What are pop-up stores? What is the purpose of using them, and does every business need one? What are their advantages? What does it take for a pop-up shop to be successful, and what metrics should we measure to track its performance?
These are the questions we will answer in this article.
Pop-up stores are temporary shops that different businesses open for a specific purpose. Many companies use them to create a unique user experience or create an event using them as a mini showroom. The risk associated with permanent shops is greater than the one with pop-up stores.
The leading purpose of pop-up shops is to create a connection between the brand, consumers, and products.
History of pop-up shops
The concept of temporary stores dates back centuries when small businesses began opening physical shops in seasonal markets and fairs. The modern vision of pop-up stores can only be seen in 1997 by The Ritual Expo. They create a one-day “ultimate hipster mall”. After its success, many brands see potential in pop-up stores and begin to apply their concept.
Over the years, brands such as Adidas, Target, Levi-Strauss, Motorola, Gucci, Louis Vuitton have included in their marketing mix the use of pop-up shops and measured significant results.
For what businesses are pop-up stores suitable?
Temporary stores apply to absolutely any business. With the right approach and concept, they can be a powerful marketing asset.
Here are some examples:
- Fashion – suitable for both large brands and niche businesses.
- Health and beauty – pop-up stores are an ideal opportunity to create events for the presentation and testing of products.
- Art – Many artists choose pop-up shops to present their collection and reach potential buyers.
- Food and drink – be it burger buses, a pancake booth, ice cream, or even a pop-up cafe, pop-up stores are a great way to test your audience, location and expand your visibility.
- Online businesses – the idea of realizing a pop-up shop by online retailers is attractive for several reasons. That is an opportunity to expand their reach, try out physical trading and a location, and learn how consumers shop first-hand.
Why open a pop-up store?
The opening of temporary stores has many positives. They are a powerful tool, especially for online businesses. In the online environment, it is not possible to track the consumer’s decision-making and customer behavior. By opening a temporary store, companies can measure these actions, influence them, and improve their digital communication. They can also collect feedback from buyers – what they like and what they do not. In this way, they can improve the products and services they offer.
Another positive is that pop-up shops are a good option for testing new locations. If a business is hesitant to open a shop in a locality and is uncertain whether it could attract enough customers, then opening a temporary store with a low investment could respond to their fluctuations.
Creating a pop-up store is a great way to increase the visibility of your business and brand. And due to its temporary nature, it causes a sense of urgency, which will inevitably make most consumers shop so as not to miss the opportunity. Increase the sense of urgency by informing your customers about the exact dates on which the shop will be open, create an event on social networks, send an email to your customer list.
Advantages of pop-up stores
Pop-up stores have many advantages, both for customers and retailers, and landlords. That is the reason why they are becoming more common. In addition to increasing sales, below you will see that this type of store has many other advantages:
- Diverse and changeable design – As temporary stores do not require high investment, we can change them easily. That creates a sense of change and development in consumers.
- Opportunity to try the products – most consumers still do not trust online shopping because they prefer to see, touch, try the products before buying them. Pop-up stores are an easy way to attract them and establish trust when shopping from our business.
- Opportunity to get acquainted with a new brand/collection/models
Benefits for companies
- Attracting potential customers – using pop-up stores is a way for businesses to check if there is consumer interest in a place where you have not yet positioned yourself. Also, these stores are a way to attract consumers who want to see and try the products before buying them.
- Creating a memorable user experience – the companies use this type of store when want to increase their sales during a significant event – Valentine’s Day, Black Friday, Christmas, etc. Through various interior and exterior solutions and good service, businesses can even build high brand loyalty.
- Gathering information about customers is one of the most significant advantages for online businesses. In digital, the shopping process remains invisible to the merchant. Pop-up stores are a way to find out what your customers are looking at, what impresses them and what doesn’t, what their preferences are for different product features, and most importantly, what stops them from buying.
- Increasing sales and clearing stagnant goods – a mass sale in a high-traffic area would lead to a sense of urgency, which will inevitably increase sales.
- Launching new products – with the pop-up store you can create an event to present a new product or a complete product range.
- Physical location testing – if you have been fully active in online commerce so far and want to test the physical, a pop-up store is the perfect option due to its low investment threshold.
If you have already positioned yourself in physical trading and want to expand the scale by starting a store in each locality, you can test the market in advance by opening a pop-up store.
How to determine how much it would cost us to open a pop-up store?
Speaking of a store with a temporary location, the most important question that arises is “How much would it cost us to open one?”.
It is important to note that the factors influencing the price are many and in different areas, some of them have different prices. Here is a list of them:
1. The purpose of the event and rent space
One of the main costs of starting a pop-up shop is renting a room. Before you rent a space, you need to define the event’s purpose. What do you want to achieve? What are the people you want to reach? What area do you need? Can it be organized indoors or outdoors? When will the event be created? In which city will it take place, and how long will it be opened?
The answers to these questions will help you create the right strategy and make an informed decision.
2. Fixed costs
That includes insurance, licenses, utilities, maintenance, and all workers’ salaries.
3. Variable costs – includes the following items:
- The costs of marketing and promoting the pop-up store.
- Space redesign costs – think carefully about how to position the shop about the purpose for which you create it.
- Entertainment costs – if you organize a party or event to engage your customers, you should include the costs arising from them.
- Technical equipment – depending on the event type, you may need screens, sound equipment, lighting, etc.
What do you need for a successful pop-up store?
Strategy – we need to have a clear answer to the questions “What do we want to achieve?” And “Why will this work?”.
Location – location is the fundamental factor in determining. Depending on the business and goals, you need to decide where it is best to position the store. For example, if you offer food or drinks, it is good for the shop to be open in a pedestrian zone with high traffic.
Marketing – use all possible ways to increase the visibility of your shop. Launch an advertising campaign, create an event on Facebook or LinkedIn, start digital advertising, hire influencers, use your media – emails, messages, groups, etc.
The budget – A well-planned budget is your best friend. Find out in advance what the prices are in the selected area and check all possible alternatives.
Space – depending on the expected traffic to the store, you need to consider how big space is.
Design – design plays a key role both in improving the user experience and in attracting customers. Create a pleasant atmosphere using different music, aroma, and lighting.
Warehouse – will you need storage space, and how big?
Performance measurement metrics
Sales – after all, this is the purpose of creating a temporary store.
Visitors – how many visitors your event had and what additional traffic it created.
Average consumer basket – this is the average price that each user paid when buying from you.
Engagement and mentions on social networks – we must understand that offline events also affect the presentation of your brand in the digital space. The main way to analyze this aspect is by tracking the mentions and engagement of users on social media before, during, and after the campaign. You can do this by measuring the use of branded hashtags, campaign hashtags, impressions, comments, notes.
Pop-up stores are the perfect opportunity to create an unforgettable user experience, connect with your customers, and test new sales channels.
Expect more useful articles to expand the capabilities of the business and develop its potential.