experimenting Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 8:38pm
post #1 of

I've seen others get some great feedback on their website from the lovely people of Cake Central, so I thought I'd give it a try icon_smile.gif

The website address is somewhat temporary. I had my brother in-law start a website for me at mysweetcosette.com, but is unable to complete it for me at the moment. I went ahead and started a different site on my own that was free and easy to set up. I just wanted something up until he can complete the original website, which should be much snazzier. I would like to keep the original name since it is more intuitive. My bro in-law said that he should be able to arrange it so that when people go to mysweetcosette.com, it will automatically redirect them to the free site I set up. He hasn't done this yet, so you will have to go to it directly.

I know a few things already that I'm missing. I need to add my cookie pricing and size info. I also don't have a phone number up yet (setting that up Monday).

I would really love some design feedback:

Does everything "flow" well? I tried to make sure most of the text (except for the header name and tagline) was the same font and the same 2 shades of purple. I tried to also make it so that most of the pages had the same look/feel. 
Is it easy to navigate?

I wanted it simple... Is it TOO simple? 

What do you think of my pictures? Do they "flow" well in the slideshow?

 

Have I left out any critical information?

 

I welcome all other critiques if you see any errors or anything that doesn't look right or read right or anything that's just missing.

 

http://mysweetcosette-biz.webs.com/

 

TIA for your time!!

30 replies
tabathaba Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 8:49pm
post #2 of

I really like how simple it is. I have seen so many that are just overwhelming. I think it encourages someone to contact you for more information.

 

Very good pictures, but your prices are a little hard to understand. You are not pricing by serving sizes, since there is a huge difference in servings between the 6" and 8" cakes but only a $10 increase in price. That would be the only question I have. You also might want to include what your base price includes, piping, two colors of fondant, etc.

shanter Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 9:30pm
post #3 of

On a quick look through, I really like your design. One thing: where are you? I think you should indicate your service area. I'm in Seattle. Could I order a cake from you?

experimenting Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 10:02pm
post #4 of

@tabathaba: Thank you! I wanted to stay away from pricing by serving size. As a customer, this always confused me since different decorators go by different cutting guides. My prices are based off of my cost of ingredients, my overhead, and my time. Customers can cut it however they want. If I wanted to break it down by serving, my price/serving would go down the bigger the cake. Is the resulting pricing table too odd? Should I give some serving size examples?
I do explain in the text above the cake pricing that the prices are "BASE prices for a two layered cake with buttercream filling and frosting." Does this need further explanation? Should I say explicitly that this does NOT include ganache or fondant?

 

@shanter: Good point! Geez! So simple, but overlooked! That's why I came on here for feedback thumbs_up.gif I only mention in one spot (in the DETAILS tab) that I deliver for free throughout Thurston county. Yes, I would take a cake order from Seattle :) I would deliver that far too for a delivery charge. I guess I should add that to the front page! Hmmm... I think I'll add somewhere my introductory discount too.... Thank you!

 
Another option I'm mulling over: taking away some flavor options. I'm wondering if there are too many SMB flavors. Does it look odd that I have a lot more frosting flavors than cake flavors?

jason_kraft Posted 13 Jan 2013 , 11:18pm
post #5 of

A

Original message sent by experimenting

@tabathaba: Thank you! I wanted to stay away from pricing by serving size. As a customer, this always confused me since different decorators go by different cutting guides. My prices are based off of my cost of ingredients, my overhead, and my time. Customers can cut it however they want. If I wanted to break it down by serving, my price/serving would go down the bigger the cake.

This is how I approached pricing as well, if you base your pricing on your costs (which you should) then the base price per serving should go down as the cake gets bigger.

Your pricing page looks good, except you probably don't need to state that your minimum cake order is $75. I would work on your home page a little, it is a wall of text and could use more emphasis on navigation buttons.

CWR41 Posted 14 Jan 2013 , 1:19am
post #6 of

I'd put a line space between ABC and SMBC choices and SMBC and Ganache choices or underline all 3 categories so it doesn't look like a list where some of the bullet points are omitted.

