It’s a challenge for many online retailers to continuously come up with innovating ideas. They have tried interactive content such as videos, online quizzes or infographics to build a relationship with their customers. However, keeping your audience engaged can demand more than online-only contact. What if we told you that the pop-up store is the solution you’re looking for?
A pop-up shop allows you to communicate your brand’s promise to your customers through the use of a unique and engaging physical environment while creating an immersive shopping experience. (Source: Shopify)
If you want to keep on innovating and surprising your customers, it is key that you experiment. Our suggestion? The pop-up store. Temporary retail has a lot of advantages and while those benefits do depend on the type of pop-up store you host, we’ve rounded up five reasons to believe in pop-up stores – with some additional tips and examples.
Reason 1: Pop-up stores generate brand awareness.
Being an online-only retailer isn’t as groundbreaking as it was five years ago. It’s hard to break through the noise of the online world and to find and engage your customers. Whether it’s getting your website to rank as number one in search engines or engaging with your customers on social media, it can be extremely tough to stand out from the crowd.
The pop-up store is the ideal medium to respond to the ever-online retail world and to go off the beaten track. If you, for instance, opt for the creative approach to temporary retail, you most definitely will grab the attention of potential customers. Pop-up stores are an excellent example of how to surprise your customers with an unforgettable in-store experience and to engage with them afterwards on your online channels.
One way to do so is by following the next example. You open a pop-up store and ask your customers to share their experience on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook by using a specific hashtag. You can then host a competition online and award the winner with some exclusive products or grant them another unforgettable experience. The media, the press and influencers can also help you raise brand awareness. Result? Your audience gets bombarded with fun stories about your pop-up store and gets triggered to visit your store as well. You get massive exposure on social media plus satisfied customers that are eager to buy and to pay a visit to your next pop-up shop.
Reason 2: Pop-up stores create a ‘get it while it lasts’ urgency.
Temporary retail’s purpose is, as the name says, only temporary. Pop-up stores are only open in a certain location for a limited time: this can be a couple of months or even days. Because of this limited window of time, customers have little time to engage with your brand and with your products.
When you walk into a pop-up store, the thought that items won’t be around for long causes consumers to be more willing to purchase something on the spot. This principle works even better if what you’re selling in your pop-up store is a unique product that can’t be found elsewhere. (Source: Shopify)
For example, you have opened up a pop-up store to promote your brand and your products. An additional way to make your pop-up store products even more exclusive is to offer your customers one-of-a-kind products. These products can be tagged with the exact date or location of your pop-up store customers’ liking. In short, your pop-up store is the ideal channel to interact with customers that are looking for exclusive actions, new or unique products and unforgettable experiences.
Reason 3: Pop-up stores are personal.
Some new products or services on the market are hard to work with or customers just simply do not understand the use of some products. Opening a pop-up store is then an easy way to educate your customers about the use of your product and to teach them about the value of your brand.
For example, you open up a pop-up store and the star of the show is your newest product. You know the product is difficult to work with and scratches some customers’ heads. A pop-up store is the solution you’re looking for. You can give your customers a demo on your product and can explain what your company stands for. Your temporary retail space also provides you with the ideal opportunity to get to know all the details about your customers’ experiences with your product. They give their honest feedback on your products. You can then use that feedback to further improve the products or services you offer.
Pop-up stores prove to be the stepping stone to building a personal relationship with your customers. They allow your customers to come into contact with your brand and the people that represent it. Your customers will have the opportunity to learn something new and the feedback they give you is genuinely appreciated. Win-win!
Reason 4: Pop-up stores engage customers offline.
We live in the age of being ever-online and e-commerce. Customers browse online before they go to your retail store or browse in-store: a whopping 88% of all customers are ‘webrooming’ regularly (Source: ReadyCloud). However, the majority of customers still prefers to physically come into contact with the product they are planning to buy. They like to try out that comfy sweater or like to plump down into that sofa before buying it.
In the words of Melissa Gonzalez, author of The Pop-Up Paradigm: “Brands must appeal to those who love to go into the store to see, touch and smell what they’re going to purchase” (Source: Storefront). It is then no wonder that the pop-up store proves to be the perfect solution for retailers that only operate online.
For example, the pop-up shop is immensely helpful to return items. The customer doesn’t have to ship their items back but can simply visit your pop-up store! Previously, your customer had to buy, let’s say, your sweater online. They would have no idea if the item would fit them and if it would feel comfortable. Now, your customer visits your pop-up store and immediately has the chance to touch, try on, and demo your products. And that without having to make a purchase first!
Reason 5: Pop-up stores generate sales.
Temporary retail helps you raise brand awareness and engages with customers offline. Moreover, it aids you in creating a ‘get it while it lasts’ urgency. It might then not come as a surprise that pop-up stores generate sales, according to retail specialists at least an $8 billion dollar industry– and that number keeps on growing! So, the pop-up market is in itself already an immensely lucrative market.
However, there are additional steps you can take towards an even more successful retail story. You can get in on the holiday shopping action! Many customers report that they frequent pop-up stores over the holidays because they have seasonal products on offer. You can, for example, offer a unique type of chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Or, you can offer discounts on party wear when New Year’s Eve is approaching. Everything is possible as long as it has a link with the holiday in question!
Pop-up stores that are themed around a certain holiday are an immensely effective way to promote new and unique products. Plus, they can help brands in testing out emerging markets. Moreover, the holidays return each year, so you most definitely have a market for the surplus inventory of last year.
Pop-up stores remain effective.
Over the past few years, the concept of temporary retail has revolutionized the retail industry. Not only big names like Nike or Tesco experimented with the medium. Artists such as Kanye West or Drake have also taken the plunge. However, smaller retailers have given it a shot too.
Diversity and variety are essential to every retailer if they want to keep on transforming the retail industry. Different types of pop-up shops are possible and the theme and décor for every store can vary. Pop-up stores are immensely effective to convince your online audience of the benefits of a physical store. In addition, temporary retail is the ideal medium to offer your customers an unforgettable in-store experience.
Convinced of the magic of the pop-up store? Or have you already popped up with your retail business? Don’t forget to share your pop-up store adventures with your retail colleagues!