As a baker, you are busy and typically work long hours with little down time. Introduced in July, the new online ordering platform from Dawn Foods is a convenient way for you to order all your bakery products.

Available 24/7 online ordering offers a new way of working that allows you to add items to your online cart and place orders whenever it is most convenient. The online ordering platform is a first-of-its kind for the baking industry.

“It is great to be at a point where we have a full rollout of our new online ordering platform for the artisanal channel. The feedback is incredible,” says Bob Howland, chief digital officer, Dawn Foods.

For the artisanal channel, the No. 1 challenge is that ordering bakery ingredients is not easy today. You enjoy the personal rapport you have with your sales rep. But at the end of the day you are extremely busy with little to no down time.

Now there is an answer. Bakers using Dawn’s new online ordering platform create their own shipping list throughout the week. The ability to place items in their cart online makes the process simple. Bakers can follow whatever time schedule they need. Then when it comes time to engage with Dawn, the baker has their personal shopping list ready.

“Now with our new online ordering platform, this allows you to spend your time the way you want to,” Howland says. “When it comes to the benefits, the single word we hear is convenience.”

Nontraditional workdays

Bakers recognize their work hours are much different than others. The concept of bakers working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a daily basis is refuted by the data. In Dawn’s pilot program, digital orders were placed most often on Monday and Tuesday, but Saturday and Sunday were next in line.

“E-commerce is 24-7,” Howland says. “The convenience factor is the primary benefit with a capital C.”

The formal launch of the program began July 1. The platform itself is simple and intuitive.

Two key drivers of the system are that most customers order on a weekly or biweekly cycle, and they often order the same items every week.

Based on historical evidence, order variability tends not to be high in the artisanal bakery channel. As a result, Dawn has allowed ease of functionality for users to find their most similar orders in the system. There are 13 months of their order history available to see instantly.

In addition, customers can view every product available from Dawn with photos and product details. The checkout process requires only two clicks, and you are done.

New possibilities

Here’s another key advantage to the system.

“When you achieve this level of innovation, it is great for customers,” Howland says. “Placing orders becomes routine, and the whole concept of discovery is amazing. That level of discovery is what excites our customers. Now they ask, what else can I make?”

Looking at past endeavors outside of bakery, Howland says key misses in the digital space with regard to ecommerce have been the creation of “single siloed” channels.

“For Dawn, we have built the opposite,” he explains. “It is the same for the customer as it is for us. My cart is out there, and the salesperson has the ability to see my cart anytime, any day. This allows for a conversation between both parties, knowing what is in the cart and what are the possibilities.

“Customers are engaging with the salesperson the way they want to, and our customers are very creative. And this creativity is going to blossom in the post-COVID world. We are going to witness innovation we’ve never seen before, which is so exciting.”

The path and time to innovation have greatly collapsed, he adds. One important aspect involves how bakeries and Dawn move forward together to create new efficiencies and effectiveness.

“We all spend a lot of time being busy,” Howland says. “The ability to create something that has a positive outcome is becoming more and more important. The concepts of impact and outcome are crucial. You can apply our online ordering system in so many ways.”