Online Bake Shops, A Leap Of Faith For Customers
Kelly DiNardo in the Washington Post today, on the troubles of selling cupcakes online: "There are challenges besides shipping logistics and growing a business too quickly. Getting customers to make the leap of faith about buying an item they haven't seen or smelled might be the biggest hurdle for an online bakery. In fact, Forrester Research found that the main reason people don't like to shop for food online is that they like to see or touch food items before they buy them (the report didn't mention taste)."
Except for having groceries delivered by FreshDirect, which delivers my purchases to my front door in their own truck instead of through the mail, I don't really buy food online without personal recommendations because I like to know what I'll be getting—I have Photoshop so I know photos can lie, and I've read enough press releases and website testimonials to not trust they won't be hyperbole. The only pastry I can imagine ordering online without having tried it first is a King Cake, since they're specific to both New Orleans and the Mardi Gras season, but good cupcakes, cookies and cakes seem easy enough to find in person. Have you ever bought baked goods online? Would you ever?