 

Cakes:

two layered cake

two-layered cake

 

Cosette's hand painted lilies

Cosette's hand-painted lilies

 

"death by chocolate" (beginning quotation mark is incorrect)

experimenting Posted 14 Jan 2013 , 2:10am
post #7 of

A@ jason_kraft: thank you for the feedback! I took out the minimum cake order line. I reduced the text on the home page and added an "about us" page. I can't do anything with the navigation buttons though besides the color. I tried changing the size, but the site I'm using won't let me - at least not with the theme I'm using.

@CWR41: thank you for taking the time to look through my page! I made the edits you suggested. However, the quotation marks are a puzzle. My husband was just questioning it too. The site makes them that way automatically :/

Stitches Posted 14 Jan 2013 , 4:50am
post #8 of

A couple suggestions from me, if you like. On you flavors list can you put an extra space between the different frosting categories? I think it will make them look more like separate categories. Also, you write "original" as a flavor...........I think the average person would better understand that as "vanilla".

 

I feel bad mentioning this............but I wonder about your pricing. Unless you're already well established, getting over $30.00 for a 6" cake can be a battle, etc...

CWR41 Posted 14 Jan 2013 , 5:11am
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by experimenting 

@CWR41: thank you for taking the time to look through my page! I made the edits you suggested. However, the quotation marks are a puzzle. My husband was just questioning it too. The site makes them that way automatically :/

Normally, the font makes opening quotation mark correctly if it was typed first (as opposed to adding it later).  If it doesn't correct itself when re-typing in order, I'd suggest finding the correct orientation mark to copy and paste in during your edit (or choose a font which has the opening and closing marks that are the same).

experimenting Posted 14 Jan 2013 , 9:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41 

Normally, the font makes opening quotation mark correctly if it was typed first (as opposed to adding it later).  If it doesn't correct itself when re-typing in order, I'd suggest finding the correct orientation mark to copy and paste in during your edit (or choose a font which has the opening and closing marks that are the same).

 

Thanks CWR41. I'm working on it. I've tried retyping and just redoing the whole thing and that first quotation mark is still coming out that way. It's just that one spot on the entire website with quotation marks. Maybe I should just italicize it? I'll experiment with other fonts too.

PinkCakeBox Posted 14 Jan 2013 , 11:16pm

Nice crisp photography and I like your image viewer.  To @shanter's point, make the contact information real prominent.  Ideally on every page in the upper right hand corner. 
 

The menus are nice as well.  Make sure you test them on a touch device (i.e. iPad) as you'll likely see more and more traffic coming from touch devices.

shanter Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 12:11am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches 
 I wonder about your pricing. Unless you're already well established, getting over $30.00 for a 6" cake can be a battle, etc...

 

I think your pricing is fine. IMO, I can't imagine charging $30 or less for a custom cake.

jason_kraft Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 12:22am

A

Original message sent by shanter

I think your pricing is fine. IMO, I can't imagine charging $30 or less for a custom cake.

Agreed, it would only be a battle if you target the wrong kind of customers.

experimenting Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 12:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkCakeBox 

Nice crisp photography and I like your image viewer.  To @shanter's point, make the contact information real prominent.  Ideally on every page in the upper right hand corner. 
 

The menus are nice as well.  Make sure you test them on a touch device (i.e. iPad) as you'll likely see more and more traffic coming from touch devices.

Thanks so much for looking! I have to give my husband credit for the photography. I'm a lucky caker to be married to a photojournalist icon_biggrin.gif I do like how the image viewer turned out. Great suggestion for my contact information and checking touch devices. I will make the change and I will check the site from my iPhone (don't have an ipad).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanter 

 

I think your pricing is fine. IMO, I can't imagine charging $30 or less for a custom cake.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Agreed, it would only be a battle if you target the wrong kind of customers.

 

 

Thank you shanter and jason_kraft for this! Not only would I lose money charging $30 for my 6", but I would be paying myself $0 to make it. I know I have to take care in choosing who I market to icon_smile.gif
Stitches Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 2:58am

If I recall correctly weren't you asking $85.00 (starting) for a 6" cake? Wow, I'm extremely impressed that so many of you have clients that are willing to pay over$14.00 per person! I wish you'd send them my way.

