Resources / Pop-Up Shops Best Practice

Chapter 2

Pop-Up Shops Best Practice

Introduction

This part of your omnichannel journey focuses on best practices for pop-up shops and new ways in which you can really excel at them. We will cover:

  • What is a pop-up shop?

  • What are the benefits of running a pop-up shop?

  • How to start a pop-up shop

  • How has technology evolved the traditional pop-up store?

  • Five creative pop-up store ideas

What is a pop-up shop?

A pop-up shop is a temporary storefront allowing retailers (both large and small) to test whether a physical store will work for them in that location (if at all). It also allows them to design a retail space that can be taken on the road for a short amount of time at one or even multiple locations. If done right, pop-up shops are a proven way to create lasting impressions on customers, driving repeat business beyond just the pop-up shop event itself.

The pop-up shop can take a variety of different forms, depending on your needs and the space available in your chosen location. It is possible to rent part of a space already occupied by a more established business, such as within a large department store.

Special events and craft fairs also offer the opportunity for you to get involved with pop-up shops, helping to drive more footfall to your business. Furthermore, it is also possible to rent an empty shop front for a short amount of time, such as during peak seasons like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.

Whether you choose to make all of your products available during the pop-up shop, or just a select few is dependent on your goals for a pop-up shop and on how much space is available.

Although pop-up shops have existed for many years, landlords and real estate agencies have driven up their popularity recently, due to favoring short-term leases over long-term ones. Thus, in retail’s current climate, it pays to know the benefits.

What are the benefits of running a pop-up shop?

For retailers of all sizes, there are a whole range of reasons why running a pop-up shop could bring benefits.

We will discuss the steps involved for actually starting a pop-up shop shortly. But for now, we must remember one golden rule, which is: the benefits that you can get from a pop-up shop depend entirely on what you put into it, whether a pop-up shop is right for your target audience and what your goals are for that specific pop-up shop event.

But, before we get into the rules of how to start a pop-up shop and how to make it a success, let’s take a look at the benefits of a successful pop-up shop in a little more detail…

Flexible approach to growing your business

As there are several ways in which you can approach a pop-up shop, they make for a very flexible approach to sales and growing your business.

One of the reasons pop-up shops are so flexible is that they can be built wherever you’re most likely to reach your ideal customers.

For example, would you like to see your products inside a more established premises, such as a department store? There could be the opportunity for you to rent some space from them.

Would you prefer to take your business out on the road? This is where a pop-up shop at an event, trade show or fair could come into play.

Or maybe you just want to increase your sales in the run up to your peak season, such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day? Renting an empty shop space during this time period can be a great way to do just that.

Unleash your creativity and innovation

As pop-up shops are temporary, this gives you a little more freedom to try some new and innovative approaches to growing your business, without risking too much damage to your bottom line.

Are you considering launching a new selection of products, but you’re not sure how successful they will be? Or are there some branding changes you want to make, but you’re not sure whether your target audience will be attracted to those new colors or designs? Or, maybe you’ve been researching creative new ways to merchandise your products?

Each of these and more can all be tested within a temporary pop-up shop environment before you make changes across the breadth of your business.

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Create a sense of urgency

Due to the “limited time only” approach to pop-up shops, customers are more likely to come and have a look around a pop-up shop, motivated by a fear of missing out.

This ‘scarcity’ tactic is definitely one you should capitalize on, and make clear within your promotion and advertising so that your customers know this pop-up store won’t always be there.

This can be expected at special events, but what about your temporary location inside a department store or shopping mall? Make it clear.

Test new approaches

If you don’t already have a brick and mortar location within your repertoire, then a pop-up shop can be a good test to see whether this would work for you and your target audience.

Ensure you keep an eye on sales performance and metrics during your pop-up store experience so that you can decide whether this is something you will want to keep doing, or even make more permanent.

Deliver a true omnichannel experience

A true omnichannel experience for your customers means they receive the same level of service from you regardless of where they have come to you from. It means offering a variety of ways that customers can connect with you and your brand, as well as buying your products.

