The Power of
Picture it. You’re the owner of a surf shop, the sun is shining and everyone is spending their summer days at the beach. But the town is quiet, so after some planning you take it upon yourself to take your merchandise to your target market; the beach goers. You follow the crowds, set up your makeshift stall, and one by one the punters start to notice you and browse your wares. Your pop-up shop has worked, and you’re getting more attention here than you would have done by staying put at your shop. Job well done.
So what is a pop-up shop? Long story short, they are a retailer making use of a temporary, short term accommodation to showcase their wares. This means legitimately hiring a space for a few hours/days/weeks and then leaving to go elsewhere or return to your bricks & mortar shop.
Who are pop-ups meant for?
Pop-ups have become vastly popular in the food and beverage industry, with lots of pop-ups coming together to create one big event where customers can gather and try a variety of delightful dishes.
It’s not just exclusive to the food industry though. This concept can be applied generously to all manner of industries. Shops, stalls, restaurants, activities, entertainment, legal services, home improvements. They’re usually temporarily based in a retail unit of some sort. Or a van. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Walls don’t matter. It’s all about being in the right place, in front of the right people, at the right time.
Location, location, location
Choosing the right location for your pop-ups comes down to two things: Footfall & Permission.
Footfall: The whole point about a pop up is literally popping up right where the people are. And the right kind of people. Think about the ice-cream van at the beach. People pitching meal subscriptions to busy commuters at the station. Ponchos and Pimms outside the cricket pavilion. Burger vans at building sites. Who buys what you sell? Where are they likely to be?
Permission: A good location is one thing but you’ll need a little consent. While some may prefer to seek forgiveness rather than permission, we have to advocate permission. If it’s private commercial property, be sure to ask the bill payer’s permission. If you’re talking a road, path, beach or any other public area then ask your local council about whether you need a street trading licence.
How do I make one?
Sure, it’s amazing if you have a spare shipping container and a friend that’s good with their tools. But it’s really not necessary. Some of the beautiful things about fabric displays are that they are affordable, lightweight, waterproof and easy to assemble.
Pull a gazebo out of the bag in minutes. Or simply stand by a flag. The surf shop example had a gazebo, two flags, a desk with branded tablecloth, some deckchairs and rails for their clothes. But you can start small, or mix and match to create your own space.
You’re going to need a way to take payments on the day. There are lots of good mobile card processing providers such as iZettle, Square, Paypal to name a few.
You can decide that you are going to do a pop-up, but how will people know to come? Of course you’ll have passers by if you picked a good location, but what else will you do to get word out?
Get active on social media: What could you do that’s remarkable and worth talking about? Could you brand up a giant deckchair and make that a photo opportunity worth sharing? What offers could you do? Doesn’t have to be much, just some little reward or up-sell voucher for a share or mention to help spread the word.
Set up an event webpage: At the very least, advertise your event on Eventbrite. Or better still create a one-pager to promote the event and allow people to sign up for exclusive deals. You can even add a countdown page to build excitement. Or you could write a blog article about the event and have the post give useful information about what else there is to do in the area. That kind of value adding is appreciated by both real people and Google bots alike.
Get physical: When pulling the local punters is the priority, nothing is quite as effective as handing out flyers or vouchers in the local area. Be sure to include a little map. Combine this with some simple way finding signs and posters to direct people to your door. Or, checkout (because, who needs doors?). Why not ramp up the attention by having someone meander and mingle wearing a branded backpack flag. Instant talking point.
Got the passion for pop-ups?
We love to help you plan your event! Ask us for advice about your next pop-up…
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