If you’re the go-to person whenever friends, family, and co-workers need a cake for an office function or birthday, maybe it’s time to start selling your baked goods online.
In this day and age, people would rather support small businesses than big-name grocery stores – which presents a golden opportunity for home bakers to transform their hobby into a lucrative side hustle.
Here’s everything you need to know about selling your baked goods online.
Figure Out the Logistics
When it comes to the logistics of your online bakery, figuring out the details and coming up with a solid plan early on is essential. Ask yourself how your goods will be getting to your customers. Will you deliver them yourself? Or will you use a courier service?
If you’re going to ship your baked goods to, say, your local customers in California, you should use california courier services that offer local delivery and same-day shipping.
If you’re going to deliver your products yourself, you should know all the extras involved – like what areas you can realistically serve and the cost of fuel, vehicle maintenance, insurance, etc.
Other logistics to consider are purchasing the right baking equipment, how well your products travel, and adequate storage for your finished goods and perishable ingredients.
Think About Your Niche
Before you begin baking anything, you’ll need to choose your niche wisely. Before starting your business, you should conduct competitor analysis of the other bakeries in your niche and devise a way to offer something they don’t.
If you already have an idea of your offering, think about how your goods can be adapted so that they sell online. Try and make your offering unique – and make sure everything looks as good as possible. Something to always bear in mind: online customers won’t be able to taste or touch your goods before purchasing them.
Set Up Your Ordering System
When you’ve completed the planning phase of your business, you should work on your online presence. You can build a simple website or set up an online order form – it doesn’t need to be anything too fancy.
The most important aspect of your online marketing campaign is your photography, so make your photos as enticing as possible. Other than that, customers should be able to access your menu, see the prices of your items, order online, and make payments.
Register Your Business
Before launching your business, you’ll need to register your company as a legal entity. This process will depend on your state, and you may also require additional permits to sell baked goods.
Broadly speaking, you’ll need to register your business name, find out if you are permitted to operate a bakery from your home, and get a certificate that will allow you to produce and sell food items.
Build Your Brand
Finally, it’s time to build your brand – a crucial step in acquiring customers. When building your brand, you should also think about how your product satisfies your customers’ needs – for instance, will you offer customizable cakes? Or will you focus on more traditional baked goods?
Word-of-mouth is still one of the best ways to get the word out about your bakery. There are two kinds of word-of-mouth promotion: physical word-of-mouth (when people tell their friends and family about your products) and digital word-of-mouth (photographs of your baked goods shared on social media platforms).
Expanding your online presence with digital marketing is crucial for small businesses because it allows you to connect with a larger audience.
Set up accounts on the major social media platforms (Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) and focus on getting followers and promoting your products. Tools like SEO, Google ads, and Facebook ads are also ways to reach your target customers.