AZCouture Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 3:02am

I don't charge less than $150 for any cake. If allllll they want is a 6", I would be happy to do that. But at my minimum. I made a one, yes 1 serving cake for $180 awhile back. It was a tiny castle turret and a figurine. So, yeah it can be done.

Evoir Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 3:19am

AThe gallery doesn't work on my iPad without installing some sort of viewer. I probably wouldn't bother doing this as a client.

Stitches Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 3:23am
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I don't charge less than $150 for any cake. If allllll they want is a 6", I would be happy to do that. But at my minimum. I made a one, yes 1 serving cake for $180 awhile back. It was a tiny castle turret and a figurine. So, yeah it can be done.

I didn't say it couldn't be done.........

 

But I don't think it's responsible or good advise to encourage new decorators to charge over $14. per person when establishing a business.

 

You can burn bridges and piss off potential clients.......and put yourself out of business before you ever really begin.

 

I don't work for free, and I wouldn't suggest a newbie do that either! Just say'n they might want to think about what people in their area really will pay and not what they dream to get paid.

jason_kraft Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 3:37am

A

Original message sent by Stitches

But I don't think it's responsible or good advise to encourage new decorators to charge over $14. per person when establishing a business.

Actually if you look at OP's price structure it makes it very easy to upsell customers. If the customer is looking at a 6" round that serves 8 for $75, they might decide that it's a better "deal" to get a 10" round (almost 4 times as much cake) for just $20 more. No one would throw around the $14/serving figure without framing it as an upsell conversation.

If anything OP might want to lower her minimum a bit and space out the pricing on more of an exponential curve instead of linearly, the 14" round is less than $2/serving. For example, the pricing from 6"-14" could be $60, $70, $90, $120, and $160.

AZCouture Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 3:43am

I think the cakes are lovely, presented beautifully, and if the OP has figured out her costs and what making a 6" round is worth to her, than price it how you want! Sorry, but I started right off very high, and didn't screw around my pricing. I got a good gallery of examples going, got my baking down to a good science, and went big right out the gate. How many times a day do we question someone's low pricing, and now we tell someone it's too much? Sorry...I disagree.

kazita Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 4:00am

AMaybe im missing it, but do you have a price for your cookies? I didnt see one looking over the site. Beauiful work I would definitely pay your prices , I love your detail work

Stitches Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 4:18am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 
If anything OP might want to lower her minimum a bit and space out the pricing on more of an exponential curve instead of linearly, the 14" round is less than $2/serving. For example, the pricing from 6"-14" could be $60, $70, $90, $120, and $160.

That's what I would suggest. I don't even sell 6" cakes because I can't charge enough to make them worth my time.

 

When I first brought up the subject I was cautious about bringing up the topic. I don't want the OP to under charge for her work either! What Jason actually suggested is a smarter work around for getting a better price with-out scaring people off. I thought I read that the OP 'started' at $85. for a basic 6" cake, now I've double checked and realize I was wrong, it's $75 for a 6". That's still $12.50 per person. You can scare people off with your pricing, it does happen.  Because one person on this thread has been blessed by wealthy customers never questioning their prices, doesn't mean that the OP will be that blessed. I'm trying to balance things out and show the OP that there's another person on this thread who hasn't been so blessed, who's clients won't pay $14. p.p. on a basic cake. That's all.

AZCouture Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 4:47am

Im not arguing, and I certainly don't not have people question my pricing. I happen to live in a an oversaturated market area where people are slinging $20 sheetcakes and selling three tiered cakes that serve 100 people for $100. I don't hear back from plenty of people when I price my cakes. Cool with me, my weekends are filled and I turn away genuine requests often. I am very blessed that there are just enough people to keep me busy. And you're right, offering a 6" cake in the first place would be a complete waste of my time, so I don't offer them either. Has OP said she has not sold any? Is she in fact getting push back? I didn't see any comments from her that indicated it.

experimenting Posted 15 Jan 2013 , 5:49am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir 

The gallery doesn't work on my iPad without installing some sort of viewer. I probably wouldn't bother doing this as a client.

