Whether you are a physical retailer looking to move to more digital brands or an e-commerce brand looking to do more physical business, launching a pop-up store or event is an excellent option.
A store or pop-up event provides a happy medium between a tangible in-store experience and digital engagement or convenient shopping features.
In 2014, the pop-up industry was valued at $3.16 billion, and despite their decline in popularity in the following years, the event or pop-up store is back in business again.
Yes, popups are on the rise and if you are a modern company looking to expand your brand, now is the time to strike.
To help you get started, we’ll explore the rise of the pop-up store and event, take a look at some inspiring examples, and show how you can launch your own business.
Let’s get started.
Store popup and event appear
The pop-up store is a pop-up that serves as an innovative and intimate brick-and-mortar store. The pop-up event is much the same, except that it is more temporary, usually lasting one to three days.
The pop-up store phenomenon began in 2008 in the wake of the financial meltdown. At a time when retail and e-commerce businesses were suffering, pop-up stores offered a way to avoid expensive rents and reduce operating expenses.
Soon after stores and pop-up events started, you know, popping up in various places, consumers were drawn to their intimacy as well as the novelty of going into a branded pop-up space. The world of retail has entered a new era.
As mentioned earlier, the popularity of popups waned a bit after 2014 to 2015, but these retail or e-commerce business hubs never really went away. And as the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) has imposed its grip on the way we live, the perceived value of pop-up stores or events has skyrocketed.
You see, mass isolation has brought out the limitless value of e-commerce and the digital age. But, since some people like to get out there and dip their toes into the physical world again, the pop-up store is a real attraction.
Gucci, for example, launched a series of pop-up stores in 2019 to appeal to different segments of its audience in an effort to boost its sagging sales. Gucci Pin, as the project was known, launched theme stores including beachwear, offering immersive in-store digital features as well as dazzling interiors.
The initiative emerged, and proved successful in promoting the brand, leading Gucci to launch more pop-up stores during the pandemic – like this one in Chicago.
“Popups are about interacting with the brand, the experience, and introducing people to things they didn’t know.” – Freddy Sheridan, Retail Expert
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How launching a pop-up store can expand your brand
By integrating intimate brand shopping experiences with digital features and innovative touch points, your pop-up store will help you boost brand awareness, increase engagement, and boost customer loyalty.
Approaching the right way, the popup is a real winning combination. Today’s shoppers love the convenience of online retailers or e-commerce, but there is something alluring about being able to see, feel, touch and experience a product and its brand.
Of course, pop-up stores and events give e-commerce brands a “real” presence, but physical retailers looking to try out more innovative digital channels (or simply stand out from the crowd) will benefit equally.
Create connections and gather information
Pop-up stores or events provide the opportunity for retailers of all kinds to bring something new and exciting to their customers – an experience that lingers on the mind and keeps people coming back for more.
Launching a pop-up store or event will not only set you apart from the competition but will also enable you to test what works and what doesn’t. By looking at today’s sales and customer interaction data, you’ll gather the information you need to make vital improvements to your brand, messaging, products, and services.
Oh, and during busy seasons like the holidays, pop-up stores or events will help you attract more customers, and earn more sales in the process.
Ride the crest of an exciting new wave
Several companies are beginning to see the benefits of launching pop-up stores, from Warby Parker to Dollar Shave Club.
Not long ago, online bra manufacturer ThirdLove launched a concept store in Soho, New York to cater to people looking to connect with the brand in person. Meal kit Business Blue Apron has also opened a temporary location for a month, offering customers quick and convenient cooking lessons as well as the option to purchase takeaway items.
Pop-up stores come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: Properly executed, it has been incredibly well received by customers.
How to set up your own pop-up store or event
Now that you know the value of pop-up stores or events and what they can do for you, let’s take a look at the best way to launch one.
The right site source
Your site will form the foundations of your pop-up store or event success. You probably don’t have the same budget as ThirdLove or Gucci, but as long as you set a solid budget beforehand, you’ll increase your chances of earning a solid return on investment (ROI).
Foot traffic, cost, and accessibility are the three main components that will help you choose the right location for your store or pop-up event.
