Although we talk mostly about digital influencers, trends and info you need-to-know, the power of the pop-up shop is becoming more relevant for brands and organizations of all sizes. Even an online shopping leader, Amazon, is popping up with a retail store in San Francisco.)
Pop-up stores often an opportunity to show off products in real time, connect customers with the brand ambassadors up close and in person while also activating online brand experiences for your customer.
Properly executed, the in-person pop-up can be a powerful tool for driving digital sales. This type of temporary, ‘here-while-it-lasts’ store also offers the beauty of working for budgets of all sizes, from a small home-grown business to a growing, online and well-known brand. (For mature brands, a well-managed pop-up store can also work as part of integral rebranding efforts.) Knowing your audience, your goals and having a realistic budget as well as clearly defined expectations are all part of the marketing essentials that make pop-ups have staying power in our digital world.
What do Wharton University marketers have to say about the pop-up ability to have staying power?
“New, fun, something different,” says Wharton Marketing professor Barbara E. Kahn. Her colleague, Stephen J. Hoch adds, “It’s about trying to ‘get people there all at the same time to create additional excitement, because it’s a pop-up, and it’s not going to be here much longer.”
Planning a holiday pop-up? These tips from growing and known brands, of all sizes, from here and abroad will help guide your pop-up strategy:
- Why a Pop-Up Store? A chance to show off your holiday goods that your online shop is prepared to sell so wonderfully… the opportunity to heighten brand awareness in a new market… a cost-effective way to move older products. The merit of a pop-up shop is strong especially if your location, albeit temporary, is solid. (Canadian shoe lovers haven, Aldo, experimented in the European market with a pop-up store.)
- Examples of Pop-Up Done Well? We all love examples – part aspiration, part inspiration. Business Insider shared a few of the most creative pop-up stores which fuel the imagination for ways to show off your stuff in real time. We also love a local edition: a few of our favourites include the temporary LuluLemon in St. John’s (always nice when a big brand comes to give us some local love) and this crafty edition that drives ideas from Etsy. (Proof a pop-up works is when an online originator like Etsy takes it offline with a brand like The Bay!). Make it stand-out and tell your brand story.
- Local Making it National: East Coast Lifestyle was created by an Acadia student, Alex Maclean, and has grown to be one of Atlantic Canada’s most digitally savvy brands. (Their online home hosts icons for the social media tools in play today and those that will be the main players of tomorrow.) Their crew took it on tour showed off products around the region. Pop-up tours generate buzz, interest and are a way to connect to many markets. ECL does it well as their online brand aligns perfectly with the entire ‘summer tour’ experience. It tells their story. Simple.
- Sales Vs. Brand Awareness: Your Pop-Up may be about sales and quickly driving traffic to your retail or online store but it might be about a broader goal – new products, raising awareness of your start-up or simply beginning to convert customers from the competition. Measuring your pop-up success will be defined by your own clearly defined goals.
- Shopify, a site that makes e-commerce easy for brands of all sizes, is also in on the pop-up action. They have even hosted a few of their own; the Shopify tool is an easy commerce tool to integrate for any newcomer to mobile commerce, including pop-up stores.
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