Despite the popularity of online shopping, many retail businesses are changing their model for targeting customers. Even though most consumers shop online using mobile devices, many brands are embracing multiple forms of shopping and ensuring that both websites and stores are part of their marketing approach. With a physical presence and an ecommerce platform, they can reach more consumers in different ways. So, many brands that have been solely ecommerce are exploring brick and mortar stores with pop-up shops.
A pop-up shop is the short-term use of physical space to create a long-term impression with potential consumers. It allows retailers to share their brand in an environment that creates a “hand-on” shopping experience while increasing the visibility and awareness of their brands. With offline pop-up shops, which can last from two weeks to several months, customers engage by handling items, trying products, and making online purchases through in-store computers. As pop-up shops grow in popularity, they are growing in demand. Malls have even started reserving space specifically for pop-up shops.
While the benefits of a pop-up shop are many, each brand will have different goals for doing one and will expect to achieve different outcomes and experiences. Besides building brand awareness, engaging with customers, and generating revenue, here are five notable reasons to consider a pop-up shop.
1. Engage Customers Offline
Not being able to try a product before purchasing can be a hindrance for some shoppers. Many consumers like to be able to physically touch a product before buying it, which makes the shopping experience more enticing. With offline pop-up shops, they can do that. Studies show that “webrooming,” which refers to a shopping process that starts with online browsing and ends with buying in-store, is happening more today than ever before. This type of shopping allows customers to touch and test brands before making a purchase, and thus, increases sales.
2. Create a Sense of Urgency and Exclusivity
Pop-up shops are open for a limited time for consumers to engage with retailers and purchase products. As a result, it creates a sense of urgency for customers, especially for those trying new brands. Since the opportunity to have a hands-on experience is not going to be around for long time, customers are more apt to visit and to buy. Additionally, scarcity drives action for those consumers that want exclusive, limited editions or products they typically cannot get. It provides an ideal opportunity for a retailer to capitalize.
3. Market Merchandise around a Sale, Season, or Holiday
Offline pop-up shops are particularly effective for a sale, a seasonal product, or a holiday. It does not matter if consumers are looking for items for a special occasion like a birthday, for an annual holiday like Christmas, or just for a bargain, tying a brand to a holiday and giving consumers a location to visit is a great way to contact existing customers, target new consumers, and generate business that may not have be obtained without a physical presence and just an ecommerce platform.
4. Educate New Customers
With a pop-up shop, brands can learn how existing marketing collateral performs with actual customers while getting real-time feedback on how it can be improved. Educating potential consumers with a “live” demonstration or opportunity to try a product before purchasing is an effective way to access early adopters. It can also be useful for sharing the value of a brand to get people intrigued enough to either become customers on the spot or prospects that can be targeted online.
5. Create an Experience-based Brand
Pop-up shops provide some advantages that brands cannot get online. Companies can speak with customers (and vice versa) to establish a relationship and understand how they interact with the brand. Through direct contact, they can also offer unique experiences to engage customers. In addition to showcasing products in real life, they can give a demonstration, convey benefits, and share third-party endorsements. Besides leading to sales, testimonials are helpful for content production and new ideas for re-merchandising a product.
While these are just a few benefits of offline pop-up shops, there are many more, like building stronger relationships with customers, launching new products, and testing new markets. Most importantly, they boost online sales. By collecting customer information, brands can follow-up with first-time shoppers and track returning customers.
As the competition to market and sell online remains aggressive, having a multichannel approach is becoming a necessity. The shift to using pop-up shops as an offline channel to target consumers and to drive online sales is a trend that is likely to continue.