Manthan recently caught up with Melissa Gonzalez, founder of Lionesque Group and author of “The Pop-Up Paradigm”.

Nicknamed the Pop-up Queen by Brand Channel, Melissa is also the recipient of the Retail Innovator of the Year award 2015 from Retail Touchpoints. Today she sheds light on how Pop-up stores are changing the retail industry.

MANTHAN: You’ve been called the Pop-up Queen by Brand Channel. Tell us how and why  pop-up stores are changing the retail game.

MELISSA: Customer’s expectations continue to shift and pop-up stores have provided the ideal environment for experimentation and experiential design. Technology has pushed the envelope and more and more, you can see major retailers such as Sonos and brands like Samsung and Ray-Ban incorporating this mindset into their permanent stores as well.

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

MELISSA: The connection of online and offline in-store is becoming more and more accessible, with the right technology integration and planning. It takes a concerted effort on the part of brands to ensure that the merchandising and marketing teams are in-sync and constantly communicating.

Customers want consistency and delivering that across channels is how you build trust.

Visual example at the Carbon38 Beach House (Pop-Up Store) in Bridgehampton

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

MELISSA: It’s become pretty universal across industries such as apparel, footwear, food, publishing, luggage, travel, bedding…

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

MELISSA: There are a number of qualitative and quantitative metrics to use, which are detailed in Chapter 14 in my book “The Pop-Up Paradigm

Because it’s a short-term experience that should have a long-term impact, you can’t just examine immediate sales when you consider a pop-up’s ROI.

You need to think about:

  1. What products are selling best and why?
  2. How is the pop-up increasingmarketing awareness?
  3. Is the pop-up allowing us to demonstrate our product?

You can use your POS system and sensory technology to learn more or you can utilize the pop-up experience to increase brand awareness by putting proper incentives in place to get people to speak about your brand over social channels.

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

MELISSA: Yes, absolutely. A pop-up store is a huge, vocal customer test group! Tracking technology can be integrated from door sensor, to heat mapping, to beacons (depending on budget). And both your POS and social media channels are also great ways to collect data.

Thank you Melissa!