Pop-up stores, also known as pop-up shops, are temporary stores where businesses promote and sell their products or services. Small businesses, online businesses and businesses catering to younger demographics have found the pop-up model to be especially effective for branding, marketing and sales because of its relatively low cost and high impact on social media.
Because this is a relatively new trend, it’s important for small business owners to be confident owning and operating their pop-up stores. Be sure you’re ready with these tips.
Conduct a Viability Study
Before you decide to open a pop-up store, take the time to check whether it is viable for your business. Though it can be inexpensive compared to owning and operating a permanent retail space, pop-up stores still have costs that need to be taken into account. Know that it’s a smart decision before you make the investment.
Evaluate your decision according to competition, finances, economy, timing and market research, and present your summary to objective non-biased audience, such as a business advisor or lender. If they are convinced of your pop-up store’s viability, you’re ready to move forwards.
Consider Your Location
You may not have to commit to a permanent space with your pop-up store, but where you’re located still matters. Location is a significant factor in your costs and revenue, so make sure you consider foot traffic and neighbourhood before you pay the rent.
Before you pay the rent, make sure the location has enough foot traffic to achieve your goals, whether it is to make sales or increase brand awareness. Make it easy for people to pass by, get curious and spontaneously come in, instead of having to go out of their way to find your store.
Consider nearby businesses when you’re deciding on a location. Neighbourhoods can save you marketing resources while increasing the number of visitors to your pop-up store. For example, you can capitalize on an art gallery district by placing your art pop-up in an area where people are already shopping for artwork.
Your lease, insurance and other legal matters may be different than a long-term retail tenant. Consult with your lawyer or a legal advisor to make sure you’re protected before you finalize any agreements.
Boost Your Buzz
Pop-up stores are new and different, which makes them very good at getting attention – if you use your creativity and marketing strategies right. But setting up a store doesn’t guarantee that you’ll accomplish your goals. Make sure you have a plan in place so that you can benefit from your hard work.
The first step to get the word out about your pop-up store is to make sure you’re offering something unique to your customers. Whether it’s an experience or a special gift, give people a reason to talk about you. For example, if you sell candy, decorate with a circus theme, or if you make jewellery, offer a special edition bracelet.
Help your customers share how great your business is by making your pop-up store viral-friendly. For example, tweet a countdown to the opening of your store and send out live updates of what’s happening. Use Facebook to send out in-store photos and to generate a real-time guestbook. Instagram can be especially effective. Try setting up a promotional backdrop that customers can take selfies with and share with their friends using your store’s hashtag.
Pop-up stores only existed for a limited time, which creates a sense of urgency that drives traffic, sales and marketing efforts. Advertise that your store is temporary, and that people need to come right away, or else they will miss their chance to see, experience or purchase from it. Leveraging this sense of urgency is key to building a buzzworthy store.
Push Your PR
Public relations efforts may be the most powerful factor in pop-up store marketing. Write email pitches to relevant website and newspaper editors and writers, and engage with major social media players in your industry. Let them know that your exciting store is opening up so they can share it with their audience on a widely publicized scale.
Are you taking advantage of Small Business BC’s wide selection of seminars for entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized business owners? Space is limited, so don’t miss your chance to register today.
And if you want specific questions answered for your business, make an appointment to meet with a Small Business BC Business Advisor or Small Business BC Business Plan Advisor now, or make an appointment with our Ask a Business Branding Expert service today.