5 Moves to Pull Off That Pop-Up Shop

As experts in using in-store data to maximize store performance and revenue, we’re passionate about boosting all in-store aspects that form the customer experience.

Are you wanting to dive into the growing pop-up scene, but aren’t sure how? 

Well, first things first, we applaud your decision to include this important retail channel into your sales and marketing mix! Pop-up stores are great places for testing concepts and products, getting feedback from new markets without the upfront rollout costs (Research says pop-up stores cost 80% less to launch than a full-time store), and can also draw attention and drive hype around your brand.

But we also want to help make sure your pop-up makes your brand really…erm…pop.

And since these limited editions grace square ft. everywhere from Fifth Avenue to Berlin, we collected a few key learnings to help you right here.

1: Purpose. 👏Purpose. 👏Purpose.👏

Why are you doing the pop-up at all? 

It’s tempting to answer this with the triumvirate- Advertising, Engagement and Sales. However, those are the secret socks while your customer cares about the shoe. No one wants to see the practical measures you’ve taken to appear effortlessly casual. 

This is about asking: What can this medium amplify? How can it be used to introduce more about your brand, a new concept, a new product? And if you’re smart, you’ll ask how a pop-up can help you get to know your customers better.  

Exhibit A: Peach & Lily are a Korean beauty company known for developing their business according to how customers respond to their products online. It’s no surprise then that they have chosen to make the most of the direct customer access that popups provide, so they can get quick feedback.

“The part of our business that we love exploring is how beauty is both functional and emotional, but the emotional elements of a product that speak to customers are challenging to [determine] online. The feeling of silkiness or the scent of a spice could stir up drastically different emotions to different customers.”

– Peach & Lily Founder Alicia Yoon, Glossy

Peach & Lily therefore use the pop-ups to gather customer data in order to ensure they are getting the right product-market fit. They also tweak their offerings in response to the needs and preferences of their customers.

2: Time It Right 🕝

Retail seasons are about as predictable as the Gregorian calendar. We know they are guaranteed to change- and when they do, customers will be in the mood to try something new. So why don’t you? 

Periods such as Fall/Winter, Spring/Summer and Back To School are perfect times to promote new products and attract new customers with themed pop-ups.

Just remember to do some research ahead of the time- you’ll need to target locations where your target market normally frequent.

You’ll also need to engage with pop-up real estate agents to secure your coveted space at least 6 months in advance. 

3: Equip Your Sales Soldiers 💪

This is not about rounding up some students or backpackers to hand out pamphlets.

Though the pop-up is there for only a temporary time, your brand presence is in it for the long game- so everyone on the floor should know the score. This means whether you use trusted staff from flagships to man the pop-up, or find new associates who can be moved elsewhere afterward, you need to be training them.

Pop-ups offer customers a new type of personal experience, so staff should be equipped to live out this message and story, depending on what the pop-up concept and mission is. This great Storefront article by Alexandra Sheehan will help you do that. 

Referring to JLL’s Six Dimensions of Retail Experiences, it’s no surprise to see that quality human interactions between customers and knowledgeable associates are one of the six in the mix!

4: Don’t Forget The Art Part 🎨

It’s a form follows function kind of thing. The shape of a building, floorspace or location should relate to, and even play with, extend or emphasize, its intended function or purpose.

So first analyze the space to understand how to best lead your visitors through it. Where do you want them to linger? What focal points are needed to draw their attention to certain displays or products? What spots enable your visitors to explore and interact with your brand? 

Identify any friction points or problems that could be used to your advantage and then get cracking on your strategic and visual design. How can you visually represent your brand and achieve your strategic goals? These two must reinforce each other if you want them to deliver on your aesthetically immersive pop-up promise.

The 6 Dimensions of Retail Experiences model makes it clear that every effort must be made to make a retail space appealing and captivating- so get creative with opportunities for people to enjoy the space.

While you aren’t likely to need a team to position your pop-up store structure, why not take inspiration from the smart spacial strategies used in Bikini Berlin.

Bikini Berlin Image Credit: Bikini Berlin 
Bikini Berlin Image Credit: Bikini Berlin 

As told to InsiderTrends, Bikini Berlin pop-up mall faced challenges around positioning, attendance, footfall, and architecture – concerns that face everyone planning a pop-up.

Bikini Berlin was repositioned in collaboration with Dan Pearlman, a multi-disciplinary team specializing in the integrated process of retail design thinking.

It now houses beautifully curated pop-ups and events complete with seating, swings, Wi-Fi and the biggest free co-working space in Berlin. Their progress is ongoing, with analytical technologies helping Bikini Berlin to evolve as customer behaviors change. This brings us to…

5: Facts Are Always A Great Idea 💡

A reliable analytics system will provide the bones for wonderful aesthetics and experiences. The result? Elevation of your brand and business goals achieved.

Are you ready? Let us help measure more than just your pop-up sales –  or just pop in to let us know it’s happening!

Get in touch at Vision.gl 

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