When the famous and one of the most loved Indian brand, Chumbak started its first pop-up store in 2013, it scaled up to around 35 stores in major cities, including Gurgaon, Mumbai, and Bangalore in no time. While Chumbak was one of the first brands in India to foray into pop-up retail, it wasn’t the last. Brands like OnePlus and Nokia have also launched their pop-up stores in India. A plethora of other leading brands have explored pop-up retail globally.
The website Trendwatching.com coined the term ‘pop-up’ retail in 2004 and it is slowly, yet massively, picking up its pace nationwide.
A pop-up store is a temporary retail space opened by brands - usually the ones without a physical presence. It increases the brand’s awareness, drives more sales and helps customers indulge in a joyful physical retail experience.
For the retailers, a pop-up is a great way to test a location for future stores. Retailers do not need to sign long-term leases or spend a lot on promoting their brand at a commercial avenue in a pop-up retail set-up. It is a great way for brands with no physical presence to introduce themselves in the retail market. In 2017, Japanese brand Muji first opened a pop-up store in Canada, sensed the demand for its products and later opened a permanent retail outlet at Metrotown. Allbirds promoting their brand at a commercial avenue in a, a footwear company is yet another example of a brand that started as a pop-up store before opening a permanent location.
Pop-up stores can be designed and developed in a variety of shapes, sizes, and concepts. It can be in the form of a traditional brick-and-mortar store or a kiosk.
As a retailer, if you have your doubts about whether you should invest in a pop-up retail strategy, let us show you a few instances of how it can work in your favour.
Offer unique experiences
Creating in-person communication with your customers is the biggest takeaway from pop-up stores. According to Retail Dive, around 55% of customers prefer experiencing and exploring the product physically before buying it. There is no denying that when it comes to the importance of offering an immersive experience for shoppers, pop-up stores present a great window for digitally-native brands to leave a long-lasting impression on their customers.When done right, it leads to a greater digital footprint, social media buzz and a positive branding experience.
When the beauty brand Winky Lux first opened their pop-up store in Manhattan, New York, it changed the customers’ perceptions of retail shopping experience by making it Instagram-worthy. It was an instant hit among the shoppers as it offered them an incredible new shopping experience.
Host interactive events
Hosting events in pop-up stores is a quick way to attract your customers. Pop-up events are increasing significantly, offering experiential retailing at exciting new venues. Partnering with influencers, letting them host and curate events at your pop-up store will draw a huge young crowd base. Many brands incorporate events in their pop-ups, besides conducting press reviews, and engaging tête-à-tête sessions.
One such successful example of a pop-up store event comes from Penguin Living. Penguin Living is the lifestyle edition of Penguin Random House. It set up a pop-up book shop in London on International Women’s Day in 2018, offering titles by female writers.
Understand customer behaviour via analytics engine
Selling in-person merchandise gives your brand the benefit of tapping into the customer’s psyche in a particular geography by using the right analytics. Investing in a pop-up retail marketing strategy can help you identify where your most loyal customers are. Hence, a pop-up store can act as an indicator in a certain region for future business extensions. Understanding your customers’ preferences and affinity to a product, backed by metrics becomes easier with the help of a modular POS. The iRetail Suite of services allows retailers to track and analyse customers’ buying behaviour, both online and offline to help deliver a better customer experience. POS also allows you to collect emails of customers once they visit your pop-up store. Retailers can leverage those contact details to strengthen email marketing strategies. You can run promotional and customised offers, and messages with the captured audience and drive them towards your brand’s online presence.
Creates a buzz and instant sales
Big brands and celebrities have been engaging in pop-up stores for a long time now. K-pop sensation boy-band - BTS - in 2019, opened limited pop-up stores and fans went gaga over the brands’ merchandise. Tasting success, in 2020, it launched many pop-up stores across seven countries in Asia.
Kylie Jenner’s famous cosmetic brand often opens up pop-up stores across prime locations in L.A, New York, and Chicago. It witnesses limited collections flying off the shelves in no time.
E-commerce giant Amazon is on its way of converting almost 87 of its pop-up stores into permanent brick-and-mortar retail outlets.
Facilitates strategic growth
According to a retail survey, more than three-quarters of consumers prefer to see photos of products in real use on display before buying them.77% of the respondents said that authentic photos from customers affect their purchase decisions. Brands can manifest an increase in sales by capturing photos of shoppers while they visit the pop-up stores.
There are numerous times when a brand faces dead inventory in their warehouse or when certain products need to be sold before it ages or expires. Pop-up stores are a smart way to generate new revenue by selling excess inventory. Products with short shelf life can also be sold by a curated season sales in your pop-up store. Additionally, investing in an end-to-end POS that helps you in product procurement, coupled with its auto-replenishment engine, helps your further optimise your inventory.
Pop-up stores provide a plethora of benefits to existing business owners and digital brands. Some of them are:
- Helps in stockout sales, unloading and optimisinge inventory
- Tests out a new product line at a new location and lets you experiment in the market
- Aids investing in the expansion of your business by laying out a preliminary idea of the way shoppers are reacting to the new store
- Creates a sense of urgency and excitement for the brand
- Adds an additional revenue stream to your current brick-and-mortar model or online presence
- Saves cost with a minimal budget as you are renting a temporary space
- Increases brand visibility and reach with a large number of customers visiting the pop-up since there is a short time period to indulge in it
- Allows you to interact with your customers personally, which helps in influencing and predicting their buying preferences
- Leverage on holiday’s extra crowd as pop-up stores are a huge success during seasonal shopping
Pop-up stores are a relatively new concept, but are quickly gaining momentum. It is a flexible layout for retailers to experiment, gain insights and delight customers. So, are you ready to open your own pop-up store? Then, experience a one-stop solution that your shop needs for reporting and analytics, customer insights and employee performance with the iRetail suite. Request a demo to understand how we can help you handle the inventory management seamlessly for your pop-up store.