Email remains the king of digital marketing and an important means of maintaining a relationship and communicating with your customers, according to Mike Clements, owner at BakeSmart.

“News about promotions and events are all easy to digest through email, and there’s a sense of security customers can feel knowing that information is still sitting in their inbox and easy to find, instead of having to scroll through numerous social media posts in hopes of finding that thing they found,” he says.

That said, nothing shares quite like social. Events can be posted and promoted on multiple platforms, new products can be previewed, and it gives you an opportunity to show off your creativity or skills in a way that email cannot.

The recent explosion in popularity of TikTok shows that short form video is emerging as The Next Big Thing for marketing your goods. Bakeries should take note of this trend and use it to their advantage. Email marketing campaigns significantly widen your reach and get real customers in the door, “but I can’t tell you the last time I heard of an email going viral,” Clements advises.

Counterintuitively, holding in-store events can be a part of your digital marketing strategy, as well. In-store events and workshops create a sense of community, draw in more paying customers, give your customers a chance to share what they're doing on social media, and give you a chance to promote your business on social media, too, he adds.

“Think about what will pull a big crowd. Themed events, live music, and free stuff are always great choices,” Clements suggests. “These events are also a great way to collect email addresses from your customers, too, which just acts to feed your marketing machine.” 

DoorDash partnership

In partnership with Accion Opportunity Fund, a financial support system for small businesses that advances racial, gender, and economic justice for all, DoorDash’s Accelerator for Local Restaurants is designed to support entrepreneurship and provide resources for historically under-resourced business owners. The Accelerator for Local Restaurants provides $20,000 grants, training and education, one-on-one customized business advising, marketing benefits, and more to selected restaurant owners. 

DoorDash is excited to introduce a new cohort of 40 Accelerator for Local Restaurants participants, all based in the greater Portland and Denver areas. The participants represent a diverse cohort of restaurateurs and business owners, the majority of whom are women, immigrants, and people of color. 

In Colorado, DoorDash is welcoming a cohort of 20 local restaurant owners hailing from Denver, Littleton, Longmont, and Aurora. Many of the participants in Denver reflect the city’s rich Latin-American heritage. One Denver-based participant Ivonne Bringas, who owns the Mexican family-style restaurant Las Hijas de la Chilanga, started working years ago as a waitress, said she never thought she’d have the opportunity to own her own restaurant, which she runs alongside her family. “I plan on taking what I learn from the Accelerator program and sharing it with my husband and two daughters, who help manage Las Hijas de la Chilanga alongside me,” she said. “We make a great team, and there’s nothing better than working together with family to take our business to the next level.”

Ismael De Dousa, Reunion Bread, is a 37-year-old Portuguese/Venezuelan living in Denver. He has been obsessively interested in food his entire life. Moving to the US, one of the things he missed most was going to the bakery for a fresh loaf of bread every afternoon. That sparked his curiosity about baking and pastries, which led to what has become Reunion bread – his first business.

In Oregon, another 20 restaurant owners hailing from Portland and Beaverton will be participating in the Accelerator for Local Restaurants program. This group includes Fatou Ouattara, the owner of Akadipdx, the only west African sit-down restaurant in Portland. She opened Akadi with the goal of having West African cuisine be represented in the Portland food scene. Her favorite meal to cook is a grilled fish with fermented cassava couscous, an Ivory Coast national dish called “attieké poisson braisé.”

To date, more than 1,000 businesses have completed the Accelerator’s free online courses, and more than 115 restaurateurs from 6 cities have completed the Accelerator for Local Restaurants through local cohorts in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, guided by some of the industry’s most recognized entrepreneurs and chefs. 87% of restaurant owners participating in the Accelerator For Local Restaurants cohorts have identified as people of color, and 59% have identified as women. 

For these new cohorts, DoorDash is proud to partner with the Black Business Association of Oregon and the Denver chapter of the Hispanic Restaurant Association to bring localized insights and resources to our Accelerator for Local Restaurants participants. Both organizations aim to support historically underserved communities, with the Black Business Association of Oregon working to achieve economic equity for Black businesses and entrepreneurs, and the Hispanic Restaurant Association focusing on elevating the Hispanic community through advocacy and education for Hispanic restaurateurs. 

“For far too long, businesses owned and operated by people of color, particularly Black businesses, have been denied the resources they need to be successful in the United States,” said Lance Randall, executive director of the Black Business Association of Oregon. “But when these businesses have equal access and opportunity, they thrive and make significant contributions to our overall economy. We are proud to be a partner with DoorDash in making these invaluable financial and educational resources available to some of the most dynamic businesses owned by people of color in the greater Portland area. This program clearly shows the commitment to bring about equity in the restaurant sector.” 