Thank you for pointing this out! I will look into it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Actually if you look at OP's price structure it makes it very easy to upsell customers. If the customer is looking at a 6" round that serves 8 for $75, they might decide that it's a better "deal" to get a 10" round (almost 4 times as much cake) for just $20 more. No one would throw around the $14/serving figure without framing it as an upsell conversation.

If anything OP might want to lower her minimum a bit and space out the pricing on more of an exponential curve instead of linearly, the 14" round is less than $2/serving. For example, the pricing from 6"-14" could be $60, $70, $90, $120, and $160.

Thank you for this pricing structure suggestion! I think I will go ahead and change it to this or something similar.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I think the cakes are lovely, presented beautifully, and if the OP has figured out her costs and what making a 6" round is worth to her, than price it how you want! Sorry, but I started right off very high, and didn't screw around my pricing. I got a good gallery of examples going, got my baking down to a good science, and went big right out the gate. How many times a day do we question someone's low pricing, and now we tell someone it's too much? Sorry...I disagree.

Thanks so much for the compliment! It means a lot coming from someone as talented as you.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazita 

Maybe im missing it, but do you have a price for your cookies? I didnt see one looking over the site. Beauiful work I would definitely pay your prices , I love your detail work

You didn't miss it - I do not have cookie prices up yet. Thank you so much for the compliments!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches 

That's what I would suggest. I don't even sell 6" cakes because I can't charge enough to make them worth my time.

 

When I first brought up the subject I was cautious about bringing up the topic. I don't want the OP to under charge for her work either! What Jason actually suggested is a smarter work around for getting a better price with-out scaring people off. I thought I read that the OP 'started' at $85. for a basic 6" cake, now I've double checked and realize I was wrong, it's $75 for a 6". That's still $12.50 per person. You can scare people off with your pricing, it does happen.  Because one person on this thread has been blessed by wealthy customers never questioning their prices, doesn't mean that the OP will be that blessed. I'm trying to balance things out and show the OP that there's another person on this thread who hasn't been so blessed, who's clients won't pay $14. p.p. on a basic cake. That's all.

I understand what you're saying and where your concern comes from. I've expressed the same concerns to my husband about my smaller cake prices, which is why I will be taking jason_kraft's suggestion.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

Im not arguing, and I certainly don't not have people question my pricing. I happen to live in a an oversaturated market area where people are slinging $20 sheetcakes and selling three tiered cakes that serve 100 people for $100. I don't hear back from plenty of people when I price my cakes. Cool with me, my weekends are filled and I turn away genuine requests often. I am very blessed that there are just enough people to keep me busy. And you're right, offering a 6" cake in the first place would be a complete waste of my time, so I don't offer them either. Has OP said she has not sold any? Is she in fact getting push back? I didn't see any comments from her that indicated it.

I have not sold ANY cakes. My permit was just approved a month ago and the cake I've done since then has been for Icing Smiles. I know I'm targeting a pretty specific group of customers with my prices, but I know they're out there and within my service area. I do have a few potential customers who think my prices are fair.

experimenting Posted 16 Jan 2013 , 8:12pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches 

That's what I would suggest. I don't even sell 6" cakes because I can't charge enough to make them worth my time.

 

When I first brought up the subject I was cautious about bringing up the topic. I don't want the OP to under charge for her work either! What Jason actually suggested is a smarter work around for getting a better price with-out scaring people off. I thought I read that the OP 'started' at $85. for a basic 6" cake, now I've double checked and realize I was wrong, it's $75 for a 6". That's still $12.50 per person. You can scare people off with your pricing, it does happen.  Because one person on this thread has been blessed by wealthy customers never questioning their prices, doesn't mean that the OP will be that blessed. I'm trying to balance things out and show the OP that there's another person on this thread who hasn't been so blessed, who's clients won't pay $14. p.p. on a basic cake. That's all.

