8 Ways to Embrace the Power of the Pop-Up Shop

Pop up shops. With entrepreneurial small businesses once again thriving, e-commerce growing, and even large brands looking to test out new concepts, the pop-up shop has become the glamour girl of the new business model. In short, it’s here to stay. They bring the best of both online retail and brick and mortar stores to life. The trick, as always, is to identify what makes them tick, or, in this instance, pop to the top.

Why a Pop-Up Shop?

That’s the first – and very viable – questions marketers, e-retailers, and small businesses ask. The answers are pretty compelling. According to a Frontline study surveying 600 retailers globally, they found that 80% that have opened a pop-up shop said it was successful. 58% said they are likely to do it again. Perhaps even better news for small businesses and entrepreneurs, though, is that 44% said they spent less than $5,000 and over 60% spent less than $10,000. So it doesn’t need to break the bank.

Goal Keeping

As a marketer, having a concise goal in mind for your pop-up is job one. It’s also the most crucial step when planning your pop up shop. Start by asking yourself: is your primary goal to build revenue or promote your brand? Different goals require different methods of approach. In that same Frontline study, 66% of respondents said they used a pop-up as a way to build brand awareness. The next two top-selected reasons? 63% said it was to connect with customers and 46% said it was to introduce a new product or brand. As you can plainly see, pop-ups are a strong choice if your goal is to build awareness and reach consumers. The reason is somewhat obvious: they stand out and can when done well, grab consumer attention.

Then think in terms of numbers: what is your target revenue? How much are you willing or able to spend? How many customers do you need to reach? 46% of retailers said they increased sales while simultaneously enhancing market visibility by 51% and boosting social media engagement by an impressive 46% as well. As we’ve talked about before, it is 5x more expensive to get a new customer than keep an existing customer. So by increasing sales as well as awareness and engagement, one can assume there is crossover and that you have generated new customers who are engaged – the most important step for turning one-time customers into repeat customers.

Timing & Location

The old saying goes, when it comes to retail and restaurants, it’s all about location, location, location. For a pop-up shop, perhaps equally important is the issue of timing. That’s because a location may be terrible for 11 ½ months out of the year. But those other 2 weeks it hosts a popular event that, if your shop were either within the limits of that even or on the traffic pattern for attendees, you could significantly impact your visibility, sales, engagement, brand awareness – whatever your goal is. 

Location Preparation

When securing the space that will house your pop-up shop, be sure to analyze every detail down to the “T”. These details include, but are not limited to: wifi capabilities, square footage, parking availability, street visibility, and layout potential. Ensure that you have a contract with the location owner that covers any possibilities during your temporary rental. Consider vetting locations and landlords ahead of time so you can vouch for their accountability. And don’t forget insurance policies or any operating licenses you may need for your pop-up. Liability for an unfortunate event at your pop-up could sink your entire business. 

A Devotion to Promotion

our pop up shop is only as successful as the amount of promotion it has. Develop a strong marketing plan to deploy in the weeks prior to your pop up, ensuring that it reaches as many potential customers as possible. Embrace social media promotions but don’t neglect physical advertising. Banners and custom signs placed in and around the future pop up location will generate interest for the upcoming event. 

Hashtags, branded photoshoots, and promotional product giveaways prior to the event are simple ways to promote while building customer engagement. And when the pop-up opens? No one ever said there was only one way to open one. It can be in a storefront, a free-standing popup you build yourself or rent, or perhaps it’s a series of branded canopies. 

Host With the Most

Ensure that your pop up space is ready to “wow” before opening day. Your staff is in branded custom shirts and prepared to provide excellent customer service, your POS system has been testing at your location, inventory is checked, and your logistical ducks are in a row. When the day arrives, keep your original goals in mind when interacting with customers and promoting your product or service. Creating a strong relationship with your customers results in both on the spot sales and customer loyalty. 

A Shopping Experience

Create an environment that’s as welcoming as it is exciting. Live entertainment or a carefully chosen playlist, creative visuals & backdrops, essential oil diffusers – engaging all five senses is vital. Have enough staff that you offer a personalized, experiential journey. Think about Apple. They routinely have more people working in their stores than there are shoppers. In-shop event giveaways, swag bags, and product demos are also great ways to take your pop-up to the next level. 

Data, Data, Data

There is nothing more important than gathering customer data – even visitor data. Anyone that steps inside your pop-up needs to give you their email address. The reasons are obvious. The ROI of emails is a robust 4,300%. So while 91% of all purchases are made in brick and mortar stores (per US Census 2017 data), emails are the most effective way of reaching them and getting them into your store. And guess what? They’re already in your Pop-up. And 65% of customers will gladly share their information in exchange for more targeted marketing.

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