What is a pop-up shop?
A pop-up shop is a unique, temporary shopping experience that appears quickly, creates a buzz, and then disappears. Pop-ups offer a unique opportunity for your clientele to view an exclusive line, a limited edition piece or a seasonal offering. The narrow window that the pop-up is available piques the interest and creates a sense of novelty and exclusivity.
Pop-up shops are still a relatively new concept to the retail scene, so there is really no set format on how to do a pop-up. This “newness” creates an ideal situation for fostering creativity and innovative ideas.
The life of an average pop-up shop ranges from 3 weeks to 3 months, and though brief, can build intense excitement and greater consumer awareness for a retail establishment.
The pop-ups that have proven to be successful for us have been located inside our existing retail boutique, with designated floor space allocated specifically for the pop-up. Our most profitable concepts were with designer apparel lines, exclusive to our area. We also had success with gift products that could be personalized such as tumblers and tote bags, as well as local jewelry designs.
Why should I consider having a pop-up?
- Test customer demand before investing in a line- Since pop-up stores are temporary, they are a cost effective way for retailers to experiment with new strategies, introduce a new line, focus on seasonal offerings, or promote brand awareness for a currently offered line.
- Gain loyalty and stand out from the competition- Pop-ups increase the customer devotion levels of your current clientele, and also attract entirely new client bases, setting your boutique apart as a “go to” for the newest collections, and most unique product assortment.
How can I create a pop-up?
Success requires adequate planning and preparation. Planning should start several months before the desired opening date.
- Determine a strong concept and objectives- Why are you choosing this concept and what research have you done? Why do you think this will be successful? Is this a line that your clients have been requesting? Is it exclusive to your area? Will it reach your current client base? Is it the right price point?
- Create a designated budget -What’s your sales goal? What expenses will you incur?
- Select a prime location- Determine the right location and designate an appropriate amount of floor space to the pop-up. If located within a boutique, it should be easily visible immediately upon entering. It needs to have adequate signage, and should flow easily with the existing retail assortment and its surroundings. Avoid clutter, neatly merchandize, and feature attractive visual displays.
How do I promote the pop-up?
- Use social media to create momentum- Create posts before the pop-up goes live, and continue to create engagement once it’s up and running. Social media is a very cost effective tool to create awareness.
- Educate staff and clientele- Make sure your sales consultants are trained to convey the exclusiveness of the line, as well as the key selling points …they should have clear talking points regarding the designer, as well as individual product knowledge. This will ensure that they are able to properly communicate these messages to your guests.
How should I measure success?
- Evaluate your pop-up- Was this a good price point, a good assortment, what were the key performers? Could this merchandise become part of our regular merchandise assortment?
- Collect and evaluate client feedback- This is a great time to gather customer contact information, do future event interest research, and get feedback. By distributing quick and simple event feedback cards, you can easily assess what works.... and what doesn’t! Encourage participation by conducting a raffle or giveaway for guest participation. Use the feedback to plan your next event or pop-up. No matter what the outcome, the pop-up will be informative, will tell you who your shopper is, and in what direction you should proceed in the future!
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