Manthan is delighted to share with you the thoughts of Tristan Pollock, entrepreneur in residence and venture partner at 500 startups. He is the co-founder of Storefront. Storefront is an online marketplace for finding and renting short-term retail space. Tristan gives us valuable insights on pop-up stores and how they are creating new experiences in retail.

MANTHAN: Tell us how and why pop-up stores are changing the retail game.

TRISTAN: Pop-up stores are more nimble than long-term stores. Think of it as lean retail. Up and coming brands and artists can now use retail to put on day, week and month-long experiences quickly and at a much lower cost than a 5-10 year lease.

MANTHAN: How can retailers leverage pop-up shops to extend their omnichannel strategy?

TRISTAN: Retailers can use pop-up stores to do exclusive events, test new markets, put stores in urban areas they haven’t reached before, and create new experiences that draw their customers in during specific times of the year. They can also host pop-in shops in their own stores to keep their experience fresh as consumer tastes change.

MANTHAN: Which type of retailer do you see experimenting the most with pop-up stores?

TRISTAN: Emerging brands are doing some of the coolest things with pop-up stores. Take Kanye West’s Yeezus brand that he promoted through pop-up shops while touring the US, or Combatant Gentleman in LA, or Ministry of Supply in NYC. All of these brands created amazing experiences for 3-7 days and then disappeared back online.

MANTHAN: Outside of sales how do retailers measure the success of their pop-up stores?

TRISTAN: You may have other goals beyond sales. Think brand exposure of the pop-up via press or Instagram posts mentioning a hashtag. You could have an email newsletter sign up to walk in the door, or a pre-order list. You could even send an NPS or Worthix survey sent post event.

MANTHAN: Do you think advanced analytics can play a role in helping retailers continue their customer relationship beyond the pop-up store?

TRISTAN: Use of in-store foot traffic tracking or mobile phone observation will be key in the future. Beacon services like Beacons in Space or Rover will significantly allow for more personalization in store and online tying the customer experience together seamlessly.

Thank you, Tristan.