Don’t start from scratch: Use a website builder.
Get your shop found with a quick and easy recipe for bakery website success from GoDaddy. Before you get too far into your planning, take a moment to figure out what kind of bakery website works best for you. Are you hoping to simply create a bakery website that gives customers a basic overview of your business, with photos of your baked goods, locations, hours of operation and seasonal offerings? Maybe you plan to sell goods to patrons across the country through your website, or maybe you’re shooting for a combination of both. Maybe you just want a blog to share your home-baked creations with the rest of the world. Whatever the purpose, set aside some time to outline the goals and vision of your bakery website.
Once you have a list of things you want to accomplish with your website, you can choose the website builder that will give you all the features that you need. That’s right, while the best baked goods come together when all the ingredients are unique and fresh, that isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to websites. Designing a website from scratch can be time-consuming and costly. But there’s no need to worry. Most website building platforms have taken care of the technical aspect of creating a site. In fact, you don’t have to know how to code to design a custom bakery website that looks so delicious you can practically taste it. Do some research on the website builder that best fits your needs - e.g., does it let you easily add and update pictures? - and browse their site templates to choose a style you like.
The key ingredient: A domain name.
The right domain helps brand your bakery website and sets it apart from the competition. Look for a domain that fits your business and register it today. If you already own a bakery, the best domain name will obviously be the name of your business. However, there’s still some room to play around. While you can always opt for a traditional .com, there are new domain extensions, like .food, to consider as well. So take some time to see what your options are and play around with different domain names.
Create drool-inducing menus.
Entice new and existing customers alike with beautiful pictures of your bakery menu. Enlist a local photographer to help capture the variety of your muffins, cakes, cookies and more. If a professional photographer isn’t in your budget, search the web for simple food photography how-tos and snap some shots of your freshly-baked offerings.
Show up in local searches.
Want to pop up when customers search for “bakery near me?” The easiest way to appear in search engine results is by taking advantage of online business directories, like Google My Business, so users can find you. There are companies that can set up your listings on Google, Yelp, and other common directories. Using this type of service typically means that you just have to update your business information in one place, versus logging into several different accounts to make changes any time you update your business hours or other pertinent information.
Once you’ve established a following, urge your users to leave reviews of your shop on Yelp and Foursquare. Positive reviews can make or break a business, especially in the era of peer-reviewed services. When customers see what you can whip up, the line will be out the door.
Don’t forget to mention additional locations where you sell your baked goods, like coffee shops or farmers markets. Give your fans plenty of ways to reach out and find your delicious treats. You could also consider exploring more traditional means of advertising, like print or radio, since ad spots on these mediums have become much more affordable in the last few years.
Use email and social media to keep customers up to date.
You’re baking, and they’re eating. Everything is going according to plan. But now you’re keeping up with the demand from fans for new content and business updates. The right newsletter or email campaign can bring more customers in and strengthen your bakery’s already-established brand.
To cover all your bases on customer engagement, take a two-pronged approach. First, include a signup form on your homepage to encourage customers to opt-in to regular email updates. Second, take the time to send regular emails with your latest announcements. You can highlight seasonal offerings, specials, or even product giveaways to grow engagement. For your most loyal customers, send emails with recipes and coupons - that’s icing on the cake.
And don’t forget the power of social media. All those likes and shares you get on your bakery’s Instagram photos become money in the bank, if you leverage the activity correctly. Offer exclusive savings and offers to fans who follow you on social media and who share your post with others.
Showcase your sources and your community.
As a small business, you know the importance of belonging to a community and supporting fellow local business owners. Share the love and link to the local products you use in your bakery. Acknowledge the amazing, small businesses you love with a section on your website by including links to their websites.
Also include any items or products you sell from local businesses, as well as your involvement with local organizations. Maybe you sponsor a little league team or give money to the local Boys & Girls Club. Include a few words on how you like to give back to your community.
Start a frequent customer program.
Have you noticed a few regulars shopping at the bakery? Reward their loyalty with a frequent buyer punch card. Decide which bakery items you want to include and give customers points or stamps for purchasing these items.
Once a customer has made a set amount of purchases, say seven muffins, reward them with a free coffee, cookie or other treat. A loyalty program is a great way to increase sales and create happy customers. Take it a step further and offer email or text notifications when customers are close to receiving their free coffee. Anytime you can give patrons a reason to visit your shop is another opportunity to increase their loyalty to your business.
Keep your bakery website fresh.
The below resource pages can help you with growing your bakery website even more and with keeping your online presence up to date: