Pop-up Stores: Trend Turned Retail Strategy

Pop-up Stores: Trend Turned Retail Strategy

In a time when eCommerce stores rule the retail sector, brick-and-mortar shops seem not to stand a chance at tempting consumers away from online outlets. This is made even more difficult now that social media platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, are making it even easier to access products and merchandise.

However, not all hope is lost. What started as a marketing trend to introduce a new way of advertising brands, pop-up stores quickly became a staple in all retailers’ marketing strategies. Pop-up stores prove especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they provided brands to open up a temporary, outdoor or small-scale storefront where social distancing could easily be enforced.

It is a retail trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon and continue to be successful endeavours for big and small brands alike. Here is why you should consider opening up a pop-up shop for your retail brand.


What is a pop-up shop?

As the name suggests, a pop-up shop is a temporary brick-and-mortar space that is randomly opened up by a brand for a short amount of time before closing down. Also referred to as flash retailing, it is a successful tactic that generates interest, creates a sense of urgency and gets consumers to visit your business for a fun, limited-time event. Furthermore, it allows retailers to connect with customers face-to-face, especially if their shop is based online.

These pop-up shops are usually themed, feature some kind of exclusive giveaway or product, and are entirely unique and memorable. And in a time when consumers have been starved of in-store shopping experiences for so long due to the pandemic, there has never been a better time to incorporate a pop-up store into your marketing strategy.


Pop-up stats you should know

Here are a few key statistics that could help you in deciding whether to take the leap and open up a pop-up shop or not:

  • 66% of retailers cited launching a pop-up as their choice to increase brand awareness

  • 51% of retailers cited improved market visibility as a result of a pop-up

  • 46% of retailers cited increased sales as a result of a pop-up

  • 46% of retailers cited more social media engagement as a result of a pop-up

  • 49% of visitors to pop-up stores do so out of curiosity and for entertainment

  • 80% of brands who hosted a pop-up shop in 2019 said it was a success, and 58% would do another


Why should you host a pop-up shop?

Hosting a pop-up shop comes with many benefits that can improve the success of your retail business and strengthen your brand. Here are a few reasons you should consider opening a temporary store:

  • Build face-to-face connections with new and existing customers

  • Advertise a new product or offering

  • Introduce your business to potential new customers

  • Enables customers to shop at a physical location of brands that operate online

  • Garner interest and curiosity via social media

  • If you don’t have already have a physical store, this is a great way to test the waters beforehand

  • Showcase seasonal products and offerings to generate buzz

  • Provide a socially distanced, smaller-scale retail experience

  • It increases the number of channels you have to reach new buyers

  • It is a high-impact, cost-effective sales strategy

  • You can test out new markets with little financial commitment

Female seller helping shopper choose the clothes in the store

What do you need to have a successful pop-up shop?

You want a pop-up shop that attracts customers to your brand and help with name recognition. More than driving revenue, pop-ups provide great opportunities to build connections and establish yourself as a member of the community. So, what do you need to make sure your pop-up shop is successful?


Creating a buzz around your pop-up is key to ensuring that your shop is successful. Thus, it’s important to market and advertise your brand and drive customers to your pop-up. Naturally, the best way to do this is through social media and word of mouth.

A few months or weeks before your event, be sure to post sneak previews of your pop-up with fun, eye-catching photography and an exclusive event hashtag. This is especially crucial for smaller businesses, as they won’t have the crowd pill of a bigger brand without promotion.

Connect with customers

Yes, a pop-up shop is a great way to make more money for your business, but it’s also a fantastic way to build loyalty and create a customer base that returns to your store time and time again. Furthermore, it presents a great opportunity to connect with new customers and create lasting relationships – which means more business and brand awareness.

Be sure to take the time to connect with customers who visit your pop-up store by ensuring each person gets personal attention from your staff. Additionally, provide them with the opportunity to sign up for a mailing list or follow your social media accounts while in-store to create a lasting bond.

Accessible location and hours

Possibly the most important aspect of setting up a successful pop-up shop is finding the right location. It’s highly suggested that you get familiar with the city you’re setting up shop in and do extensive research to ensure you’re choosing an ideal temporary retail spot.

Make sure the location receives a good mix of foot and car traffic, as well as offers ample parking. A few places that could make great pop-up shops include:

  • An existing, vacant storefront

  • A gallery or event space

  • A dedicated pop-up space

  • An outdoor mall or park

  • An existing store that will let you set up inside

  • A mobile van or truck

Besides the location, you’ll also want to ensure that the hours you choose make sense for your target market. For instance, if your target audience is predominantly business people, it’s not wise to have your opening hours from 9 to 5.

Create a unique experience

The best way to convert customers, attract new buyers and build long-lasting relationships with your target audience is to offer a unique, memorable experience. Provide an interesting, eye-catching and entertaining hook for your guests to enjoy in-store. This will help keep people in your shop and generate buzz.

Consider adding an interactive experience, live music or a photo booth with fun props to ensure people have a good time and will want to spread the word.

A strong WiFi connection

Firstly, the modern consumer is always on their phones, sharing posts on social media to update their networks on their happenings. And since social media is the best way to drive the buzz of your pop-up, you’ll want to make sure that visitors can easily and quickly access the internet to share posts, photos and status updates from your even to generate a bigger audience.

Secondly, your point of sale (POS) will most likely need to be connected to WiFi through a portable or mobile service. Therefore, you’ll need a strong, stable internet connection at all times to ensure that the transactions go through quickly and easily, which will save you potential headaches and save your guests some time.

A good fit out and interior design

The final piece of the puzzle to ensure your pop-up is successful is to have a functional and aesthetically pleasing fit out. Your customers should be able to navigate your store safely and comfortably while taking in the eye-catching interior design of your pop-up. From the furniture and décor to the paint and floorplan, each aspect of your fit out will play an important role in ensuring an enjoyable customer experience.


How can Contractors.Direct help?

If you’re planning to add another channel to your retail business by opening a pop-up shop, then you’ll need the help of a professional interior designer and fit out contractor who possesses the necessary skills and experience to deliver high-quality work.

Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place.

Contractors.Direct offers a curated database of thoroughly vetted, quality contractors, interior designers and interior architects who can bring your vision to life, on time and on budget. Get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to connect you with the right people for the job.