Without a physical store location, you could be missing out on that all important omnichannel experience your customers may be craving. By launching a pop-up shop, you’re helping to bridge the gap between your brand and your customers, and not just relying on the ecommerce side of the business. You are also giving your customers the opportunity to handle your products before buying.

Whilst you can use pop-up stores as an extra branding and marketing tool, perhaps showcasing your products in the flesh for an exciting new sale, busy shopping season or special promotion is really all you need.

Get closer to your customers

By going where your customers are, and with your customers able to meet and greet your team, this gives you more opportunity to create a strong bond and lasting impression with them, which can be difficult to do via online sales channels alone.

Your persona profiling activities will be able to determine whether your target audience are in the need for a physical shop location, where it should be and which of your products it should contain.

With this deeper connection built, your pop-up shop browsers are more likely to become loyal and long-term shoppers, and are far more likely to be engaged with your brand via social media. This leads us nicely onto…

Increase your brand awareness

Pop-up stores are a great way for you to build awareness for your brand, both through the deep connection and rapport already mentioned, but also in your marketing efforts.

Perhaps you want to use your pop-up shop event to increase social media engagement. This could be as simple as including your social handles on your receipts, or offering discounts if someone shares a photo on their own channels of the product they’ve bought from you.

But most importantly, the possibilities of increasing brand awareness before, during and after pop-up events are limitless.

Optimize your inventory

Perhaps you find your warehouse overcrowded with excess inventory? Or maybe you wish to promote a brand new product you’re due to launch?

Whichever side of the scale your current inventory sits on, you can use pop-up shops to help you, whilst maintaining creativity and innovation throughout your approach.

Grow your business

Sometimes it’s the most obvious benefits that can be overlooked.

It should come as no surprise that pop-up stores offer you an entirely new revenue stream with which to drive sales, increase upsell or cross-sell and thus, improve profits.

And all of this can come at a relatively lower cost than if you were to launch a more permanent brick and mortar location.

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How to start a pop-up shop

As can be expected, there are a few steps involved with starting a pop-up shop. Once you’ve succeeded in your first one, you will essentially have a checklist and thus, know what to expect for each event or trade show that you’re involved with.

But for now, this set of 6 steps should help you on the way to pop-up shop success, each of which can be found in more detail below:

  • Step 1: Choose a location for your pop-up shop

  • Step 2: Understand your event, shop space and ideal customer profile

  • Step 3: Devise your store design, layout and merchandising tactics

  • Step 4: Educate and train your staff in advance

  • Step 5: Market before, during and after your pop-up

  • Step 6: Analyze your pop-up shop’s success

Step 1: Choose a location for your pop-up shop

Your first step in how to start a pop-up shop involves choosing the perfect location dependent on a number of different circumstances, such as:

  • The type of pop-up shop you will be launching: Will you be sharing shop space with a larger retailer? Will your pop-up shop be part of a special event, trade show or fair? And will your pop-up store be seasonal?

  • Who is your target audience? You will need to fully understand your ideal customer profile so that you can make it your mission to go where your shoppers are.

  • How much do you have available to spend? Although pop-up shops are cheaper in the long run than more permanent spaces, you will still need to decide how much you can spend on rent, travel, lighting and other expenses.

  • How much space do you need? Sometimes, you will be purely dictated to on how much space is available to you (such as at a trade show or craft fair). But other times, you will need to assess how much space you need for the number of staff you have, backroom storage space needed and whether you will be profiling your whole range of products or just select colors, styles or sizes.

  • Do you need wifi? Sadly, a dependence on wifi isn’t always great for business. Even in the modern world, wifi drops below optimum levels or even cuts out completely. It is important to develop an “offline” plan for taking orders or better yet, adopt a point of sale with an offline mode.

  • What type of license do you need to be able to sell? Just a license? Or a lease? What about a permit? If you’re unsure of which you need, be sure to ask your legal provider and any governing bodies in charge of an event you’re involved with.

Finding the perfect location for a pop-up store might seem like a bit of a chore. But with more and more property owners and real estate agents recognizing the value and need for pop-up shops, you should find there are more locations available to you now than ever before. Thus, making now a great time to start a pop-up shop.

