If you’ve ever thought about having a brick-and-mortar shop but weren’t sure if your niche was the right niche, you might first want to try a pop-up shop. What is a pop-up shop? Pop-up shops, sometimes also referred to as flash retail stores, are generally a temporary albeit fully functional “brick and mortar venue“ where brands can allow customers the true experience of what they’re selling. Experts agree that they’re very easy to set up and take down, and the cost versus a more traditional storefront, is going to be far more doable, especially if you’re just starting out.
Why Consider a Pop-up Shop
Because a pop-up shop can in fact look like a regular store, this is an ideal way to give a brick-and-mortar venture a trial run. It is also a great way to introduce consumers to what you have to sell. Versus simply going online and scrolling through a catalog, they now get to touch and see firsthand your products. This in turn brings your engagement with those customers to a whole new level.
Furthermore, as noted, pop-up shops can be relatively inexpensive to set up. In fact, you might be able to accomplish the whole setup for around 2 to $3000.
Some places where you might consider having your pop-up store:
- A kiosk or some other such space in the mall
- A downtown storefront that is currently vacant and would consider a temporary situation such as a pop-up
- A space in a gallery or some other such event
- You could also do a small stall within an already existing store that agrees to partner with you
- A mobile truck or trailer that you outfit to suit your brand and can consequently move around
Choosing a Location for Your Pop-up Shop
Once you figure out exactly what type of pop-up shop you want to have, be it a mobile venue or a stall in a larger facility, then you have to pinpoint a specific geographic location. And we’re not just talking here about a town or community. Think in terms of where foot traffic might be. Also, think about the reputation of a specific area or event. If for example, you do have a stall at a special festival, is that festival the right one for your brand? Is it a good fit? In terms of considering a pop-up shop location, fit really is integral to the success of your endeavor.
Another thing you have to think about is the surrounding competition. If you’re doing a pop-up store and there are already well-established brands nearby with more traditional stores, this could work against you. On the other hand, some experts agree that introducing something new in the context of more established entities can be a good thing. You might be seen as a disruptor – in a positive way.
The Rent for Your Temporary Store
While a pop-up store is going to be far less expensive than opening a traditional store, you still have to consider all of the costs involved. Perhaps your biggest cost for a pop-up shop is going to be the rent. This is why once you’ve identified a venue and space, you want to make sure you have all the details regarding the rent and what is included. Some questions you might want to ask regarding rent:
- Is it going to be a weekly or monthly fee? Some people may even charge a daily fee. Get the details upfront.
- What exactly is included with your rent? For example, are certain utilities included or are they extra?
- Are modifications allowed to the space? In an ideal world, the space you rent will be perfectly suited to your brand. However, the reality is we often find we have to make changes. Are changes allowed? And to what extent?
- Are they requiring a deposit? Make sure you know exactly what that deposit goes toward and how you are able to get it back.
The Benefits of Opening a Pop-up Shop
For the most part, people are apt to say that a pop-up shop can be a very good thing…If it’s done right. They can help bolster your brand, reach new clientele, and help you score some sales. Among some of the key benefits of opening a pop-up style store:
- It’s an affordable way to test the waters. If you have been thinking about opening a permanent storefront but you’re not sure, a pop-up is a great way to see if this is the right path for you.
- It can be an exciting way to generate buzz. People love new things, and they love visiting new venues. Pop-ups do tend to generate some serious buzz.
- There’s less risk involved. Even if your shop is a flop, you’re only committed for a short term. Then, you can go back to the drawing board and figure out a new strategy.
- It helps create a sense of urgency. Because you’re only there for a short time, people may be inspired to buy now rather than later fearing your store will close before they have a chance to purchase.
As you can see, pop-up shops can be an excellent experiment for any brand. And it doesn’t have to lead to a more traditional brick-and-mortar store. It can just be a short-term marketing strategy to help boost your sales. The key again is to make sure it’s done right.
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