Practically every retailer has heard of the pop up shop, but what isn’t common knowledge is the fact that these temporary storefronts – some lasting only a day, while others exist for months – are well on their way to being a business essential.
Shopify has declared that pop ups are here to stay, in part because they bridge the gap between online shoppers and customers’ desire to see, feel and otherwise interact with merchandise before they commit. Convenience is a huge factor. Customers can shop your website from anywhere, but if they’re in New York and your physical location is in Maine, guess what? It’s a very rare shopper indeed who will make a 5+ hour drive to buy anything. Having a pop up shop puts you closer to where your customers are.
Pop ups also let retailers take advantage of events, festivals, and fairs where large crowds of people gather. Some of these events are tailor made for specialty retailers to showcase their best offerings. For example, the Kentucky Derby hosts many pop up shops, including very high end milliners for those who didn’t realize they needed a great hat until they saw everyone else wearing one.
What’s Involved in Creating a Pop Up Store?
If you already have a brick and mortar location, the logistics of creating a pop up store are not that complex. It’s important to talk to your insurance agent and make sure you have the proper coverages in place; then, strategically select inventory based on where and when you’re setting up shop, and focus on creating a very compelling, aesthetically pleasing shopping experience in your new locale.
Brands that are digital only may have a few additional hurdles to jump, including securing appropriate insurance coverage and staff for the pop up, but it is online only retailers who have the most to gain from pop up locations. Even Amazon is on board with the pop up trend: they’ve opened almost 2 dozen pop up stores across the country, with announced plans to open up to 100.
Social Media is a Driver of Pop Up Success
The most successful pop up stores are operated by brands that already have a strong, enthusiastic following on social media. You can’t be timid about marketing a pop up: this is a huge event that needs every bit of fanfare and enthusiasm you can put behind it. It’s essential to have a strategic plan that includes announcing a Pop Up is coming, live streaming the opening, and playing on the pop up’s sense of urgency to get customers in to buy.
Bear in mind that pop ups are the ultimate in experiential shopping. Because the store is only there for a very limited time, there’s a value add to customers who were able to shop and be part of the moment. That’s a compelling emotional reward for Millennial customers in particular. If you’d like to learn more about operating a pop up, or would like to add this powerful sales tool to your marketing mix, get in touch – we’d be happy to help you out!