Pop-up stores are popping up all around us. They are by online retailers wanting to move offline; and they are also by established brands offering an experience to consumers.

They are absolutely everywhere and here’s why retailers are choosing pop-up stores over permanent ones:

  • Cost-effective.

The obvious cost saver in a pop-up store is rent. By nature, pop-up stores require a much shorter lease, typically between 3 days and 6 months, and the stores tend to be smaller in size. Thus, rent can be as low as 20% of normal rates.

In addition, lower overhead and limited inventory means retailers can save on labour and extra storage costs.

Ultimately, what makes a pop-up valuable is the high-impact it can have on a business by engaging consumes offline, collecting data, testing out products and the market, as well as creating a buzz for the brand.

  • Brand experience.

Brand experience is incomplete in online stores as consumers cannot feel the products and the brand. Since today’s shoppers are multichannel shoppers, it’s important to have an offline store as well as online – according to Harvard Business Review, multichannel sales help retail reach 73% of consumers.

Pop-ups allow for authentic engagement with consumers. You can share your story, allow consumers to touch, smell, and feel your products, they can feel the brand experience with all their senses offline. A great brand experience is sure to earn loyal customers.

More and more brands are using pop ups as a social platform to meet new and existing customers. Womenswear brand Paloma Wool for example, opened pop up stores to meet and greet her 350,000 Instagram followers in real life. Sophie Tea Art Gallery is another example where much of the gallery holds Instagram able installations so consumers can engage with the brand. 

  • Soft launch.

Pop-up stores are a fantastic way to test out new products and markets in a low-risk manner before committing to a full storefront.

Amsterdam based fashion brand Daily Paper opened a pop-up in London to test the location and its consumers. The reaction from the London consumers was great and their UK sales increased by 300%. This gave the brand confidence to open a store in New York also.

Similar tests can be done with products in pop-up stores. New products and promotions can be tested and brands can collect data on engagement and sale of the product to determine its success.

It is also easier to convince offline customers to trade data for promotions. For example, brands can trade testers in return for customer feedback on products, their brand experience, and even their shopping habits. This will help business improve brand experience online and offline.

  • Create a buzz.

Consumers are drawn to exclusivity which is why it’s easier for pop-ups to attract attention. The temporary nature of pop-ups creates a sense of urgency and consumers are more willing to make emotional purchases since the product availability is limited.

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