 


I'm reevaluating my pricing structure and even though I will be sticking with price per cake, vs. price per serving, I would like to know where $12.50/person comes from. I've looked at several different cutting guides and the smallest # of servings for a 6" cake is 8 (Earlene's), which would come out to $9.38/serving for a $75 cake. Doing the math, I can see that 6 servings would come out to $12.50/serving, but what cutting guide does that come from?
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Actually if you look at OP's price structure it makes it very easy to upsell customers. If the customer is looking at a 6" round that serves 8 for $75, they might decide that it's a better "deal" to get a 10" round (almost 4 times as much cake) for just $20 more. No one would throw around the $14/serving figure without framing it as an upsell conversation.

If anything OP might want to lower her minimum a bit and space out the pricing on more of an exponential curve instead of linearly, the 14" round is less than $2/serving. For example, the pricing from 6"-14" could be $60, $70, $90, $120, and $160.

Also, where does $2/serving for a $115 14" cake come from? I'm thinking it might be from Earlene's cutting guide, which would be 65 servings for a 14" round, making it $1.77/serving.

 

I would just like to know what everyone references when they are talking about per serving prices, just so we are all on the same page. Mainly, I'd like to be on the same page as all of you. I'm not going to put it on my website, but I'd like to have serving suggestions on hand when someone asks.

 

Thanks!

jason_kraft Posted 16 Jan 2013 , 8:21pm

A

Original message sent by experimenting

Also, where does $2/serving for a $115 14" cake come from? I'm thinking it might be from Earlene's cutting guide, which would be 65 servings for a 14" round, making it $1.77/serving.

Yes, I was using Earlene's guide. The number of servings doesn't factor into my pricing equation at all, except to provide a handy reference number for customers to use for comparison purposes.

Annabakescakes Posted 16 Jan 2013 , 8:40pm

I used Earlene's for years, thinking that Wilton's wasn't enough cake to get those serving amounts, but I was getting ready for a wedding show recently and ALL the other cake vendors use Wilton's! So, I did the math for volume, divided by 8 (1x2x4 per slice) and found that Wilton is right in line with that, so I switched. Bonus, I gave myself a raise without changing my price per serving! And, I am easier to compare with other vendors. 

jason_kraft Posted 16 Jan 2013 , 10:07pm

AAn alternative when providing flat prices for cakes is including a range of servings to cover different serving sizes. If the cake will be served at a venue they will probably cut 1x2x4, but if a professional is not involved in cutting the cake the serving sizes will usually be larger and the customer risks running out of cake.

Advertising more liberal serving sizes can also result in customers buying larger cakes to make sure they have enough.

experimenting Posted 16 Jan 2013 , 11:24pm

Thank you for responding jason_kraft and Annabakescakes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

An alternative when providing flat prices for cakes is including a range of servings to cover different serving sizes. If the cake will be served at a venue they will probably cut 1x2x4, but if a professional is not involved in cutting the cake the serving sizes will usually be larger and the customer risks running out of cake.

Advertising more liberal serving sizes can also result in customers buying larger cakes to make sure they have enough.

 

This is my plan also: 

"The number of servings doesn't factor into my pricing equation at all, except to provide a handy reference number for customers to use for comparison purposes."


Was it ever a concern for you that a customer might be comparing your prices with another decorator, as Annabakescakes explained? If a customer were shopping around (bride or not) and I quoted # servings based off of Earlene's and someone else based off of Wilton's, the customer might go with whoever says they can give them more servings or presented it so that it sounded like they were paying less per serving, even if it was for the same size cake. However, the Wilton party servings are pretty close to Earlene's. Does everyone give a range of servings that covers all 3 (Wilton wedding, Wilton party, and Earlene's) with a short explanation that it depends on how big they cut their slices?

jason_kraft Posted 16 Jan 2013 , 11:46pm

A

Original message sent by experimenting

Was it ever a concern for you that a customer might be comparing your prices with another decorator, as Annabakescakes explained?

Not really...customers who ordered multi-tier cakes (which were the only cakes priced by serving) were aware of the serving sizes we used and the fact that they would have more servings if their venue used Wilton sizes.

Our situation was relatively unusual, since we specialized in allergy-friendly cakes we often had no competition. But in any case, you are usually better off competing on quality (or another unique advantage) instead of price.

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