How Pop Up Shops Help You Become a Trusted Consumer Engagement Brand

Online retailers have many benefits over their brick-and-mortar brethren. They are more affordable. Often the only costs are for the ecommerce platform, inventory, and employees. There are no hours to an ecommerce shop, so sales can occur 24/7 – delivering a seamless, on-demand experience. Consumer data is readily available, in fact supplying data is a natural component of online purchasing. So, ecommerce retailers can easily understand not only who their clients are but also where they live and the best ways to serve them.

Despite these benefits, there will always be one area where brick-and-mortar triumphs: the ability to personally connect with consumers. In fact, a recent report from the cloud computing company Salesforce, titled State of the Connected Customer, examines the way technology has permanently impacted and altered the shopping experience and made some very enlightening discoveries.

One finding of the research was that, despite the many ways that consumers felt that technology had improved their shopping experience, they did not want technology to get in the way of a personal connection. In fact, 66 percent of said they were extremely or somewhat likely to switch brands if they felt like they were being treated like a number rather than an individual.

In addition, nearly 80 percent of consumers said that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. This not only includes personal, one-on-one interactions but it also consists of the expectation for an innovative and exciting shopping experience. Fifty-seven percent of consumers said it is very important or absolutely critical for companies they purchase from to be innovative.

To top it all off, retailers are on a shorter leash than ever before. Customer loyalty is inexorably tied to the customer’s experience. Fifty percent of consumers are willing to dump one brand for another if they don’t feel appreciated. And they won’t stay silent about their experiences, either. Seventy-two percent of shoppers will share a positive experience while 62 percent will share a negative one.

The good news is that ecommerce retailers already have to tools to meet these consumer demands. First of all, the majority of ecommerce retailers have the technological infrastructure to answer the requirements of the connected customer. As for the one-on-one interaction, ecommerce retailers can solve this problem by including pop up shops as part of their business strategy.

Pop-up shops enable ecommerce retailers to move their brand into the real world.

A wonderful aspect to pop up shops is that there is no single tactic to how they can be deployed, which is ideal since every online retailer will implement their stores in a different manner. Some retailers may only want a shop that lasts a couple of days. Others may create an experience that sticks around for a few years. Some may choose to have several stores pop up throughout the calendar year. While others may only need to have specific seasonal offerings.

Here are four tips for ecommerce retailers looking to create an innovative pop-up experience:

Identify an overall goal and establish a plan.

There are a wide variety of reasons to host a pop-up shop, and all of them have an impact on the store’s overall layout and design.

  • Create buzz or brand awareness

  • Test out an innovative marketing idea

  • Launch a new product

  • Promote a specialized item, line, or designer

  • Test out a new market

  • Drum up social media mentions

  • Promote sales items

  • Clear out some old inventory

  • Showcase in-person demos

  • Promote holiday and seasonal merchandise sales

  • And many more

Whatever you are hoping to accomplish with your pop up, let that goal drive your overall strategy. Don’t get bogged down by trying to achieve several different targets or agendas. You have a limited timeframe with your pop up. Remain focused, and you will have a better chance at success.

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Be thoughtful when selecting your location.

As an ecommerce retailer, you have plenty of data on your consumers. This is the time to use it.

How you use it, again, that’s up to you. You may decide that it makes sense to set up a pop up in an area that’s dense with your existing customers. However, it may be more prudent, based on your goals, to set up shop in an area with low saturation of your brand.

After you’ve identified a general neighborhood, find a spot that will be heavy with foot traffic. Also, be sure to research the surrounding stores. It is ideal to find nearby shops that will cater to a similar customer as your shop, without being in direct competition with them.

However, you may want to find a unique location for your shop. A pop up can be placed anywhere, which is part of what gives them their edge. On a beach, under a bridge, in the middle of a park: if you can find the right location (and get the permits), you can set a pop up there (and our mobile architectural structures are the perfect portable buildings to host an outdoor pop up).

Build buzz and social media chatter.

By their very nature, pop-up stores are electrifying. It’s their temporary nature that turns shopping into an event and drums up this anticipation. When customers are in the shop, they cannot afford to hesitate. If they want something, they need to buy it. It’s not just that the product might not be there when they go back – the entire shop could be gone forever.

Use this same thrill to build up expectations on social media. Create a hashtag for your event and use it as often as you can. Try to connect with social media influencers. Depending on their status they may agree to promote your event in exchange for products or services (there’s even a slight chance they will work for free, but a greater chance they will ask for payment).

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Don’t be afraid to rethink a floundering concept.

You came up with the perfect concept. You found a great location. You promoted the pop up on social media at a bewildering pace. Everything appeared to be perfect, but, for whatever reason, the crowds are not meeting your expectations.

Look, even the best-laid plans can go awry. The situation is not as dire as you may think. You’re not locked into a permeant location; it’s a pop-up shop, which, by design, is intended to be flexible. Be flexible yourself and tweak the concept. Determine what’s not working and workshop some fixes. Changes can be made on the fly and at any time in a pop up.

Even a shop that is considered successful can play around with the strategy and make adjustments to see if attendance can hit new highs or sales can bump up even more.

Pop-up shops provide ecommerce retailers with the opportunity to put a friendly face on their brand. It’s a way to deliver an innovate experience to your loyal fans your new consumers.

For some groundbreaking ideas for how to translate your ecommerce brand into a pop-up concept and to learn more about our mobile architectural structures, give Event Architecture a call at 972-323-9433.

sofia krsmanovic