Ecommerce is booming, and there’s no doubt about that. The numbers speak for themselves. After all, in 2017, ecommerce sales reached $2.3 trillion, and it’s expected to grow. However, while the foundation of your business is online, it’s important to start considering other sales channels.
Pop-up shops are temporary events that help business promote their product. They allow businesses to create an unforgettable branded experience. Often, pop-up events are high-energy because the small team managing the event are enthusiastic about their positions. That enthusiasm translates across each conversation with a potential consumer.
No matter what industry or niche you serve, pop-ups can benefit your brand vision and bottom line. In fact, according to Specialty Retail, the pop-up industry is expected to be $8 billion per year industry. Here’s why your business should start a pop-up shop:
Test Retail Store Potential
As an ecommerce business owner, you may be toying with the idea of opening an official retail location. However, retail is risky business. In 2018, retailers made a record-breaking number of store shutdowns by closing 155 million square feet of space, according to commercial real estate firm CoStar Group.
With that in mind, chances are you don’t want to take a risk you can’t afford to. Pop-up shows allow you to test a retail concept on a much smaller, more manageable scale. Running a pop-up shop costs a fraction of the price it would take to open a retail store, and can provide you with plenty of insight on your market viability.
Educate Your Target Market
One of the most significant problems that ecommerce owners face is educating their consumers. Many people want to try products before they commit to a purchase, and this is an impossible hurdle for online retailers. A pop-up gives you the chance to show off your product and build brand awareness.
These pop-ups are ideal for product testing and for educating consumers on a product they don’t know much about. You’ll be able to engage in dialogue with people, collect feedback on your product, and build upon your existing audience.
Limited-time events create a sense of urgency and scarcity. And these are big words in the world of retail. The scarcity concept is a psychological principle coined by Dr. Robert Cialdini. He found that the more difficult an object was to obtain, the more desirable it became. If a product or service appears to be limited, the chances of purchasing it increases. Today, this is a fundamental concept used in retail. Sales with deadlines are typical, and this “final date” attachment to an offering entices consumers to take action.
By nature, pop-up shops exude scarcity. They’re open for a limited amount of time before the entire operation shuts down. When you combine the basic structure of pop-ups with tailored marketing tactics, you can quickly build buzz and scarcity around your launch.
Before you pick a location, you’ll conduct market research to ensure you’re in an area where your target market demographics are. This sense of location freedom can do wonders for your bottom line. This is especially true if your target demographics are high-end or luxury; getting a retail space then becomes even more difficult.
The best locations are high foot traffic areas, where you don’t have to worry about encouraging consumers to drive to you. You should always explore the neighborhood where you hope to set up your pop-up event—quite literally put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Take a walk through the area and pay particular attention to nearby stores and foot traffic flow.
There are plenty of options available once you’ve honed in on your ideal location. You can rent a temporary kiosk in a mall, book an art gallery or event space, rent a store or retail location, or choose an outdoor space. Location freedom ensures you have more options than a traditional retailer would.
Pop-up events also have a higher level of freedom with the display of their location. Unlike brick and mortar stores, retailers don’t have to deal with consistent branding across locations and complex set up processes. For a limited time, you have as much flexibility as you’d like; you can rearrange as you see fit, altering your setup to suit buying patterns day by day (or even hour by hour).
The benefits of launching a pop-up shop are clear. However, it’s important to understand that the real differentiator between a successful and unsuccessful pop-up event is preparation and planning. A pop-up event isn’t as simple as picking an empty spot in a local park and setting up a few tents. You’ll need the appropriate licenses and permits. And to obtain the right permits, you need to have a registered business entity. For example, if you resided in California, you’d need to have your business licensed in California. Then, you can proceed to pick the perfect location for your pop-up event, making creative, strategic decisions, and marketing your event to the masses.