But if you’re really stuck for ideas on how to even find a location to look at and assess if it’s right for your needs, here are some places you can start with:

  • Ask how other store owners found their own spaces.

  • Speak with trustworthy real-estate agents.

  • Contact property owners directly if you spot somewhere you like.

  • Look in the classified sections of relevant newspapers.

  • Use classified sites such as Craigslist.

  • Browse specialist pop-up marketplaces, such as The Storefront, Appear Here, We Are pop-up and popupmarketplace.

Step 2: Understand your event, shop space and ideal customer profile

Once you’ve identified where you would like to be selling, and ideally, secured your space, your mission now is to eat, breathe and live your pop-up store event and new shop space.

You need to fully understand what is required from this new venture, how to make fantastic use of the space you have, and of course, know detailed information about your ideal customer profile.

Here are a few considerations to bear in mind as a starting point:

  • Ideal Customer Profile: Will you be catering to wholesale or retail customers? What are the demographics (age, gender, interests etc) of your ideal customer? Use this information to determine what your ideal customers would be most interested in buying, and how best you can attract them to your shop space or stand rather than a competitor’s.

  • Your Brand: What makes you different from your competitors? What benefits can customers glean from your products? What ideologies do your logo, colors and marketing portray? Ensure your pop-up shop (although temporary) truly encapsulates your brand and what you wish to convey to customers. This will help make your shop more memorable, and will be more likely to attract long term loyal shoppers.

  • Your Products: Are you selling any specialty or new products that aren’t yet in your inventory management system? Would barcodes help or hinder your team? Is knowing inventory levels at your other locations important when selling at this particular pop-up store? Are your products seasonal or evergreen items? Ensure your messaging and store experience fits the types of products you’re selling so that shoppers know exactly what to expect when entering your shop space.

  • Orders and Payments: Will your customers leave immediately with your product in their hands, or will you need to ship or reserve items for delivery? Will you take cash, credit cards or both? Will you need to take payment on the spot, or send invoices at a later date? Use this information to double check you and your team have all of the equipment they require to avoid slow turnarounds in front of a queue of customers.

When you’re able to answer all of these questions and more, you will be in a great position to create a written playbook for each type of pop-up shop event you will be involved in, and what your team will need to bring with them. This ensures that they are focused on driving sales instead of driving back to your store to grab a cash drawer or decorative props for the store.

Step 3: Devise your store design, layout and merchandising tactics

A deep and thorough understanding of your target audience, brand, order processes and products that you established in the previous step will all play a part in deciding how best you can make use of the shop space available to you.

For example, how will you merchandise your products? How should your store look and feel? Are there any key areas inside your shop space that you want to push customers to? And how will you actually drive footfall to your store?

Despite pop-up shops being temporary, there is still a lot of planning that needs to go into how your store will look and feel. Using themes, designing your store around a particular holiday or key shopping date, or partnering with a nationally recognized event such as Small Business Saturday can all influence the design your shop should take.

Melissa Gonzalez, Founder and CEO of the Lionesque Group and Author of the book The Pop-Up Paradigm, advises on the use of mood boards when considering pop-up store designs. “Creating mood boards with Pinterest is key, allowing you to pick color palettes and key materials that will further introduce the ethos of your brand.”

When designing your store, consider how the use of all of the senses can help make your store a memorable one. Visual appeal is undoubtedly crucial to your store’s success, but what about touch, smell, taste and scent?

Retailers like Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch have developed their own perfume, which they spray across the clothes in their stores (they also happen to sell the scents too – how’s that for effective cross-merchandising?)

Music is also important to get right. It should be relevant to the type of store experience you wish to offer as well as your ideal customer profile. Should you opt for the latest chart topping tracks? Or music from a more nostalgic era?

Merchandising your products effectively within a temporary store environment is all about making the best use of the space you have (even the small spaces). As with a larger, more permanent store, you will still need to decide which path your customer should take when inside, and whether there are any key areas in the store that should grab their attention. Some ideas for how to use your shop space adequately include:

  • Build a ‘Decompression Zone’: Typically the first 5-15 ft (depending on the size of your shop space) and the first space that your customers will see when entering your store, this is your only chance to make a good first impression. Your customers will use this space to understand whether this is somewhere they wish to shop. Are you a luxury or budget brand? Are your products laid out enticingly? How does your shop layout, lighting and decor fit in with all of this? It’s worth bearing in mind that shoppers will identify all of this within the first 7 seconds of entering your store, so make this space count. Don’t try to bombard them with products or signage in this space, and ensure your sales staff let them evaluate your store in their own time and quietly.

  • Create a ‘Power Wall’: We’ve all heard the retail analysis that has suggested 90 percent of American shoppers turn right upon entering a store subconsciously. This first wall they see is the ‘Power Wall’, which should be used to entice your customers to want to browse your merchandise and spend more time in your store. New, seasonal or popular products are all great items to display attractively here.

  • Identify the ‘Pathway’: The main pathway (or journey) through your store will vary based on the size of the shop space you have. But, knowing that your customers are likely to turn right, and knowing you want them to keep walking through your store will help you in identifying the ‘Path’ you wish customers to take. You could try designing a path that allows your customers to circle the entire way around your store and back to the beginning again (maximizing exposure of your products). Or maybe you would prefer to lead your customers to a particular area or to particular products? Spend some time analyzing how your customers behave in your store, and how you would like them to behave. Use this knowledge to create a healthy balance of the two when designing and building your pop-up shop.

  • Incorporate some ‘Speed Bumps’: You of course want your customers to follow a path around your store, but you don’t want them to walk too quickly or they may miss some of your best merchandise. This is where incorporating ‘speed bumps’ into your design will help slow them down (within reason). Essentially, these can be anything that gives your customers a break from the standard visuals in your store, such as relevant signage or special displays.

  • Consider your ‘Cash Wrap’ location: The placing of your check-out area and POS is a heavily debated topic. A good starting point is to ensure your own check-out area is located at a natural stopping point for customers, such as towards the end of the pathway you’ve built or to the left of your store entrance (knowing your customers will walk a circle counter-clockwise).

Step 4: Educate and train your staff in advance

So, you’ve built out a thorough plan for your pop-up store, you understand your ideal customers and you’ve created a perfectly designed store for your needs and your customers’ desires. Next comes preparing for the actual pop-up store experience, which should always start with adequate staff training in advance of the event.

We’ve briefly discussed the issues with relying on wifi during a pop-up or trade show, which could mean that you’ll be opting for a point of sale that has offline capabilities.

If that’s the case, then it’s necessary that you spend some time training your store staff on the benefits of using this POS software. In the moment, it can be very tempting for sales staff to ditch new systems and opt for traditional pen and paper, but if they know the reasons why a POS system will not only help them during the pop-up experience, but also after, then they will be more likely to want to use it.

Remind your staff that a fully connected point of sale will allow them to update inventory levels as they sell, rather than having to do hours of mundane admin and data entry after the event. A point of sale will allow them to check payments taken throughout the day and report on overall performance, so when you come asking, they know they will be able to get the insights for you quickly.

Equally, training your staff in advance on the processes they must abide by during the event will ensure the pop-up experience runs smoothly and efficiently, offering a fantastic and seamless shopping experience for your customers.

Take some time to ensure your staff know how to make a sale, process a return, grant store credit as well as any other specialized workflows necessary for the success of the pop-up store. You should also spend some time ensuring your staff know the core messages of your brand so that marketing, advertising and customer communication are all consistent and free-flowing.

Ensure this is done well in advance of the event (in a low pressure environment), and your staff will be more likely to retain the information. Additionally, consider creating a handbook specifically for pop-up shop events that your staff can turn to at any point they need to. This guide should include how-to instructions, step-by-step instructions for the POS system, customer communication ideas and core marketing messages to help make your store experience cohesive.

Step 5: Market before, during and after your pop-up shop experience

Capturing consumer attention and driving footfall should be the goal of any pop-up experience. In your planning, research the area your pop-up will be based in, including the demographics of local consumers and that of your ideal customer profile. This will help you identify when, where and how to promote your event.

Your amplification efforts should be frequent and well thought out in the run up to the pop-up shop launch, throughout the event and after to convince those who came to your pop-up shop experience to browse your website or permanent shop location. Plus, drumming up excitement after the event will persuade those who missed out, not to ignore your invitation next time.

As for ideas on how to promote your pop-up shop effectively, you could try any (or all) of the following where relevant:

  • Embark on some cross-promotion. Partner with like-minded (yet non-competitive) businesses and cross-promote each other’s stores. This will help get your message in front of a new audience.

  • Reach out to publications. Whether this be local radio, newspapers, news bulletins or more widely distributed publications, this will help amplify your offering.

  • Inform your own audience. Do this via social media (before and during the event), email marketing and flyer distribution so that your customers and audience always know where to find you.

  • Throw an exciting launch party. Invite press, friends, family, consumers and influencers to a party to help promote your pop-up shop. This will help get the buzz going, setting your pop-up shop on the right foot.

  • Work with influencers, vloggers and bloggers. Some of the top social media influencers, bloggers and vloggers have huge (and loyal) followings, helping you to get your pop-up shop experience in front of relevant and new audiences on a large scale.

  • Get involved with promotions, contests and giveaways. Encourage shoppers inside your store to share photos of your pop-up shop and your products for the chance to win a lucrative prize. What you choose to giveaway is completely up to you and your budget, but the fact that someone could win a freebie will usually be enough to drum up interest.

  • Stay in touch. Encourage your shoppers to connect with you on social media or subscribe to your newsletter. Where possible, thank your customers after the event or share a discount code for your online store or other physical locations. In order to do the latter, you will need to ensure you’re capturing your customer’s contact information during the sales process.

When inside your store, marketing efforts should be geared towards the urgent, ‘scarcity’ side of things. As part of your employee training, suggest some ways in which their communication can be centred around the “buy now” approach to selling. You could also market the products as limited editions or first come, first serve so that customers are more likely to buy what they love immediately, and get their impulsive juices flowing.

Step 6: Analyze your pop-up shop’s success

Finally, remember that a successful pop-up shop ultimately depends on the revenue you make. Your pop-up could be the most talked about event of the season, but without the sales to match it, you won’t be able to keep hosting these as part of your growth strategies.

Once your pop-up shop has come to a close, you will be able to use data and analysis from your POS and business management software to determine where the most money was spent, saved and made, alongside other custom reports relevant to your business.

Some ideas of which reports to keep an eye on include:

  • Sales (Filtered by Date): If your pop-up shop experience lasted several days, weeks or even months, this report will allow you to determine which days were best for selling. Was it a weekend date? A special holiday? Another date you weren’t expecting? You can use these insights to help you plan for your next pop-up shop and when you should consider launching one (and for how long).

  • Sales by Customer: This is a great report to evaluate how much each customer spends with you on average, in other words, your Average Order Value (AOV). Use this to determine whether your in-store merchandising was successful or needs some work for next time. How about upsell and cross-sell opportunities for your sales team? Do you have any items that can be sold together? And are your team taking this into account when making a sale?

  • Sales (Filtered by Employee): Even if you’re operating without traditional commission-based sales bonuses, it’s useful to understand what’s working (and what’s not). As you know your sales staff well, you know what their personality traits are and how much sales experience they have. Knowing this, and who is performing best will help you greatly with your hiring of new staff and training of existing staff. Ultimately, it’s down to you and your data insights to understand what makes the perfect salesperson for your brand and products.

  • Sales by Product: Crucial to your business success is knowing what are your best sellers versus no sellers. Use this data to better understand what your customers really want, need and desire and be sure to keep stocking their favorite products (if possible), or steer them down a path to similar items.

  • Sales by Channel: Within a modern omnichannel business, you’ll have a number of different sales channels, each with different goals and outcomes. To truly understand whether a pop-up shop experience is right for your brand, you’ll need to know how well it performs against your other channels. You’ll need to bear in mind the length of time that your pop-up lasted for, but by running calculations with your data, you will easily be able to establish whether a pop-up store is worth the money, time and effort, or whether your time will actually be better invested elsewhere.

  • Income Statement: Of course, we cannot evaluate a pop-up shop without considering the bottom line. Simply put, was the pop-up shop profitable or not? By segmenting your Income Statement to show how well your pop-up fared in a cost versus benefit argument, you will easily be able to ascertain whether it’s worth hosting another, or focusing your team’s efforts in different directions.

  • Sales (Filtered by Lead Source): You should also ensure you’re using appropriate reports to garner how well your social media and amplification efforts were in driving footfall to your pop-up shop. Providing you’re capturing lead source information during the sales process by asking how the customer heard about you, you can easily see which amplification efforts are worth the most time, which need a more focused hand and which you should perhaps avoid completely.

And finally, it would always be worth trying to determine how well you fared with customer engagement during and after the event.

In some cases, this will be keeping an eye on your social channels to see what sort of reaction your event caused, as well as review sites. Did you suddenly uncover a treasure trove of 4 and 5 star reviews following your pop-up shop experience? Excellent, congratulate yourselves.

In other cases, customer reactions and engagements will be more of a gut feel – how do you think things went? How do your sales team think things went? Is there anything you or they would change for next time?

Record and act on all of those findings, and keep reaching for higher goals with each and every pop-up shop success.

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How has technology evolved the traditional pop-up store?

Pop-up stores are not a new concept within the retail industry, however with improved technology, comes the ability to breathe some new lease of life into them.

From getting creative with augmented and virtual reality, to keeping things slick and streamlined with mobile point of sale solutions and introducing other new and innovative technologies, pop-up stores are really starting to evolve into an entirely different beast.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

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We’ve seen augmented and virtual reality spilling out onto high streets all around us exceedingly recently, and more and more retailers are adding this to their strategies.

These technologies can open you up to creating a truly unique experience for your customers, beyond what you can do in real life. Additionally, using this type of technology in your pop-up shop allows you to market particularly well to millennials, given their innate interest in technology like this. And you can certainly create some real buzz around your pop-up shop experience by introducing innovative and creative weapons like augmented and virtual reality.

Some examples of what other retailers have done include:

  • Tech Menswear Shop, The Dandy Lab. Back in 2015, this store in London really embraced technology. This involved using facial recognition software to analyze how well their customers reacted to their store, interactive (augmented reality) display units to show customers more information about the products they were looking at, and other creative means. Clearly they hit the right note with their target audience during their pop-up shop experiment, as they are still a thriving (and permanent) business today.

  • Women’s Fashion Retailer, Karen Millen. At Nexpo, a pop-up store in London, the team at Karen Millen partnered with a number of tech solutions to experience what a store ‘of the future’ would be like. This involved virtual reality mirrors showing how customers would look in certain clothing and smartwatches connected to fitting rooms to notify sales staff when a customer needed help. The idea behind this was to make the customer journey as smooth as possible, helping to reduce the number of purchases being abandoned.

  • Unisex Fashion Store, American Apparel. American Apparel (via a mobile app) has been using augmented reality close to their point of sale terminals to allow customers to view product reviews, watch videos, and even order online if they prefer. This is all in aid of enhancing the in-store experience for their customers, as well as appealing to their target audience who are largely dependent on mobile smart phones.

Offline Mobile POS Solutions

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In the past, there would have been plenty of occasions where retailers had to either take heavy, clunky POS software on the road with them, or even just make do with pen and paper.

But with today’s pop-up stores, it’s vital that your point of sale technologies can accompany you on the road (easily), and to areas with poor internet bandwidth. Not only that, but in store experiences should always be slick and streamlined, so that your customers spend less time waiting, and more time spending. A slick experience also calls out for positive feedback and great word of mouth with family, friends, and peers.

This is where a mobile POS solution (and one with offline capabilities) can help put you ahead of your competition.

