Retail is in full revolution. Online purchases, including purchases of food items, are becoming more and more common. And while it’s hard to deny the convenience of online shopping, many consumers still enjoy the shopping experience.

What bakery shoppers see, smell, and hear affects what they decide to buy. Industry statistics show that 60 percent of food quality perception is based on the store environment. It is more imperative than ever to put your best image forward to create a memorable experience for customers inside your retail stores.

Investing in quality display cases is a smart move. Skimping on costs here can damage your image and convince certain shoppers that your products are not worth the price.

“First and foremost, the function of the displays is to present the products, and, hopefully, generate increased sales,” says Luc Imberechts, owner of Bakon USA Food Equipment. “While the products are awaiting to be sold in the display case, they need the best environment to ensure the freshness to remain optimal. Otherwise, they will be exposed to drying out or possibly undesired condensation.”

Engineered with patented lighting and food preservation technology, OCF displays provide operators with a reliable solution for quality and visually appealing presentation. The measured impact of effective food presentations is a 25 percent and higher increase in impulse sales, according to Bakon USA Food Equipment.

European-made OCF refrigerated display cases for pastry and chocolate products are now available in North America exclusively through Bakon USA.

“The gentle cold technology OCF uses for their displays ensures the freshness of the products,” Imberechts says. “The products will not dry out, so less products have to be discarded. The fresh products will guarantee returning customers.”

The display should of course be in line with the overall look and feel of the store. There are endless possibilities in the design, material, and color. In some cases, bakeries may choose a “naked” display that will be finished by the store interior designer so it can be fully customized by the bakery, Imberechts says.

Winner of 2018’s Kitchen Innovations Award from the National Restaurant Association, Reveal from Structural Concepts is a versatile food display case that blends in with its surroundings. It’s simple and minimal in appearance so you see the food, not the display. The European-influenced design features frameless insulated glass with clean lines, and simple shelving.

The UV-bonded double pane glass design in Reveal’s frameless glass display ensures safe food temperatures and a condensation-free display. These displays can be built into counters, walls or other millwork pieces to blend with and complement the interior design. They can also be used as freestanding displays to accent any décor, offering possibilities for customization.


Image courtesy of Bakon USA

But what about those online shoppers? Having an eye-catching display still matters. For high-ticket items like special occasion cakes, some customers may be browsing at your stores to turn around and buy online.

This practice, according to Nielsen, is called “showrooming,” and is no longer confined to realms like the auto and fashion industries. Showrooming describes consumers’ interaction with a physical store to examine products before they buy them online. This phenomenon will be key to retailer sustainability.

Nearly 75 percent of food shoppers have used a physical store to “showroom” before purchasing online, according to Nielsen.

The store is still pivotal to the shopper experience, and there’s opportunity to convert showroomers or drive online purchases through one’s own online retail platforms. As the number of shopping trips declines, the cost of missed conversion opportunities rises. Becoming well-versed in digital shopping fundamentals and optimizing price and promotional factors can unlock the hidden potential in a matrixed retail landscape, according to Nielsen.

“In-store pick-up of online sales is a great opportunity for the customers to better know who produces their favorite cakes and pastries,” says Imberechts. “Similarly, it is a unique chance for the operators to make a clear statement and communicate with the client.”