User Profile: Crumbs and Doilies

Written by Chris Lucas on November 11, 2008

Posted in Case Studies

Whether through live chat, or other support channels we are constantly learning how our customers are using the many tools within Formstack to create online forms that help manage their businesses. So we find it amazing when we run across a customer like Crumbs and Doilies, a UK-based cupcake company, and see just how far they have integrated Formstack forms into their business. They are using every trick in the playbook to create powerful online forms that truly help them manage and operate their business.

Below is a great story on how Crumbs and Doilies uses Formstack. We appreciate them sharing their tale and hopefully giving you some ideas on how you can incorporate web forms deeper into your business.

cupcakes crumbs & doilies

Company: Crumbs and Doilies


FS: Tell us a little bit about your business, who is your target market, what makes you different, etc.?

Crumbs and Doilies is a small, London-based cupcake company. We bake for bespoke orders during the week and at weekends, which we take via our website, and also run a market stall every Saturday in Chelsea, South West London. We pride ourselves on making the best-tasting and the best-looking cupcakes we can.

FS: How did you hear about Formstack?

CD: Once our website had been up for a few months we found we were getting a lot of emails that didn’t give us quite as much information about our customers’ needs as they might, so we started investigating the possibility of building forms to prompt clients into giving us the information we needed (name, date of order, delivery postcode etc). Possessing and embarrassingly limited knowledge of HTML and CSS I quickly realized that an online form provider offering the ability to create and implement forms quickly and easily would be an ideal solution. I tried Formstack’s trial mode and really liked the ease of use, design of the site and flexibility on offer, so signed up for a proper account. I also really liked the logo…

FS: How do you currently use Formstack?

CD: We use Formstack in quite a few ways. We have a couple of contact forms on the site (one for standard orders and another for larger orders such as weddings) which prompt customers to give us the specific information we need to best answer their questions prior to any possible order.

Because we get incredibly busy and because our cupcakes can only be delivered within a certain area (central and SW London), we can’t take everyone’s order – for this reason we have an order form set up (using Formstack) and linked to Paypal (or Google Checkout) but on a page not accessible via the main site. Once we’ve answered a customer’s questions and/or are ready to book their order in we just need to give them a link to that page and they can place and pay for their order, including adding extra options to their cupcakes like purchasing stands, adding piping and so on. We use smart routing and custom notifications to send out a confirmation email based specific to the customer’s order, while the order information is relayed to several of our email addresses in different forms depending on the recipient (kitchen, accounts etc).

We also use Formstack’s file attachment option on a couple of the forms – when we were looking to hire new helpers in the kitchen for example we set up a form so they could tell us a bit about themselves, why they’d like to work with us, and attach any images of their baking, CVs etc. Similarly, our wedding inquiry form allows people to upload useful pictures, colour samples, moodboards and so on, which come straight through to us along with their inquiry.

We use Formstack forms elsewhere on the site too – for example we run a monthly Name the Cupcake competition ( using a simple form where people give us their name, email address and competition entry. There’s a box to tick or untick depending on whether people would like to subscribe to our mailing list, and the form is linked to an emailing system which can subscribe them if they’d like to join up.

One other use of Formstack on the site is as a ‘quote calculator’ for larger orders. By selecting a few options (number of guests, size/s of cupcakes, stand hire etc) the form generates an approximate total for the customer to help them with planning. The form is set up as standard but before pasting the HTML into our site we remove the ‘submit’ button, meaning people can see the total without submitting what would be fairly useless information to us.

All the Formstack forms we use are integrated into our site using the Javascript embed (HTML in the case of the quotation form) – Javascript has proved really useful because it allows us to maintain ‘live’ control of the forms; if there’s a problem, or if we need to change the form in any way, we can do it from our Formstack account and it updates on the website without us having to re-upload or edit the webpage.

FS: Any other ways you might use it?

We’re really happy with the ways we use Formstack at the moment, though we may introduce a few new forms in the future, such as polls for favourite flavours etc.

FS: How has Formstack solved a business/organizational issue?

CD: By effectively prompting customers to provide essential pieces of information all the way through the order process, from first contact to placing the final order, Formstack’s forms make our lives much easier. The integration of forms with Paypal and Google Checkoutoffers us a secure, easy way to process people’s orders. The ability to customize notification emails makes it easy for us to get the right information (order details for the kitchen, a separate email to another address to act as a back-up of each month’s orders etc), and the ability to customize and route customer response emails via Smart Routing makes it easy for us to convey the right information to the customer based on their needs and/or type of order.

What do you like best about the product?

CD: We really like the ease of use, the flexibility and the simple integration options. Also, by allowing complete customization of email notifications, post-submission URL routing and so on, Formstack forms allow us to gather the information we need easily and professionally without ever appearing standardized or impersonal to our customers.

FS: What features do you find most helpful?

CD: Smart Routing is a really useful feature, especially for more complicated orders – for example this Halloween we ran a special offer allowing customers to order cupcakes for collection from one of two locations or delivery within central/SW London. Using Smart Routing we were able to automatically send each customer a personalized confirmation email with instructions on where/when to collect, or when to expect their delivery. Payment integration is also incredibly useful, as is the ease of use and integration options (Javascript, HTML and so on) mentioned above. We also find it really useful to have a stored record of each submission – so for example at Halloween we were able to close the form, download all the submissions and put them into a spreadsheet, which we could then use to plan our delivery routes, print out cards for each order and so on.

FS: What improvements to Formstack would you like to see?

CD: Having added Google and other payment options is a great step forward, and perhaps (if possible) it’d be good to enable slightly closer integration, allowing for more tracking of payments, or the ability to hold a submission until payment has been made. It would also be great to see what could be done via integration with other online services such as Google Maps.

FS: Any other tips/tricks/words of wisdom you would like to share with others users/readers?

CD: I don’t know if we’d be a great source of tips and tricks – the Formstack Support sections contain pretty much everything one could hope to know… I think the main thing is to play around with the different routing and conditional logic options to see what you can come up with. It’s fun (in a nerdy kinda way) and you might well stumble on an idea that would make running your business (or whatever you use the forms for) way easier.