The Secret Recipe for a Beautiful Bakery Website
You can bake the most delicious cake, but if the icing and decorations are poorly done, the whole thing looks unappealing.
Much like baking sweet treats, there is a recipe for a great website.
If one thing is out of whack, it could turn off potential customers, and they’ll find what they need elsewhere. These are the key ingredients you’ll want to include on your bakery’s website to keep your customers happy!
You could have a professionally designed website with all the coolest high-tech features, but if the images are dark or blurry, it takes away from the overall look. Think of taking pictures of your goods like taking pictures of your kids for a photo contest. You want your little darling dressed in their best outfit, in the cleanest corner of the house (we all do this!), and with natural lighting that shows of those adorable dimples.
Taking pictures of your cakes, breads, cookies, or whatever is along the same lines. Put up images on your website of your best work that you are proud to show to the world. Make sure you have good lighting, and the image is clear. If it’s not, retake it! That’s the beauty of having digital cameras, so take your time to get it right. You can read this blog post for more details of getting your photos just right.
Want to save yourself time on the phone? Put your menu online. I know, you probably take custom orders, and you can always include that information. But, if you can at least give people an idea of what you do and a ballpark figure of how much it might cost, they’re more likely to move forward with you. People are busy, and sometimes, lazy, so the easier you can make it to work with you, the better.
So, if you include on your site your regular flavors, and tell visitors that other flavors are available upon request, that’s fine. If you typically do custom wedding cakes that start at $3 per slice, but prices may vary, let people know. If you don’t give people an idea of what you can do, they will draw their own conclusions. Your pictures might be so phenomenal that people assume you’re way out of their price range. Or they might want a specific flavor and think that because you don’t list that particular one on your website, it’s not an option to work with you.
Hours & Location
Bakeries are one of those business you have to go to in person to make a purchase. If I want a custom cake for my son’s next birthday, I really don’t want to have to drive to the other side of the city to pick it up before his party. Most customers narrow down their options, in part, according to location. Make sure that where you’re located is very clear on your website, as are the hours you’re open.
If a parent needs to pick up a cake for a party that starts at 6:00pm, but your bakery closes at 12:00pm on Saturdays, they need to know that! Everything on your website should be done with your customers’ happiness in mind. You want to be sure that there is no room for miscommunication and unintended mishaps that lead to poor reviews. You want to make sure that you’re building relationships and repeat customers.
I’m shocked at how many people only put their phone number on their website as the means of contacting someone regarding an order. Even from a selfish standpoint, wouldn’t you rather not be answering the phone all the time? Especially if you’re in the middle of whipping up a cake, you don’t want to try and answer the phone with gloppy hands. And if you don’t answer it, you could be missing out on a potential sale.
The answer? Include a contact page on your website, and an order request form. These can be on the same page, or separate, but giving people a means to contact you when you’re not available is essential. The other way you can think of it is making it easier to get in touch when they’re not able to call. Many working parents might take a few minutes out of their day to browse bakeries for their kid’s next birthday, but not be able to pick up the phone and call around. If they can send an inquiry online with you and not your competition, you may be able to win that customer.
Speaking of building relationships, what better way to show your potential customers that you do a great job, than by sharing testimonials from prior customers? I’ve seen some websites that have a separate page for these, hidden away where a visitor really had to dig. Just like those beautiful kids, be proud of your work and put those babies right on the front page!
You can always include a hand full of the best written testimonials scrolling on your home page, and a link to the rest if you’d like them to have their own page. Testimonials are an excellent way to build trust, especially when your potential customers are asking you to be a part of their special day.
When all else fails, give people as much information as you can on your website so that they can make a decision to work with you before you even connect.
Think about how you make your decisions as a consumer, and make sure your website caters to that process. Make the process as simple as possible and of course, in the end, give them a great product!