Rs are:
- the right product,
- in the right place,
- in the right amount,
- at the right time,
- at the right price,
- and with the right information.
How to apply this rule in merchandising for your bakery
To ensure that you meet these criteria, you have to put yourself in your customers' shoes by asking yourself what they expect from you in terms of choice, quality, customer service, and value for money.
The right product is the one that best fits your business. If you are an artisan bakery but pastries are not your core business, it's time to specialize! Offer a wide range of breads and baked goods. On the other hand, if you have an exceptional pastry chef on your team and your bakery is known for its delicious cakes, make them the focus of your business.
The right place is the one that suits your product range. Perhaps you offer breads, a selection of pastries, confectionery or chocolate products, and some snacks. So your store needs to be accessible to all those customers. Interior design is at the heart of the customer experience: when a customer enters your store, they should not feel "lost" or confused by the product offering. Did you know that customers entering a store tend to go to the right first? Think about what you want to promote at the entrance (handmade breads or pastries) and at the checkout (your signature candies or favorite products).
The right amount, you probably already know it. You know that customers buy pastries and bread early in the morning, snacks and desserts at lunchtime, pastries and candy in between, and in the evening, bread and last-minute purchases for dinner. You simply have to adapt your quantities to the consumption habits of your customers. So, make sure you have bread left for those last customers of the day.
The right time is entirely linked to quantity. But beyond the day-to-day, baked goods are also strongly tied to the seasons. Naturally, you will offer seasonal products: gingerbread cookies at Christmas, chocolates at Easter, and perhaps pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. Adapt your product offering to your customers' expectations. It would be a shame to miss out on a sale because you're not offering a product that is expected for the season!
The right price is sometimes hard to determine. It's important to do your homework—and don't hesitate to check the prices of competitors. The right price will please your customers, but also allow you to cover the cost of raw materials and make a profit. Make adjustments, but be careful not to exceed what your customers are actually willing to pay.
Lastly, the right information, should not be underestimated. It relates to your products as well as their positioning. You need to provide your customers with information to make their decision easier, but also with legally required information, such as the allergens present in your products. By offering clear and precise information you can avoid slow customer decisions, which can negatively affect waiting times in the store, as well as making sure customers aren't disappointed with their choice.
Attracting, retaining, and satisfying customers
Have you determined the 6 Rs of your business? Then you already have the foundation for a good customer journey. Now you just have to put it into practice in your store with the following elements:
An attractive storefront
It is essential to catch the eye of passers-by from the street. An attractive window display can make all the difference, especially when selling high quality handmade products. There are several options to make the most of your bakery storefront:
- Highlight your store interior and your signage
- Promote your products by displaying them directly in the window
- Showcase your kitchen and your bakers at work
In any case, make sure that your storefront reflects the entire concept of your store. You can also consider changing the concept of your storefront according to the seasons or the products you make, especially for holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter. If you attract the interest of a passer-by and they stop to take a look, you have more of a chance that they will come in and make a purchase!
A theatrical concept
Once a customer enters your bakery, they will almost always make a purchase! So you simply have to entice them to spend more than they planned to... "Theatrical" may seem like an exaggeration, but it is not: the staging of your brand concept and your signature products, as well as highlighting what sets you apart from the competition, is essential to make you stand out.
- Enhance the brand image of your bakery with a coherent aesthetic—from the window to the interior—by using furnishings in your brand colors and uniform price tags. You can have fun with the tropes of your trade (flour, wheat, "homemade"), but your bakery must also reflect your professionalism.
- Baked goods are quality products. Whether bread or pastries, they should whet your customers' appetites. Make sure your display is clean and appetizing. For example, it is better to arrange pastries in a single row than to stack them on top of one another.
- If you can, showcase your kitchen and the skills of your team. Customers like to see how the products are made.
An intuitive layout
Depending on the size of your bakery, you may be able to accommodate as many as ten customers at a time. The layout must therefore facilitate the buying process by being intuitive (entrance, exit, where to line up, etc.). It must also allow you to highlight other products that customers may not have intended to buy when they entered the store. This is an example of the "right place" we mentioned earlier.
Consider the fact that your store is divided into two sales areas that your customers have to pass through:
- The hot zone, where the products are best displayed and most visible to the eye. This should be reserved for the products with the highest margin or those likely to generate impulse purchases (attractive pastries or products to take home like chocolates, breads, etc.).
- The cold zone not as well positioned in the store, is reserved for products that are sold alone, such as baguettes. Don't hesitate to change things up in this area from time to time so that the customer can see your store from a new perspective.
Once this has been established, your customers will have access to your entire offering.
Do you have a dine-in area? If you do, make sure that it is well defined for the customers, by using specific signage for example.
A unique welcome
Beyond the products, the human aspect of a local business is paramount. There are many small interactions that enhance the experience of your store: a recommendation from the salesperson or a friendly chat with the baking staff as they leave the kitchen. If your customers feel at ease and you take pride in your products, they will have confidence in you and your offering. And let's not forget that their shopping journey should always end with a friendly face at checkout! So make sure your customers enjoy their time in your store, even if it's only for a few minutes. You can have the best products in the world, but nobody will come to your bakery if the service isn't up to standard!
What if we told you that labeling was one of the keys to the success of your bakery?
What are the advantages of an attractive label?
Labeling may seem like a small detail among all the information shared above. But since the "right information" is an essential part of your customer journey, it's obvious that the labeling of your products (and services) is one of the tools that can help establish and promote your bakery's brand.
Attractive and well designed labeling:
- Reinforces the professional appearance of your counters by harmonizing your labeling between your different products or shelves.
- Highlights your expertise by providing precise, easy-to-read, and clear information to your customers to encourage their purchase decision (name, ingredients, allergens, "organic"/"vegan"/"sugar-free," etc.).
- Showcases your offering by allowing you to highlight a new product or a daily special with labels such as: "today," "new," "specialty," etc. The idea is to appeal to the customer and provoke an impulse purchase.
To further enhance your brand image, go further by harmonizing:
- your store signage,
- your promotional materials (posters, flyers, business cards),
- your price tags,
- and any other channel of communication for your store.
How to choose price tags for your bakery
Your price tags have to meet various criteria, including:
- A format adapted to the size and layout of your products. For example, certain food products may legally require a specific label format. You can also opt for smaller labels for other products based on their size.
- A solid medium: the price tags must be strong enough to withstand frequent handling without getting creased or torn.
- Moisture resistant: water is the enemy of paper price tags. The impermeability of materials such as PVC will ensure that the tags used in areas where there is moisture, e.g. fishmongers and cheese counters, won't deteriorate.
- A smooth and flat surface: as well as water resistant, your tags must also be easy to clean so you can reduce your daily work. To ensure quick and easy maintenance, avoid price tags with gaps, perforations, or other irregularities.
- Clear presentation: the tags must be easily and harmoniously arranged on your shelves using appropriate holders. It's important therefore to find the right label/holder combination.
These numerous constraints have been integrated in the Edikio Price Tag solution.
Designed for baking professionals, Edikio Price Tag offers you an all-in-one solution to create and print personalized and attractive price tags yourself.
Use Case: Baker & Cook, international chain of bakeries/sandwich stores
Baker & Cook, an artisanal bakery and sandwich store chain, has adopted the Edikio Price Tag Access solution in more than 17 of its stores across Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia. They were convinced by:
- the harmonious and professional aesthetic of the matte black cards printed with white font, which complemented the design of the bakeries.
- the simple customization of cards for all uses.
- the possibility of providing all the information in an accessible way to its customers (ingredients, allergens, etc.).