The benefits of a pop up shop for online stores (a physical touch point)
Here’s an on-line brand who’s worked hard to make their physical pop up a success – we’re sharing some thoughts and tips…
A couple of weeks ago I posted the join the dots to pop up article – discussing how we occasionally put like-minded people in contact, to see if there could be opportunities to pop up together. As a bit of an update… the brand I mentioned in that article is almost ready to open their latest pop up venture, in collaboration with another brand who found them via the popUPshops Melbourne site !
In that “join the dots” article I quoted a comment from Jocelyn, owner of Outside the Bubble “…I loved hearing the customers’ feedback, always highlighting how unique and beautiful the pieces were. It was a great experience and taught us a huge amount about how our customers think and what they really want….”). Jocelyn had sent me comments and tips from her initial pop up experience – those thoughts were so relevant that I suggested there’d be more to come. And so… this is a direct copy and paste from Jocelyn’s message (reproduced with her kind permission…) :
“Outside the Bubble – unique designer accessories from around the world.
A pop up shop in Melbourne’s bayside area was the first physical touchpoint for our store. I loved hearing the customers’ feedback, always highlighting how unique and beautiful the pieces were. It was a great experience and taught us a huge amount about how our customers think and what they really want.
The pop up shop offered our business real benefits and we’d definitely recommend the experience to online retailers. As a temporary installation you get the advantages of having a store without the commitment and pressure of ongoing costs. It provides brand exposure, drives business to your online offering (if you have one – highly recommended!) and gives your brand a credibility that could take three times as long to build online. People get to see, touch and experience your products in real life. Once they’ve seen the quality of the goods, they feel more comfortable buying other products from you online in the future. You also get to interact on a human level and hear customer feedback which is invaluable! Online when a customer walks away, you don’t always get the chance to find out why. Social proof and online chat are great, but nothing beats the opportunity to connect with customers in real time, face to face.
One tip I’d offer is you can have the best products in the world, but if you’re not in a high foot traffic area you will have to work twice as hard to get people in the door. What you save in rental you will likely make up for in promotional costs, so weigh up your options in terms of location. Some other things to think about:
– Is your store near other busy stores?
– Do the surrounding stores fit your look and feel?
– Can you afford to set up your store primarily as a branding and market research exercise?
– How much can you spend on advertising and promotion of the store?
– What free publicity can you generate for the pop up through social media sharing and networks?
Just like an online store, you can’t just build it and they will come (unless you’re in a shopping mall, then your chances are far better!). Expect to promote the store and also expect that your sales may not always cover your expenditure. You’ll have good days and bad days and nothing is a given, so it’s best to go in with the expectation that you will build your brand and find out what your customers want, rather than make a million :)”
If anyone else is interested to join Outside the Bubble for a Melbourne pop up… feel free to contact Jocelyn directly by email.
image : www.branddrivendigital.com – Google Images
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