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How Local UK Businesses are Boosting Online Sales

Sophie Walsh, Content Marketing Manager

It’s no secret that many businesses have been upended by the pandemic and the following lockdown, with many of London’s favourites facing an uncertain future. Still, there are a number of businesses that have been able to adapt their business model and roll with the almost daily changes in openings, seating capacity, and overall restrictions.

Square has been helping London bakeries rise above this uncertainty by offering tools that enable them to keep serving their customers, albeit a little differently than before. Learn how a couple of London and UK bakeries are boosting online sales using Square eCommerce solutions.

More than just a hobby

We all have a hobby or two, and Sam Corban’s hobby just happened to be making pizza and with a lot of hard work and passion he was able to spin that hobby into a full-fledged business—400 Degrees Pizzeria. Sam’s pizzas, famed for their incredible crusts, consistently attracted a crowd every Friday night at Cambourne Cricket Pavilion in Cambridge. But when the country went on lockdown, it was necessary for Sam to change his business model. Fortunately, Sam was well-positioned to pivot with these radical changes that were affecting businesses everywhere.

Sam did pause his operations for three weeks to assess customer safety, but even in that time, he pivoted to selling dry goods in his online store on 400° Pizzeria’s existing Square online store.

Square Online Store

Sell in more ways with a free online store.

Ingredients for a successful business

Since then, 400° Pizzeria has fully reopened. Fortunately, Sam was ahead of this immediate disruption thanks to already being established with Square’s POS system. Using Square Terminal means that small business owners, like Sam, can safely accept payment via contactless cards, Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as chip and PIN, enabling faster payments, so you keep your customers moving through the line and to limit their contact. It also boosts the confidence of consumers wary of handling cash. Plus, it helps to keep employees safe by removing the need to handle money.

Nonetheless, Sam realised that there were even more ways he could leverage Square by using Square Online Store to help his pizzeria continue to serve the community. “The biggest difference has been operating like a click and collect business. We noticed a lot of queue anxiety in supermarkets and we wanted to minimise that feeling,” says Sam.

Better service and a better customer experience

Regarding his Online Store, Sam notes, “Now customers place their order through the online store, then we notify them that it’s nearly ready. To reduce queues and big crowds, we use a number calling system, using the last 3 digits of the order number, so only one customer comes to the van at any one time.” Sam adds, “Our sales are up 100 percent year on year, but we’re conscious that this trend won’t last forever.” While 400° Pizzeria has been successful in boosting online sales, Sam also can’t wait to get back to serving their customers on a more personal level. But for now, he is happy that he can still make sure that the Cambourne community doesn’t have to go without their favourite pizza.

Learn how choosing an online store platform that is right for you can help boost your online sales.

Back to basics

400° Pizzeria isn’t the only small business that had to change with the times. TODAY BREAD, a bakery based in London, knew they were set to lose much of their foot traffic once the country went into lockdown. TODAY BREAD saw the opportunity to boost online sales while also serving their community by offering pantry staples like pasta, yeast starters, jams, jellies, kitchen basics, and, of course, their bread from their online store. Making these pantry staples available to the community was a good first step, but they also knew they needed something more to keep business rolling. Like many other small businesses and restaurants, they realised that offering home delivery would allow them to keep serving their customers and their community beyond their front doors.

The best thing since sliced bread

Delivery service can go a long way to boosting your online sales. Your restaurant or small business may not have an established delivery program. Fortunately, even if you don’t currently have a delivery service, it’s easy to set one up with Square. For TODAY BREAD, the switch to an online store was easy and intuitive since they had already been using Square for payments. TODAY BREAD quickly set up a Square Online Store for free. And since they were already offering deliveries by bike, it simply extended those to houses during lockdown.

Although their day to day had changed, the suite of tools and software allowed them to pivot without too much disruption in their business. TODAY BREAD has kept all delivery in-house to continue to keep its own stamp on its customer service. “We wouldn’t want to risk breaking that connection by bringing someone else into the mix. Using Square to run the business has helped boost online sales and made ordering simple for the team to manage and customers to use,” says Alexandre Bettler from TODAY BAKERY.

Keeping it simple (and local)

Alexandre knows that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to delivery service and that it’s best to see what you and your business can handle before over-promising. “The key for anyone wanting to put a delivery service in place is to keep it as simple as possible, and start small,” adds Alexandre. “So many of us are new to this playing field, so see what you can manage and scale up. This will help prevent overwhelming yourself. It’s better to serve a small area really well than disappoint customers further afield.”