The internet can be an amazing source of opportunity, but nothing can compare to showing off your wares in person, face-to-face, to actual people. Whether you are just getting started and crafting from your home, or whether you’ve already got an established brick-and-mortar presence, a pop up shop can help you increase your company’s visibility, engage your customers, and expand awareness of your brand.
Depending on your resources and your goals, your pop up shop can take many different forms. There’s no one right way to build a pop up shop, and that room for creativity is part of what makes it such a fun and exciting form of marketing.
A pop up shop is a great opportunity to sell your product
If you are a massive brand like Coca-Cola, you can give away your products for free just to create buzz. For the rest of us, selling is still a key component. However there is flexibility. For example, you could give away free small samples or something unrelated to your products like free coffee in a cup that has your logo on it to create a positive brand-impression. As we said earlier, this room for creativity and experimentation is part of what makes pop up shops so appealing for companies at all sizes and stages.
If you’re just starting out, a pop up can be as simple as taking your online shop to the local markets or crafts fairs. Being a web store doesn’t mean you can never enter the real world, just take a look at what eBay did to interact with customers in their unique London pop up shop! Even if your pop up shop is a simple market stand, that’s no excuse to miss out on the branding opportunity! Bring a sign with your website and hashtag on it and make sure it’s prominently displayed to turn real life visitors into potential long-term customers. Make sure everything you sell includes a tag with your website on it as well. Consider having a giveaway that visitors need to give you a like on Facebook and sign up with their email in order to enter to win. This gets you email contacts, a valuable resource for marketing, and builds buzz around your brand, even just on the local level.
When to do it yourself
If you’re a bit more established, and have the resources, you might want to do it on your own. The most important thing to consider, before any other details, is location, location, location. Consider foot traffic, visibility, and accessibility. Once you’ve scouted out the perfect location, then you might try to create a sensation. For example, when Kate Spade opened a pop up shop in New York in the middle of the winter, they created a colorful and vibrant experience for shoppers to feel totally immersed in the world of Kate Spade. It didn’t hurt that they also offered shoppers free hot chocolate to warm up from the chilly weather! Of course, not everyone can build an igloo in the middle of Bryant Park. The point isn’t to have the capabilities of an international chain, but rather to be inspired by their creativity. What kind of unique structure can you create? If you can’t control the outside of your pop up shop, what can you do on the inside to make it an experience for visitors unlike any other store they might wander into?
Another thing that you can do to make your pop up shop venture a success is to consider the timing carefully. Is there a holiday or event that your company is especially poised to take advantage of? For example, everybody knows that Valentine’s Day is all about the boxes of chocolate. Not to be outdone, Godiva opened up a red and white pop up that let everyone get in on the Valentine’s joy, whether or not they had a date! Think about how you can use the calendar creatively. Even taking advantage of a fun, little-known holiday or Federal holiday is a great strategy for creating buzz about your business.
At the end of the day, what makes people take notice of a pop up shop is that it’s something different from the usual shopping experience. More than anything else, creating an experience for visitors is what will get them talking about your business and telling their friends. If you can get your pop up in the local media then that’s all the better! This is an opportunity to announce your presence, make the most of it!