As lockdowns across the UK have changed shopping habits, propelling consumers towards e-commerce for gifts, clothes, and other treats, Bradfords Bakers has observed a dramatic increase in older people using their services to deliver gifts to family members like their grandchildren.

Bradfords Bakers is a small, family-owned bakery based near Glasgow that has been delivering gifts all over the UK since 2006. The bakery previously serviced its customers to bricks-and-mortar stores in and around Glasgow, its flagship location being their Sauchiehall Street shop, but switched to online trading only in 2013.

The bakery is nearing 100 years of trading, and is well known for its hampers, cupcakes, and doughnuts selection.

Staff have noticed an increased number of gift cards being signed to and from grandparents, and this observation is backed up by recorded uplifts in conversion in website users aged 55-64 (180%) and 65+ (20%).

Managing Director of Bradfords Bakers James McGoldrick believes that the pandemic has spurred on older people to use e-commerce far more than they would have previously, and now that those who would be unlikely to shop online before are more familiar with the concept, he believes that this trend won’t fall away when high streets and non-essential shops reopen.

James believes that, as a gift company, Bradfords Bakers has provided a much-needed service over lockdowns that has allowed loved ones who cannot be together in one space to still feel the presence of each other. The pandemic brought on so much emotional distress for so many people, so James is happy to know that his business can bring people cheer still.

Additionally, James hopes that anyone who would previously have preferred not to shop online can now see how simple the experience can be. The Bradfords Bakers website has been made to be accessible and follows Nielsen’s usability studies. It also allows customers to arrange gifts to go to a specific address up to three months in advance.

The bakery prides itself on being able to offer its customers next day delivery, but for those who like to be prepared, the option is there to select a date well in advance to secure the availability of a certain product on a certain day. This is helpful not only for birthdays, but for seasonal holidays that most people will buy gifts for, like Mother’s Day or Christmas.

For an added personal touch, Bradfords Bakers offers customers the ability to customise their cupcakes with edible messages or pictures. So those buying gifts can find a picture that reminds them and a gift recipient of a happy memory and put it on a cupcake, or they can simply write a heartfelt message to show how they feel.

As a small business owner, James has been thrilled with the amount of support both old and new customers have given his business in the past year – it has helped Bradfords Bakers not only survive the pandemic, but also thrive.