This article originally appeared on India Retailing, India’s leading retail intelligence portal since 2006.
Stores that appear and disappear in the blink of an eye, welcome to the world of Pop-Up stores.
Tristan Pollock, entrepreneur and co-founder of Storefront, recently elaborated on how and why Pop-Up stores are changing the retail game, “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.”
Estimated to bring in an annual revenue of close to 50 billion in the US alone, Pop-Up stores are great at creating brand value, generating sales and increasing customer satisfaction. When you consider that this amounts to 16% of the online retail market, it’s a clear indication that Pop-Ups are here to stay.
By creating these exclusive outlets, brands bringing a customer-centric approach to their marketing differentiates their brand from the impersonal, online and big retail store shopping experiences. According to a PopUp Republic survey in the US, the top three reasons to shop or visit a pop-up store, were to find seasonal products (61%), to find unique services or products (39% ) and to shop locally (36%).
But before planning your Pop-Up store, it is important to keep in mind exactly what kind of store works best for your brand and retail objectives. Let’s take a look at some types of Pop-Up stores out there.
Imagine the delight of the customer when they enter a store only to find another mini store inside. This store-within-store concept works for both special product promotion and to co-promote products for the benefit of existing retail customers. Best Buy uses a store-within-a-store to focus on some of the newest products that are being launched. They created an LG Experience Store to showcase the latest televisions and to educate customers about the latest advancements in TV picture quality.
As described, these kind of Pop-Up stores are available for a limited time only, enhancing their exclusivity and enticing customers to purchase. Footwear retailer Jordan opened a 24-hour Pop-Up Store in Toronto which allowed customers access to their limited edition footwear. The store paid tribute to Michael Jordan’s jersey number by opening at 6:23 am.
Standalone Pop-Up stores are similar to stand-alone stores by being physically removed from other retailers. Similar in concept to stores-with-stores, these Pop-Up stores can be used to sell products in areas where a large store cannot be established or to access holiday crowds. Bargain store Aldi created a standalone wine store to sell their bargain wines. The store helped bring the supermarket’s wine range to wider audience.
Mobile/Portable Pop-Up stores
Portable Pop-Up stores are usually built inside a car or a bus. The advantage of this kind of Pop-Up store is that it can obviously go wherever the crowds are. Nivea sells many of its products through its mobile Pop-Up store called the Nivea Moving Store. They focus on selling skin care products like moisturisers and skin creams to people while they are travelling out in the sun. Tesla also launched a mobile Pop-Up of its Tesla Mobile Container Store to showcase the company’s electric cars. The store has interactive displays and even allows users to test drive the Model S.
The feeling of exclusivity or Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is a great way to grab instant customer attention. Retailers can tap into this by creating Pop-Up Stores that are by invitation only. Customers are not only made to feel special when they are invited to such events, and they are also more likely to share news and products from the event with their peers. Revolve Social Club recently generated a lot of publicity for their brand when they opened an invite only Pop-Up store to high spenders, influencers and stylists.
Farmers markets and art fairs that showcase the local produce and goods are a great way of reaching customers who are looking to buy local. For retailers who are building a clientele in a neighbourhood, this is a great way of getting your brand in front of customers. There are in fact a growing number of fresh food retailers and farms using bus stops and transit stations as locations for pop-up style markets.
Considering today’s level of competition amongst retailers to improve customer experience, it’s quite certain that there is more to be seen in the Pop-Up format.
According to Pop-Up expert Melissa Gonzalez (author of the book ‘Pop Up Paradigm’) “Customer’s expectations continue to shift and Pop-Up stores have provided the ideal environment for experimentation and experiential design.”
So when choosing the best Pop-Up store type to use, keep in mind that different Pop-Up stores serve different purposes while attracting customers. Don’t hesitate to experiment as you seek a Pop-Up style that best represents your brand.