Pop up shops or temporary retail are all the rage, or so it seems. People love the idea of the shop ‘popping up’ in a local shopping centre or on the high street, and with curiosities piqued, consumers grab what feels like bargain after bargain.
If it was that easy, we would all be doing it. So why is temporary retail more prevalent in some places than others? Why are pop ups shops more successful than others… ?
The short answer is that some pop ups shops get their branding, presence and image right – from having well-designed and printed roller banners and posters, with quality colour graphics announcing their arrival and telling the passing Paper Bags in Vietnam populace what they are all about.
And, it is not just start-ups that are doing it; established names and brands are realising the impact that pop ups shops can have… so how do you assure yourself of success?
Start with a plan
Just like a conventional style business, to simply launch yourself off the edge and hope your wings catch the thermal is a rather foolish leap. On one hand, you could soar, but on the other you could plummet fast with a load of other rubbish and debris landing on you.
‘Pop up’ and ‘temporary’ are not by-words for ‘suck it and see’. You need to know what you are selling and to who. You will need a budget – you will have rent to pay, if only for a short time frame – as well as other overheads. You need to meet all of these as well as pay yourself and any staff; hopefully, there will be some profit in it too.
Advertise and marketing
Just like ALL businesses effective advertising and marketing is key. Do not assume that opening the doors and watching the masses flood in will be the way forward. Pop up events and shops are not just for one day; if you have 3 months’ worth of rent to find for a shop, marketing your pop up business to the local population (and beyond) is not luxury, but a necessity.
Many consumers do approach pop up shops, it has to be said, with a lower expectation than a traditional shop but rather than being offended by this, harness this to your advantage. Offer the best in everything from the way you engage with customers as they enter your temporary emporium to how you package their purchases, to bidding them goodbye. Consumers do not pre-plan a visit to a pop up shop, and you need to bear this in mind. Your shop front and presence needs to be clearly marked, and roller banners are a great way of telling people what you are all about…
Simplicity is key
And this relates specifically to signage. You want it to do so many things that it can be difficult to keep it clear, precise and simple.
Engage, engage, engage!
There is no doubt that pop up shops or events are all about in the moment consumer purchases; they are about urgency, they are about excitement and being different and the only way to do this is to engage with the people who express an interest in what you are doing and why.
Be as informative as you can, and remember that leaping on every potential customer can be just as off-putting as no one talking to a consumer. Gentle persuasion rather than brute force…