Lund's Bakery Puts 'Icing on the Cake' with New Online Ordering Software
Lund Food Holdings Inc. operates 28 Lunds, Byerly’s and Rainbow grocery stores across Minnesota focused on delivering extraordinary food items, exceptional value and outstanding experience. Now on its third generation of family ownership, the company believes in giving customers the same personal attention and experience they would want for their own families.
With high-end touches like carpeted aisles, traditional butchers and FoodE Experts on hand to answer questions, each store operates above the competition in many ways. So, it’s no surprise that Lund Food Holdings continually looks to make the shopping experience better and easier for customers.
One key attraction for Lunds and Byerly’s customers are the extraordinary bakeries, full of designer sweets and artisan breads. Pastry chefs must complete an apprentice program and are individually trained by a master pastry chef. And this devotion to the work allows the company to offer unique handcrafted pastries, specialty cakes, gourmet cupcakes and cookies that customers (literally) eat up.
As Lund Food Holdings was rebuilding its Edina, Minn., Byerly’s store to create a new store concept, one of the focus areas was on improving the bakery department. Susan Stillman, bakery category specialist for Lund Food Holdings said, “It’s important for us to stay ahead of the customer to ensure they have an amazing experience, and part of that requires making more investments into the bakery category – technology, design, fixtures – it’s all part of the mix.”
Part of that investment meant implementing omni-channel ordering and reporting software from DecoPac that was unlike any other offering on the market. “The Magic of Cakes” software addressed four key business improvement areas important to all grocers:
1. Reducing the customer effort with “order from anywhere” tools
Anyone that has ever had to order a pink princess cake with a white pony, rainbow balloons and chocolate sprinkles knows…picking out and ordering the perfect cake can be a lot harder than it looks. Cake decoration binders are usually limited and customers don’t want to be rushed through the process at the counter.
“We’re seeing a lot of moms with specific requests for birthday parties, triggered by the popularity of all the animated kid’s movies, that get really excited about the in-store ordering kiosk,” said Stillman. “Being able to visually see and scroll through all the cake options either at Lunds or Byerly’s, from home on a smartphone or even during half-time at the kids’ after-school sports event on a tablet, has been a big improvement for moms with a million other to-dos on their lists. And we love that we can give them a better experience.”
By allowing customers to order cakes in any number of ways (online, via a mobile device or in-store via a kiosk, during or after bakery hours) Byerly’s can reduce the customer effort. This allows customers to order on their own time without standing in a line at the store, use their preferred device and have access to all the latest design options and add-ons.
Moving to a digital ordering format also makes customization easy for customers. They can choose from more designs, upload customized digital imagery or logos and even choose the most convenient store location. Confirmations also provide peace of mind that the order has been received and is in the queue.
In Edina and Prior Lake, Minn., Stillman says that pastry chefs have been showing customers how to place orders which has helped people become more comfortable with the new system.
2. Help bakery staff do more with their time
Grocers using an online ordering and reporting system usually discover that reducing the administrative tasks of the bakery staff allows them to focus more time on customer service and creations. While not as easy to measure, this can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty over time.
With Byerly’s, orders go straight to the Byerly’s Cakes.com portal, where staff can easily review and schedule cakes, or reach out to customers to clarify details. These efficiencies mean that orders are accepted and created faster, allowing the bakery to move more cakes.
For customers that want to utilize the DecoPac PhotoCake Print On-Demand system which puts any photo on a cake, staff no longer have to physically scan in images, because customers can upload digital pictures right from their computer or phone. This gives the bakery team more time to produce more unique and sellable items.
3. Run the numbers to optimize bakery performance over time
“The Magic of Cakes” can help grocers improve business operations through advanced data and analytics. The system can track which products are more popular and which ones could be eliminated from the bakery.
This data can also provide merchandising teams with insight into which designs they should promote in the store and through online marketing efforts. By promoting the most popular designs, animated or movie characters or sports tie-ins, grocers can potentially increase revenue.
“Access to historical and real-time sales data helps us forecast what customers may want again, which in turn helps us keep a pulse on our inventory needs,” said Stillman. “Knowing what sold for a particular promotion or time period can help us optimize staff resources, inventory ordering and related systems.”
According to Stillman, another benefit they discovered was that the reporting also makes it easier to identify, manage and update licensed character- or logo-themed design items.
4. Add value and upsell
When customers are faced with a cake binder or even a counter-only ordering system, there’s limited opportunity to upsell ideas to shoppers already in the market for a cake. By using a system that can showcase Byerly’s original designs, standard designs and higher-priced customizable products all in one easy-to-search online portal, customers can be inspired by a range of cake, flavor, frosting, design and other options.
This makes it easy for buyers to choose more options or even customize their cakes with personal images with immediate information on pricing. These additional options can often boost the margin of the sale, which is great for the bottom line.
Retailers and grocers are all moving to adopt technologies that give customers a true omni-channel experience. Lund Food Holdings was able to give customers an easier way to order custom cakes from anywhere, free up administrative time to allow staff to focus on service and new creations, track bakery orders and progress using real-time data and offer more personalized offerings to increase customer choice.
All-in-all, they have had a pretty “sweet” reaction from the bakery team, the store managers and especially the customers.