Today’s modern consumer era is embracing the POP-UP SHOP.. and for excellent reason! Consumer goods and services across all industries have been experimenting with this concept - from fashion, footwear, jewellery, art, coffee, ice cream, food and more! While the rest of retail has seen a overall decline since 2009, analysts actually claim that pop-ups have risen by 16% since then.
So what’s so great about the pop-up?
Why is it the perfect concept for both the retailer and the consumer?
Let’s start this off by first thinking about the ice cream truck. I would argue that the ice cream truck is one of the most timeless pop-up retail concepts. Regardless of age or demographic - you cannot deny a deep and overcoming feeling of excitement when you hear the tunes of the ice cream truck rolling into your ‘hood. It’s difficult to resist an ice cream truck purchase. But why?
The basic concept is this: temporary, in a non-standard location, and with limited inventory.
The following three key concept will divulge into the business strategy and consumer psychology behind the success of the pop-up shop!
- Cutting Costs
The cost of renting valuable real-estate can be astronomical, and therefore limit a small retailer from certain areas of a city. However, pop-ups are able to harness the availability of temporarily vacant units - where there is a short duration in between lease agreements or the city is planning some sort of redevelopment and tenants are moving out.
This means that the cost of rent in these otherwise desirable and high-cost units are smaller and shorter-term!
Pop-ups also allow you as a retailer to play around with optimising opening hours and limiting payment options. Instead of staffing the pop-up throughout all hours of the day, perhaps you limit opening hours to only high traffic times based on your industry. And instead of fitting the entire place out with cash tills and card machines, perhaps you only accept payment via low-cost POS systems such as Square, or Lightspeed.
- Increasing Curiosity
This concept plays directly back to the ice cream truck analogy. From a consumer point of view, there is something truly irresistible when a pop-up seemingly appears, unexpectedly and out of nowhere. At the very least, consumers feel the need to check it out and see what’s going on - which equates to drastically increased foot traffic in pop-ups compared to equivalent brick and mortar shops.
Additionally, many online shops are able to leverage the pop-up concept - only existing in-real-life for a limited time. This massively increases curiosity and creates urgency surrounding sales!
- Testing a Niche
Pop-ups allows retailers to test out different demographics of consumers. Perhaps you’re a coffee shop owner doing really well in the hipster nook of the city, but with a slight inclination that you might find success in the financial district. While a full long-term lease would involve huge expansion plans, the pop-up idea overcomes barriers to entry in allowing you to test out different locations and demographics.
The pop-up further allows you to experiment with different approaches to social media, brand voice, and the overall vibe of your shop. The pop-up becomes its own little silo that does not necessarily have to follow the existing flow of the brand or shop.
If you’re looking to get some inspiration from some of the most impressive pop-ups to date, this Oddee blog is a good start!