Sales / Customer Service:
With the right mix of pricing and promotion, an in-store bakery’s product can jump from the oven and into a shopper’s basket in no time. To ensure that none of your items go stale, follow the tips below.
“Today’s shopper wants it all—everyday low prices and promotions,” says Colin Stewart, senior vice president for consumer packaged goods at marketing firm Acosta. “There’s been an overall decline in promotional lifts over the past three to five years, but most shoppers still enjoy the thrill of the hunt and feel good if they know they saved some money.” To give customers that feel-good boost—while buoying the bakery’s sales—look to the major trends shaping customer habits and expectations. Then price accordingly.
Grocery sales have become so common that it’s harder and harder to generate buzz. “Shoppers have been saturated with promotions,” says Stewart. And unless the sale item is an absolute favorite or a truly notable discount, many shoppers don’t make the purchase. Yet because customers expect these promotions, bakery managers can’t abandon them altogether.
Gone are the days of 100 percent customer loyalty. Today’s shoppers are less loyal to both brands and retailers, Sussman says. And while that may vex some marketers, it can also bring big opportunities. “Grocery stores have the chance to capture the eyes, minds and, most importantly, wallets of consumers based on their willingness to jump from brand to brand,” he says. This holds especially true with Hispanic millennials: According to a recent study from marketing consultancy IRI, more than 70 percent are willing to try a new food product.
Catch shoppers’ attention with something shiny: Shoppers may be open to a new bakery item, but a low price alone isn’t enough to entice them. Visually engaging in-store displays are essential, says Sussman. And to pique the palate of more adventurous shoppers, lean heavily on interactive displays, like food demos and samples. Even if the bakery items aren’t tagged with rock-bottom prices, the experiential promo can sway curious shoppers.
The surge of sales in meal kits, take-and-bake offerings and prepared foods all underscore shoppers’ demand for convenience—and how they expect grocery stores to meet it. Roughly half of shoppers don’t decide what’s for dinner until two hours before mealtime. This lack of planning is good news for bakery prices: “Shoppers tend to have a value threshold driven by the type of trip they’re on,” Stewart says. “If they’re on a mission to buy prepared food in a grocery store for dinner, the pricing thresholds are much broader, and shoppers typically aren’t comparing price points across channels or retailers.”
Know when to promote ease over price: Save the sales for bakery items that are more likely to be part of the weekly shopping trip. “A Gen X household with two working parents may pay up for convenience,” Stewart says. So, emphasize convenience over value when appealing to these customers; package fresh bread and single portions of dessert alongside prepared chicken and vegetables for a grab-and-go meal that effortlessly features bakery items. Consider moving prepped meal kits to the front of the store, so shoppers can swing through after work in mere minutes.
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