Pop-up shops aren’t just for tchotchkes and cellphone cases at your local mall anymore. Many e-commerce stores, local businesses and even large box stores are jumping on the temporary shop bandwagon. A pop-up shop can increase sales, promote new channels or grow a small or unknown online brand.
Have a Game Plan for Possible Locations
When setting goals for your pop-up shop, consider more than just a revenue amount or target sales goal. Both are very important to the future of your business and how much you intend to invest in your temporary shop. However, consider setting goals for increasing brand awareness, testing new markets and building relationships with potential new customers.
To increase brand awareness, secure a storefront that makes your brand visible to the general public or your targeted demographic in a location that generates a lot of foot traffic, including rental spaces inside a specialty retailer. If you have established brand awareness in one market but want to expand, test or research demand for your products in different areas and develop a marketing strategy that targets new markets. Sometimes the trick to successful expansion means going about things a little differently.
To build new customer relationships, brainstorm ways to reach customers on a personal level, such as giveaways, games, family discounts, treats or free entertainment. If pertinent to your business, create a way to start a customer signup for membership to your online shop, emails for coupons and specials, or credits earned through purchases that go toward a free product or a specific discount.
Set an All-Encompassing Budget
Keep the words “cost-effective” in mind when determining what you want to spend on a temporary shop to keep costs low and reach your projected profit. Your budget must cover practical items, such as rent, utilities, lighting, merchandising products, inventory and furniture. If your pop-up shop is large enough, consider such items as item display props, checkout counters and registers, Internet access, insurance and credit card processing fees.
Also determine your budget for sales representatives and, for multiple shops, location managers. Hire enough staff to have continuous sales coverage during your intended sales hours, but know how many people are needed at each location and at key times during the day or week.
Include amenities for employees and items for building a new customer base. Stay as close to your budget as possible, but be prepared to give yourself some wiggle room without too much impact on profit.
Choosing the Right Items and Merchandising
People purchase items for others during the holidays, so they are often looking at new ideas for people for whom they aren’t sure what to buy. Stock your pop-up shop with affordable but interesting items that have the potential to encourage customers to buy impulsively.
Choose items that make great gifts but are a good value and easy to carry or wrap. Pick specialty items or unique items, or bundle similar items at a good price to give the customers the impression that they’d be me missing out on a great deal if they walked away from your pop-up shop without purchasing. Choose items you want to make buy one get one free, or at least some significant percentage off.
Next, make a merchandising plan or layout that looks good, but also directs customers to products in a particular way. Experiment with different layouts before opening the pop-up shop, taking photos of each idea. Take notes or photos of shops like yours that have displays that catch your eye, and try to incorporate those ideas. Once open, implement various displays and keep track of which displays move more of what products. You’ll be amazed at the impact that good merchandising has on your sales.
Pop-up shops allow business to have a little fun around the holidays while increasing sales. When planned correctly, precisely budgeted and stocked with the right products, a pop-up shop goes a long way in introducing online shops to new customers or increasing shopping convenience for established retailers. Add a good marketing strategy to promote your temporary locations and enjoy the fruit of your labors.