Thoughts on starting and running a small business

Consumer Behaviour around Cookies and Such

A couple of months ago, a student of the Rotman School of Management, Kristine Co, asked if she could interview customers in our stores as part of a project regarding consumer behaviour, specifically whether people decide what they want before or after they enter a store.

Kristine found that roughly 50% of customers had already decided what they wanted before arriving to the counter and the other 50% of customers were still undecided, “taking time to narrow their consideration sets and make a decision in regards to the quantity and flavour of cupcakes.” Kristine further noted that if people come with someone else – or a group – their decision making is definitely slower. She diplomatically noted, that “the line behind them would begin to increase”.

I’ve mentioned here before that consumer behaviour intrigues me – and the topic is especially on my mind as we are now only one week away from the new menu launch. Today Andrea, Ailish and I met with bakers at each of the Victoria, FCP and Yorkville stores to run through all of the details including the revised website, and new menu boards, advance order forms, and packaging. As well, Andrea  reviewed with everyone the logistics like where and when the baking of the new items will be done, and when and how it will then get to the right  place in time for the store openings and deliveries.

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As organized as all that sounds,  I absolutely know that 10 days from now we might have an entirely new plan in place because we’ve   learned something about consumer behaviour that we do not know now. Such as, made-to-order 6-inch Celebration Cakes will be as popular as sliced bread and so we should have ordered many more 6-inch pans. Or the opposite of that may be true. It is a little scary at the moment – but I think it is true that no matter what arena of life you are making decisions in, at some point you have to stop the analysis, thinking, planning and scheduling…and JUST DO IT. And let the chips fall where they may.

Stay tuned.

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  1. Megan
    Megan01-13-2015

    Amen to that! Thanks for the great post Jean, I completely agree. A lot of times, business is so highly contextual that you just have to pick A or B, run with it, and let that cookie crumble!

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