When it comes to choosing the right location for your store or pop-up event, traffic, cost, and accessibility are your three main components.
First, you should look for temporary rental spaces within your budget, and then create a shortlist. Visit each site and make sure it is accessible to everyone and has enough space to showcase your designs, branding, and products.
If you’re struggling to make a firm decision, you can search online for general retail data and location in your area, and choose the place or location with the best foot traffic.
Define your concept
Once you have secured your location and settled the tenancy terms (based on how long you want to run your pop-up store or event for), you should gather your team and create a floor plan based on where you want your sales office, customer touch points, product stands and fixtures to go.
With your plan visualized, get together with everyone involved in the pop-up project and start brainstorming. The goal here is to settle on a strong theme or concept based on the current season, trends in your industry, a specific group or category of your products, or an abstract theme that you can play with, such as “Space Travel”, “Going To the Beach” or “Dimensions” alternative”, for example.
As long as it is a topic or concept that will resonate with your audience, it will likely be a winner.
Related: BUILD AND USE THE PERFECT CUSTOMER PROFILE AND YOUR PERSONS
Settle on your pop-up features
As we live in a highly connected digital age, there has never been more room for creativity and bridging the gap between the physical world and the online world.
When you set up your popup, you must use features including QR codes or tablets that direct customers to content about your brand story, specific product pages, landing pages, or email subscription portals.
Doing so will Merging digital with physical Offering additional participation in addition to data collection opportunities. Plus, in this day and age, this is the level of detail that popup visitors expect.
In addition to providing your store with digital touch points and setting up the right product or landing pages, here are other creative features you might want to consider.
Pickup from the sidewalk
If you have a brick-and-mortar headquarters or a full-fledged e-commerce store, you can attract customers to your pop-up store or event by making an online purchase (or pre-ordering in-store) and choosing a curbside option (a service also known as BOPIS). This approach offers people a lot of convenience, a personal level of service, and is more likely to drive more traffic to your pop-up store or event.
Creating an immersive element for your pop-up store doesn’t necessarily require expensive technology or complicated bells and whistles.
If you can throw a little digital technology like augmented reality (AR) apps into the mix, that’s great. But, really, being immersive is simply offering your customers an experience they can participate in, such as:
- A product demonstration where customers take part in a simple test and provide feedback.
- An educational or hands-on (hands-on) workshop with an industry expert or social media influencer.
- A musical or keynote presentation based on relevant themes or topics.
- An in-store contest where customers can take a theme photo with a relevant hashtag and share it via social media (an effective way to boost brand awareness).
advice: If you’re offering an immersive pop-up experience for your store or event, setting up a simple reservation system will help keep turnout organized while creating an extra element of buzz or a sense of exclusivity.
Marketing your pop-up store or event
If you don’t promote your store or pop-up event, you are not likely to get a steady flow of visitors.
In the lead up to your launch, you should reach out to relevant social media influencers in your niche and motivate them to connect your store or event to their audience. Combined with a customized event or a store hashtag, this promotional approach will attract large numbers of shoppers who are more likely to enjoy what you have to offer.
By investing in paid digital and print ads, creating relevant articles, videos or posts for your blog, and being active on social media, you will create additional buzz while raising awareness of the right people for your upcoming pop-up project.
Here are some handpicked marketing resources from the GoDaddy blog that will assist you in your promotional efforts:
Offer multiple payment options
These days, customers are in control of choice, convenience, and flexibility – payment options are no exception.
To secure these transfers and complete the overall popup experience of the day, offering more than cash and debit card alone is a good idea.
Our guide to why you should offer multiple payment options to your customers will explain why.
Launching a pop-up store or event takes work, but once you start successfully, you will reap countless rewards including business growth, increased customer loyalty, and boosting your bottom line.
Once you launch your first store or event and bring your customers a memorable experience, you can gather feedback and explore your engagement or sales data to make improvements to your next store. It’s an exciting time to experience “boom”, and definitely worth your investment if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd.
We wish you good luck and if you need help setting up a digital storefront or promoting your pop-up project, check out GoDaddy’s Website Builder.