“We are proud to be a partner with DoorDash’s Accelerator for Local Restaurants because of the important opportunity to support the Hispanic restaurateur community in Denver,” said Selene Nestor of the Hispanic Restaurant Association. “Our mission is to advocate on behalf of and educate the Hispanic restaurateur to effectively and efficiently open and operate their restaurant, and we are thrilled to help enable this for the Denver cohort.”

“From the impact of the pandemic, to rising costs, these last few years have been particularly challenging for small restaurants,” said Elyssa White, social impact program manager at DoorDash. “We’re proud to help businesses navigate this uncertain economic environment through the Accelerator’s education and grant funds, and lift up critical establishments within the Portland and Denver communities. These grants will enable businesses to hire more staff, purchase updated equipment, improve marketing efforts, and most importantly, give them the time and space to focus on their craft.”

Online opportunities

Walmart recognizes the consumer challenge of keeping track of a household shopping list that is often a mental task to manage as you go about your day.

That’s why Walmart is excited to offer our customers a new and convenient way to shop — by simply texting us. Walmart’s new Text to Shop experience is available to customers for free on iOS and Android devices. 

Text to Shop is seamlessly connected to your Walmart account, so we know your usual ordered items. Simply text the items you need, and they get added to your cart. Choose from the full selection of Walmart’s products, including items from your local store and from Text “reorder” to quickly review and add your frequently ordered items to your cart.

Run out of protein powder making your morning smoothie? Text Walmart to add it to your cart. Hosting a few more people at the dinner table tonight than you originally planned? Text Walmart to quickly reorder the ingredients you need and schedule your pickup. Planning a backyard campout with the kids? Make sure to add s’mores fixings to your list, then schedule for delivery to give yourself extra time to enjoy with the kiddos.

Need to make a change? Swap out items as needed. When you’re done shopping, review your cart, and checkout via text or the Walmart app. Then, select the perfect time slot for pickup or delivery. With just a few quick text messages, your shopping is complete.

Text to Shop is simple and convenient by design and was built in partnership with Walmart’s Global Tech team. Here’s what some customers shared on their Text to Shop experience.

“When different things pop into your mind you’re usually out and about running errands. I don’t have time to log into the app and add to the cart.” – Keisha

“I had gotten everything I needed but then I forgot two or three items, and I could get them with just a text. It’s almost as if you have your own personal shopper.” – Valerie

“Everyone would benefit from Text to Shop. I love having Walmart messages pinned at the top of my message app. It’s easy to just add things…Text to shop is genius.” – Chase

Order fulfillment software

Hobart introduces the FreshXpress™ Omni Channel Order Fulfillment Software. This solution integrates omni channel retail orders with fresh department operations. Orders for items are deployed directly to the scale streamlining the order fulfillment process and increasing department efficiency. Designed to be integrated with existing web infrastructure, the FreshXpress app is a flexible, intuitive interface that allows fresh departments to meet consumer needs even faster.

Grocery stores are continually developing new ways for customers to shop more quickly and efficiently. Fresh departments like deli or meat often experience long customer wait times as these areas offer customized products ordered to meet consumers’ requests. There are several ways today a customer can order such as online for curbside pick-up, delivery or in-store pick-up or in person with take-a-number option or kiosk ordering.

Today, retailers use various ways to manage these electronic orders. The Hobart solution is the only software available that will deploy the order directly to the scale without operator intervention no matter where it originates.

The FreshXpress retail scale app integrates omni channel retail orders and streamlines the order fulfillment process, increasing department efficiency and improving customer satisfaction. This means reduced lines at the counter and all orders are electronically stored securing the information and eliminating the need for paper. 

“Fresh and quick is key to our customers’ success and this new solution offers fresh departments greater visibility to incoming orders. Our new software creates a streamlined process so operators are visually notified of the order and can fulfill in just a few keystrokes,” said Hobart product line manager of weigh wrap Sheila Campbell. “Today’s consumer has many ordering options, and this new software will take fresh department order fulfillment to the next level by eliminating separate devices and non-value add process steps so operators can stay focused on serving customers quickly and efficiently.”

Designed, created and supported in the United States, the FreshXpress software provides an industry benchmark for fulfillment services with advanced features designed to keep operations running smoothly such as:

Increase Efficiency - Operators are notified at the scale of incoming orders, ensuring orders are fulfilled quickly and accurately.

Simplify Operations – Streamlines the flow of information from online orders directly to the fresh department.  Incoming orders are deployed directly to the scale eliminating the need for a separate device in the department.

Reduce Shrink - The scale logs the order and transactional data for future analysis helping with more accurate production planning and inventory control.

Reduce Errors – As the operator fulfills a line item, the PLU is automatically populated on the scale, reducing keystrokes and ensuring accuracy.

Increase Revenue – Because orders can be fulfilled more quickly, lines at the fresh counter are reduced increasing customer satisfaction and allowing more capacity for additional orders.