Business is booming for family-run Suffolk bakery following switch to online sales

A family-run bakery is celebrating a 568 per cent increase in sales of its most popular cake following a switch to online sales.

Sales of Bizzibeans Cakes’ popular ‘Grandpa’s Boiled Fruitcake’ have risen from 700 sales over seven years to 668 in 12 months since they enlisted the help of Amazon consultants Sell Beyond.

Bakery owner, Todd Lewis, was forced to re-invent his business after leaving Cherry Lane Garden Centre in Sudbury, to develop his catering business in 2015.

He explains: “We outgrew the café and needed to expand so we set up at home, largely operating as a catering business for weddings and parties which was quite successful – then the pandemic hit.”

In March 2020, with weddings and parties on hold, Bizzibeans Cakes began to look at alternative platforms to reach customers and keep the business afloat.

Todd added: “We needed to think fast. Looking back the pandemic came as a bit of a blessing, it forced us to re-invent ourselves and concentrate on our existing online sales. We began with a few sales on Amazon mainly selling ingredients like flour and sugar, which were selling out fast in the supermarkets, but we were just plodding along and needed some help.”

Sell Beyond Chief Executive Officer Heloise Finch helped the bakery to reorganise its online sales more efficiently and navigate Amazon’s global marketplace in order to drive sales and business growth.

She said: “As a consumer the experience of buying from Amazon is the exact opposite as selling on Amazon as a business. Amazon’s individual rules create challenges for business owners who struggle to manage those expectations.

“Our team are experts in Amazon analytics, creative, logistics, commercial and strategic knowledge, both on Amazon Seller Central or Amazon Vendor Central. We helped Todd to make sense of the data on Amazon, so that he could make effective decisions on how to take the business forward.”

Todd added: “It’s a bit of a painful process to go through, but definitely worth it. On our own we started on 10 to 15 sales a month, with help this immediately went up to 40 a month and grew from there.

“Soon, due to customer demand, Amazon was encouraging us to send over 100 orders of one particular cake, we were actually cautious about this but for us the light bulb moment was when we realised that Amazon has more than one warehouse so if they are asking for more to give them what they want, then don’t worry.

“At the café our best seller, Grandpa’s Boiled Fruitcake, sold on average about 700 cakes over a seven-year period. Since enlisting Sell Beyond’s help to navigate Amazon, in the last 12 months alone we have sold 668 and we now have a long-lasting business, which we are building on all the time.

“You can’t do it all on your own, you need some help and you have to realise that. These people are experts at what they do and they really do some good stuff. My advice to others is to ‘feed the monster’, launch a product and don’t be afraid to increase the sales as they come in.”

Todd is now considering a move to larger premises to allow Bizzibeans Cakes to fulfil more orders.

Sell Beyond turns failing High Street businesses into prosperous online enterprises using clear and robust processes to drive profitable growth on Amazon.

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