The Essentials of Hosting a Successful Pop-Up Shop

In the past decade, pop-up shops have become a rising trend in the business world. Pop-up shops–temporary shopping spaces where brands can connect with customers in person–have proven effective in helping brands build name recognition and attract customers.

In this post we’ll begin by exploring a few of the benefits of hosting a pop-up shop, followed by essential steps for hosting a successful pop-up shop.

Why Should You Host a Pop-Up Shop?

Pop-up shops provide a number of benefits for companies ranging from established brands with existing storefronts to brands that primarily sell online and smaller businesses seeking to grow. Here are a few benefits a pop-up shop can provide:

 icon-check-circle-o Build connections with your existing customers

One key benefit of hosting a pop-up shop is connecting with customers. No matter the size of your brand, pop-up shops create valuable opportunities to build lasting relationships with your existing customers by offering them a unique, personal experience.

 icon-check-circle-o Introduce your brand to potential new customers

In addition to existing customers, pop-up shops are a great way to attract new customers. According to Statista, 49% of customers who visit pop-up shops do so out of curiosity. A pop-up shop’s physical presence and unique customer experience draws in visitors who may be unfamiliar with your brand and gives them a chance to connect with staff and learn about your products.

 icon-check-circle-o Provide a socially distanced, smaller scale retail experience

During the COVID-19 pandemic, brands have been able to maintain business by hosting pop-up shops in outdoor locations where social distancing regulations can be easily enforced. This smaller scale setting can also allow larger businesses to focus on promoting a smaller subset of product offerings to customers within a distinctive retail experience.

 icon-check-circle-o Advertise a new product or offering

The unique experience of a pop-up shop can be a great way to specifically promote a new product or offering. The temporary and social media-friendly nature of a pop-up shop makes it an excellent vehicle for generating buzz over a new product. It also allows customers to experience the product at a physical location.

 icon-check-circle-o Allow customers to shop physically at a traditionally online store

For businesses that rely primarily on ecommerce, pop-up shops provide a key opportunity to connect with customers in person and give them the chance to view and try out products. Pop-up shop experiences can increase brand awareness for such businesses and build relationships with both existing and new customers.

 icon-check-circle-o Test the waters before opening up a physical store

For ecommerce stores seeking to open up a physical location, hosting a pop-up shop provides a chance to test the success of a physical store in a certain location over a temporary period. A pop-up shop also increases brand awareness and can help generate a customer base for a future physical location.

Essential Steps for Hosting a Successful Pop-Up Shop

So now that you know how a pop-up shop can benefit your business, what should you do to ensure that your pop-up shop is profitable? Make sure to take the following five essential steps in order to host a successful pop-up shop.

#1. Choose an accessible location and hours

Pick a temporary retail location accessible to a mix of foot and car traffic, with ample parking nearby. You have a lot of flexibility with location options, which can include vacant storefronts, dedicated pop-up space, an outdoor mall or park, space within an existing retail store, gallery space, or a mobile van or truck. In addition, make sure your hours will be compatible with your target market’s availability.

#2. Market your pop-up

Marketing is crucial to ensure that customers hear about and show up to your pop-up shop. Social media is one of the most effective tools for attracting pop-up audiences. Start posting eye-catching sneak previews a few months or weeks in advance and consider creating an exclusive event hashtag. For maximum exposure, combine virtual advertising with physical promotion techniques such as billboards and flyers.

#3. Create a unique experience

One of the main reasons customers visit pop-up shops is for an entertaining experience, so make sure to deliver. The options are endless, as long as you provide something that’s fun for your visitors and inspires them to spread the word about your pop-up.

#4. Connect with customers

Pop-up shops are a key opportunity to build lasting relationships with new or existing customers, translating into increased business and brand awareness. Staff should make sure each guest gets personal attention and provide in-store opportunities to sign up for a mailing list or follow your social media accounts.

#5. Ensure a strong WiFi connection

Finally, make sure your guests will have easy access to social media so that they can share posts while on-site and increase awareness about the event and your brand. Additionally, if your POS system is connected to WiFi, a strong Internet connection will enable quick and smooth transactions.

For more helpful pop-up shop tips, check out this infographic below from Thimble:

Please include attribution to Thimble with this graphic.

About the Author!

Emily is a content creator in Austin, Texas, who loves her dog, her roller skates and a good documentary. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, you can find her plotting her next trip to Big Bend National Park or making and deleting online shopping carts.

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