Just take a look at what Alex Monroe has experienced in their London-based flagship boutique:

“With the Brightpearl POS, the most important thing for us is that we can spend less time looking at the screen, and more time looking at our customers. We can have a conversation with them, show them the jewelry and get them involved with what we do here.” – Tom Graham, Ecommerce Manager

‘Just Walk Out’ Technology

Even newer to the pop-up shop market than augmented or virtual reality is ‘Just Walk Out’ technology, pioneered by none other than Amazon. Once only a big box online retailer, Amazon have now started to enter the physical brick and mortar world via their Amazon Go shopping experience and their flagship physical book shop.

But there is one major difference in how they’ve chosen to handle their latest endeavor of Amazon Go.

Their latest ‘Just Walk Out’ technology involves consumers being able to simply walk out with purchases. No waiting in queues and no physical exchange of money as everything is done via an online shopping account. Currently only open to Amazon employees via their Beta program, it may be a little too early (yet still intriguing) to see how this experiment turns out. Watch this space!

Five creative pop-up store ideas

As mentioned previously, one major benefit to pop-up stores is the flexibility and creativity they can offer you. Whether you choose to embark on a new design for your store, try out different merchandising techniques or even some new products, there are a myriad of ways in which you can get creative with your store.

So, keeping excitement, buzz, and creativity at the forefront of mind, consider these five pop-up store ideas:

1. Creative Mobile Spaces

Whether you choose to update an old food truck, RV, bus or camper van, there are so many ways to take your retail business on the road without having to fall prey to the traditional or uncreative pop-up store.

2. Invite-only Events

Create some real buzz and exclusivity around your products with an ‘invite-only’ pop-up shop event. Those who are invited will be thrilled you’ve chosen them so are more likely to attend, whilst those who aren’t invited will be clamoring to get an invite for next time, or even for the current event. Don’t make it too difficult to get an invite though – if someone asks how it’s done, this is where you mention use of social media engagement, a waiting list or an email newsletter subscription. There should always be a way for consumers to get invites, but in a way that boosts buzz and excitement for your store.

3. Outdoors Stands

During the summer months, it feels great to be able to leave hot brick and mortar shopfronts, and go to where your customers are. At the beach, parks, nature reserves, wherever you can obtain a seller’s license, and know that your target audience will be, take your business on the road outside.

4. Creative Fixed Spaces

If your budget or target audience desires don’t warrant your business being on the move, but you still want to seek some creativity in your design, then another pop-up shop idea is to use creative fixed spaces. You could try log cabins, treehouses or even unused shipping containers to bring a new lease of life to your pop-up beyond the traditional storefront.

5. Augmented or Virtual Reality Video Screens

When catering to tech-savvy clientele, the use of augmented and virtual reality video screens can really generate some buzz about your brand. These screens could be placed almost anywhere that allows for it and that has power. So why not grab the attention of shoppers as they wait for the bus into town? Or catch them as they walk through a large shopping mall? Let them browse your products in a unique way – from trying on watches, to seeing how a chic couch would look in their living room, there are a number of different ways to incorporate augmented or virtual reality into your retail business. Don’t forget to browse our real life examples of what other retailers have done for some creative inspiration.

However, if your target audience or budget don’t quite call for pop-up store ideas quite as creative as this, then there is still room for you to head down a more traditional route, and maybe you should just get creative inside or with your marketing strategies.

Whether you choose to launch a pop-up shop inside a larger department store, at a craft fair, special event or trade show, there are plenty of ways to get involved with various pop-up store ideas.

Remember to use Pinterest for great design ideas – you could even create a ‘mood board’ for ideas to get involved with right now, or later on down the line once you’ve established what works for you and your business.

But most importantly – have fun with it! If you’re having fun, your customers are more likely to, and ultimately, that’s really how you’re going to create some real buzz and excitement around your pop-up shop experience.

Further Reading

How to Take Your Business Beyond Shop Doors with a Mobile POS

Pop-up Shops: Beyond the Basics to Help Temporary Stores Thrive

The Ultimate Guide to Pop-up Shops

17 Pop-Up Store Success Stories You Can Learn From

New Ways To Display Your Wares

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