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Pop Up Shop or Not? How A Temporary Retail Location Can Hype Your Business

Many e-commerce businesses will never actually have their own brick and mortar locations, even if they have distributors or retailers selling their products in their own stores. Hence, the concept of a “pop up shop” has emerged: a way to connect with customers in person and bring the experiential aspect of your company to customers without investing in an actual space. 

Pop-up shops are great for a number of reasons, but top of the list is the “hype” around the shop. Since it’s only up for smaller amounts of time (ranging from one day to a few weeks), it creates a strong sense of urgency for customers nearby to drop in – whether they’re loyal digital buyers or they’ve just heard of your brand beforehand. Creating this experience for your customers can jumpstart or rejuvenate their loyalty to your brand. 

Here are five other reasons why having a pop-up shop can hype your business. 

1. You’ll learn more about your customers. 

The in-person shopping experience is far more personal than a digital shopping experience, so you’ll be privy to information you don’t normally see. At a pop-up shop, customers can hold your product in their hands, sample it, and try it. You’ll hear their immediate questions, reactions, and feedback, and can use this information to better the digital experience. 

Perhaps your business is a skincare brand, and a customer tries on a bit of the facial cream and remarks, “Wow, that’s really oily.” That’s a reaction that you won’t hear when they order it online – unless they’re unhappy enough to send it back. Make sure to keep your eyes wide open and take notes throughout the pop-up shops’ time (ask employees to, too), then have a huddle with your team afterwards to see how to integrate the feedback. 

2. You’ll get invaluable data. 

Think of pop-up shops in the same way you would for an advertising campaign online. Do this by adding specific tracking codes to your offers and collateral so you can track the performance during and after the event. 

Give walk-ins an irresistible offer to use these tracking codes, such as 15% off or an extra gift thrown into their shopping bag. However you can, ensure your pop up has enough “data” (aka: transactions) for the numbers to matter by advertising the pop up in advance. 

Set daily goals for these transactions in the same way you set goals for advertising campaigns, and adjust and adapt your pop up as necessary throughout the run if those daily goals aren’t working out. You can have a new strategy daily, so experiment with product placement and offers to see which resonates the most.

3. You’ll learn which locations within your target cities have the highest product popularity.

Depending on how many pop-up shops you host, you’ll be able to see which have the highest attendance. Maybe your pop-up shop in Chicago has a line out the door everyday, but your pop-up shop in Denver has about half the sales. This is great information, too – and can be integrated when you re-target your ads and better construct your customers alias. 

4. You can get photos and other digital assets to use in your social media strategy and on your website.

Photos of customers trying, shopping for, and holding products make for prime digital assets on your website or Instagram account. Hire a photographer to come for at least one of the days of the pop-up shops to photograph the whole experience: including the product placement and how you crafted the shop. This will also create more hype for the next time you host a pop-up shop if there are other goodies or fun experiential aspects that customers particularly like.

5. You’ll get ‘window shop’ exposure.

Finally, it’s great as an e-commerce business to get some exposure from the street. In other words, people who have never heard of your brand will see the pop-up shop when they walk or drive by, and it can spur creativity. They can then do anything from googling your company name to actually walking in and buying a product. Regardless, it heightens brand awareness and is great for your exposure. 

With the opportunity for valuable data and exposure, pop-up shops should be considered as a way to revitalize your business in a new way this year.

Jeremy Delk is an investor, founder, and entrepreneur in several entities across industries and countries. After gaining early experience and expertise from the financial sector with Fidelity Investments, he founded Delk Enterprises in 2002. While originally starting as a real estate development firm, Delk Enterprises has expanded into a diversified investment company with an expansive portfolio that continues to grow today.

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