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What is a pop-up shop?

Pop-up shops are a happy middle between B2C or B2B ecommerce platforms and brick-and-mortar shops. If you are an online business owner who has ambitions to take their product or service to the high street, but you don't know where to begin or are worried about the risks, then a pop-up store might be for you. In this article, we will be looking at what precisely a pop-up shop is, why you should open one, and what you need to set one up.

Pop-Up Shop Definition 

Pop-up shops are retail spaces that open for a short period of time. These stores are used in various industries, including retail, music, museums, food, and many more. 

Pop-up shops are incredibly agile and flexible, and the short-term leases mean that companies behind them don’t face huge risks if something goes wrong. Let's have a closer look at the benefits of pop-up shops. 

Why Could a Pop-Up Shop be Right For Your Business? 

1. The "rarity" element.

AStatista survey from 2019 observed that the main reasons consumers purchase from pop-up stores are the feeling of exclusivity and excitement. Pop-up stores not only garner attention, but they increase the sense of urgency amongst customers. This leads us to our next point.

2. Branding and image.

Whether you're an ecommerce business that producesDiscord like apps or even a wide range of products like Amazon, your ability to interact with consumers is often limited to the online space. 

A pop-store allows your customers to handle directly, try, and most importantly, engage with your product in real life. This valuable face-to-face time enables you to receive immediate feedback and adjust your brand, design, or image accordingly.

3. Low financial risk.

Pop-up shops cost a fraction of long lease brick-and-mortar shops. The reasons for this include:

  • The pop-up shop's physical size being smaller

  • The lease period is shorter

  • Less staff need to be hired

  • The stock is limited, so there is no need for extra additional storage or other inventory management methods

4. A great way to trial.

As we mentioned above, pop-up shops present a much lower financial risk. This means that they are an excellent platform for you to test products or launch a new line. Of course, unforeseen events like the COVID pandemic can make this process far more complicated, and many companies have resorted to online product launches and teleconferencing. But, in general, there is no real substitute for direct customer interaction. 

The reason for this is, again, the immediate customer feedback. Carrying out market research in a pop-up store is a great way to determine if your current audience actually value the product. Some companies offer customers free trials or samples in return for questionnaire responses.

5. Increase the number of your channels.

Multichannel distribution is a major trend in modern retail. Statistics about multichannel engagement and distribution state that:

  • Customers who experience a brand through multichannel platforms spend around 13% more than usual.

  • Customers that experience a brand through multichannel platforms have a 30% higher lifetime value.

  • Multichannel companies' customer satisfaction level is over 20 times higher than companies with only one channel.

A pop-up shop is an extra channel. Not only that, when you add a pop-up store to your company arsenal, you are also increasing your exposure to new buyers. This has the potential not only to increase your customer base but also to help you explore new markets that you may never have considered before.

6. Season-specificity.

Many companies make most of their revenue during the holidays or other season-specific events. For example, food trucks which rely on good weather, fancy dress shops, and fireworks merchants. Creating a pop-up during these times will significantly increase your sales and reduce your risk.

Let's consider this scenario. You're a Christmas ornament retailer, and you make the majority of your profit during December. Unfortunately, your website goes down during a crucial period of the month due to an error. 

You contact your IT team through Slack or other Slack alternatives, but they inform you that the problem will take 48-72 hours to solve. Having a pop-up store as an additional revenue stream mitigates the damage that this outage could cause to your bottom line.

What is Required for a Successful Pop-Up Store?

1. Location. 

A location that provides your pop-up store with an increased amount of shopper traffic is vital for a successful launch.Statistics show that over 30% of people who visited pop-up shops stated that one of the five main reasons they attended was location convenience. Your location should ideally be in an area where you know your demographic lives or congregates. 

2. Marketing.

Marketing is crucial to a pop-up shop launch. Even though you might have foolproof marketing strategies that have helped build your online presence and sales, it doesn't guarantee real life attendance at a pop-up store.

This doesn't mean that you should stop carrying out your already successful online marketing techniques, such as social media ads and email campaigns. But, as pop-up shops are more closely related to brick-and-mortar shops, traditional marketing is also useful. This can include flyering and radio advertisement.

One of the most vital pop-up shop marketing techniques you must employ is "post-pop-up shop promotion". This is creating content that displays the success of the pop-up shops which can be posted on social media. The reason behind this is to remind attendees of the event, and to trigger the FOMO (fear of missing out) effect for the people that didn't attend, encouraging them to come to your next one.  

In Conclusion

Pop-up stores can provide ecommerce businesses with a great way to extend their existing brand onto the high street. This temporary retail space is low risk, due to its reduced cost, and high-reward, thanks to its additional revenue potential. 

If you follow the steps mentioned above, there is no reason why you can't launch a successful pop-up shop yourself.

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