What is a Pop-Up Shop?

A relatively new concept, pop-up shops are definitely no longer considered a trend. Not only are pop-up shops constantly occurring all around the world, but they are proving indispensable to online retailers especially. A temporary storefront, pop-up shops allow merchants to physically interact and get in front of diverse audience. And, because they’re temporary, they allow retailers the security of not needing to commit to a physical space for years at a time. While some pop-ups do last several months at a time, most operate under a much shorter timeline, often opening and closing doors in a matter of weeks. In some cases, a pop-up shop does prove so successful that a former online retailer only will decide to open up a permanent physical space.

In order to set up a successful pop-up shop, a merchant has to find a viable space, which means it has an owner that is happy to accommodate the nature of these temporary stores. Oftentimes, pop-ups happen in collaboration with an already established physical retailer. This retailer will typically allow the pop-up space to happen within their store, renting out a portion of their space to create a store-within-a-store type of vibe. In some cases, pop-up shops find vacant space and make an agreement to use the space for a short period of time, giving the owner temporary income without having to make building modifications that are typical when a new permanent store signs a lease.

While the temporary nature of a pop-up shop is a big reason why so many online retailers opt to pop, the underlying reason why is that they really do boost sales. While online shopping has never been higher, the numbers still pale in comparison to physical stores. So, by becoming a physical store, even if just momentarily, most online retailers notice a big uptick in terms of sales. (Not to mention, they gain more future online customers with the brand exposure.)

In order to make a pop-up shop successful, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The appearance and design of the store and storefront need to be innovative and engaging in order to generate buzz and to attract people in off the street.
  • The location of the pop-up needs to be easily accessible with great foot-traffic for best results.
  • The overall experience of the pop-up shop needs to be one people will tell people about. The best pop-ups always grow huge because of word-of-mouth fans.
  • People need to know you’re a pop-up — and exactly when you’re planning on leaving. This type of scarcity is great for business and ensures people actually start coming in, rather than them just saying that they will.

Overall, pop-up shops are one of the best ways to test the market, connect with your audience, boost sales, and build brand recognition — and all at a fraction of the cost of what it would take to set up a permanent location.

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