New Yorkers love Magnolia Bakery cupcakes. They’re so popular, they’ve even been featured on The Food Network, and series like Sex and the City, and Saturday Night Live. Now, Magnolia Bakery is expanding to meet demands beyond NYC’s borders by selling directly to consumers online. Adam Davis, the brand’s senior marketing manager is one of the driving forces behind the bakery’s growth and online expansion. 

Magnolia Bakery ships baked goods online to customers nationwide, and produces a shelf-stable line sold through grocery partners. Ahead, Adam provides his tips for balancing multiple sales channels through one seamless online experience.

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Considering all customer types

Launching online is really exciting and can open your brand up to a brand new customer base, but this doesn’t mean you should forget your original customers. “When launching an ecommerce platform, you don’t want to discount the local ordering behavior,” Adam says. 

It’s important to keep in mind what type of patterns customers have, as well as where they will be purchasing from. For Adam, it was key that Magnolia have three sections on the website: one showing customers finding bakery locations near them, one for inquiring about available grocery store products, and one to order products online. 

How do different types of customers like to shop? What are their seasonal spending habits? What are the projected ordering patterns? These are some of the questions Adam and his team considered as they expanded the business.

a magnolia bakery box sitting open with a cake, banana pudding, and cupcakes surrounding it.
Including three separate sections on the website helped Magnolia Bakery increase foot traffic to its website, as it can serve customers based on the type of shopping experience they are looking for: grocery store, online ordering, or store pickup. Magnolia Bakery

Creating dynamic tools

Since Magnolia Bakery also sells banana pudding cookies in grocery stores, the website required a tool to help customers find them. “We have store locators dynamic to where customers live that could redirect them to where they can buy the product,” Adam says.

Thinking through the whole purchasing journey allows you to see what gaps you can fill with updated tools and services. “You don’t want to overcomplicate things for the customer,” Adam says. Rather, find a few tools or services that solve multiple pain points.

magnolia bakery banana pudding cookies in classic vanilla.
Magnolia Bakery’s website allows customers to search for grocery stores locations in their area that carry specific items, such as banana pudding cookies. Magnolia Bakery

Testing out new features 

To create a website that’s best for all three types of the brand’s customers, Adam spent much of his time experimenting with features. “We had so many things that we wanted to test: the checkout experience, recommending certain products to certain purchasers who had specific things in their cart,” he says. We A/B tested images, colors, and category-specific landing pages too.” 

There’s nothing off limits when it comes to your website and testing and learning new things, no matter how small. Don’t be afraid to try out new features or elements to see if they improve the customer experience. “Making the smallest adjustment could make a huge difference in your online sales,” Adam says.

a hand reaches toward a magnolia bakery banana pudding with a silver spoon in hand.
Magnolia Bakery experimented with a banana pudding exclusive landing page for a major campaign, contributing to an overall increase in sales. Magnolia Bakery

Creating a website to house all of its offerings helped Magnolia Bakery grow brand awareness and reach a new customer base, nationwide.

To hear more of Adam’s website-building tips and discover his marketing strategies for crushing year-over-year sales, tune in to the full Shopify Masters On Location episode.

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