Benefits of a pop-up shop

Benefits of a pop-up shop

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Pop-up shops are a nifty way for businesses that are looking to get into physical retail to test the waters before taking the leap, but they also offer a whole heap of benefits to businesses of all shapes and sizes.

In this article, we’ll cover the ins and outs of pop-up shops, including what they’re all about, who can open one, the benefits pop-up shops can offer, and how to get started.

Without further ado, let’s hop to it, or should we say pop to it?

What is a pop-up shop?

A pop-up shop is a temporary brick-and-mortar store typically run by online businesses, the pop-up trend has grown steadily over recent years, being tested by the likes of Amazon and Google.

According to online retail expert Shopify, pop-up shops are set to surge in the coming months as consumers actively seek out a connection with brands in a physical environment in a post-covid world. 

Pop-ups are super flexible, and can be operated in many different ways, for example:

  • By partnering with an established business and renting a small space within their premises.
  • Hiring a booth at a fair, market, or another event.
  • By renting an empty shop for a short-term period. 

Who can open a pop-up shop?

While oftentimes pop-up shops are run by online businesses, there are also perks up for grabs for existing on-prem businesses by exploring the pop-up route.

All that to say, any and all businesses can benefit from the pop-up phenomenon. 

Is now the right time to open a pop-up shop?

At this point, you might be thinking a pop-up shop is counterintuitive given how the world was forced online thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Actually, many marketing experts are predicting change ahead, as shoppers who’ve missed out on real-life experiences seek ‘revenge’ and want to make up for lost time and indulge in a little (physical) retail therapy once more, post-pandemic. 

9 benefits of running a pop-up shop

1. Engage with your customers

For businesses that operate predominantly online, pop-ups offer the opportunity to interact with your customers in the real world and engage shoppers offline. 

Research shows engaging with consumers using more than one medium, e.g. both online and offline, helps to retain nearly 75% of them and leads to a 9% additional spend compared to their single-channel counterparts - repeat custom and increased revenue, what’s not to love?

2. Demo your products

Consumers can learn infinitely more about the ins and outs not to mentions perks of your products versus your competitor’s by seeing them in action in the flesh. 

Yes, videos are also a great tool for this, but they lack that physical connection and engagement that an in-person demo can offer. 

With a pop-up shop, consumers can get a true feel for your products and have any questions answered and concerns quelled on the spot.

Fun fact: Research shows product demos lead to increased trust and conversions.

3. They’re cost-effective

It’s all about the bottom line, right? Pop-up shops cost business owners on average 20% less than long-term rentals meaning they can reap the rewards of face-to-face sales without the financial repercussions. 

Why are they so much more cost-effective? Because:

  • They tend to have a smaller footprint making rental rates lower.
  • They have a shorter lifespan, aka, you pay less in the long run.
  • You don’t need as much storage and therefore don’t need to shell out for it.
  • Overheads are lower - you don’t need to hire permanent staff, pay utility bills, etc.

Good to know: Available retail space increased 125% between June and August 2020 leading to dropped prices and eased rental terms for businesses, aka, there’s never been a better time to open a pop-up. 

4. Try before you buy

There’s much less risk involved for business owners who go down the pop-up route compared to jumping in with two feet and renting premises right off the bat. 

With a pop-up, you can test the waters, get a feel for the area, and find out whether your business is a good fit without forking out on a long-term lease only to discover it’s not for you. 

5. Build awareness and loyalty

This one’s a double whammy - a pop-up shop will help to spread consumer awareness of your brand and great products/services and while you’re at it, you can build up all-important customer loyalty. 

Consumer awareness is business 101 - people need to know about your business and your products in order to buy them, so boosting yours with a pop-up is a no-brainer. Loyalty is the holy grail for business owners - loyal customers come back time and again, spend more per visit, and market your business for free.

Building a rapport with your customers face-to-face via a pop-up is a great way to foster loyalty, modern-day consumers actively seek out the personal touch and want to see the person behind the product/business. In fact, studies show they’re happy to spend more with businesses they deem authentic.

6. Create a sense of urgency

Short-term pop-ups generate interest in businesses and create a sense of urgency among consumers - if shoppers know they might not get another chance to buy, it increases the chance they’ll buy on the spot to avoid missing out.

To propel this idea, marketing your pop-up as ‘limited time only’ and ‘while stocks last’ will further encourage consumers to act fast for fear of losing their chance. Scarcity is a proven sales tactic that drives consumer action. 

On the subject of stock…

7. Shift excess stock

Holding on to dead stock is more expensive than some people realise, so if you find yourself with excess that isn’t shifting online, a pop-up is a great way to have a clear out without taking a hit to your finances. Craft special deals and bundles to elicit impulse buys and larger basket sizes. 

It’s also a great way to be out with the old and in with the new if you’re looking to introduce a new product line and need to make room for fresh supplies. 

8. Trial expansion

Whether it’s your product line you want to expand, or you’re considering opening a second store in a new location, a pop-up can help ensure your new venture is a success.

With new products, a pop-up will provide you with invaluable consumer feedback, you can test how your new products sell and drive awareness of your new additions while you’re at it. Offering free samples in exchange for feedback is a surefire way to get your hands on these golden nuggets - who doesn’t love getting something for free? 

When it comes to expanding your location, pop-ups can help you test out new areas, get a feel for the locality, and scope out the consumer demand for your offering in those places before landing on the perfect area for your business. 

9. Additional revenue

Last but not least, if you’ve been operating online-only up until this point, opening a pop-up is a great way to bring in an additional stream of revenue alongside your existing sales. 

Given the aforementioned widespread availability of affordable retail space, there’s an unprecedented opportunity in 2021 for digital businesses to diversify their marketing to include foot traffic and web traffic. 

Not only will you be making more sales, but you’ll be upping awareness of your online presence with every new sale, ensuring no stone is left unturned, and futureproofing your business. 

What you’ll need to get started

Location

The right location can make or break a pop-up, so you need to work out what type of space and where makes the most sense for your business. 

If you intend to run a pop-up stall at markets and other events, these factors won’t be as relevant, but for those wanting a storefront, take into consideration:

  • Average footfall
  • Your target audience and the local demographic
  • Nearby competitors
  • The goal of your business - e.g. swimwear would be best suited near a beach. 

Once you’ve narrowed it down, scope out the available options, bearing in mind:

  • Frontage - will passers-by notice your pop-up? Or is it hidden away?
  • Hygiene and cleanliness - is it in pristine condition? Will it attract passing consumers or send them in the opposite direction?
  • Parking and access - the easier you are to get to, the more people will come. 
  • Internet access - WiFi should be a given in 2021, but it’s always worth double-checking high-speed internet is available. Without it, the likes of payments and stock management could be tricky.
  • Space - is there enough room for consumers to browse? Is there space to store your stock? Can you display all your products properly?

Sensible questions to ask before signing on the dotted line include:

  • How much is the rental price?
  • What’s included in the rental price?
  • Are there any additional utility bills?
  • Can the space be modified to suit my business?
  • Who’s liable for what? E.g. burst pipe, faulty electrics.
  • Will insurance be needed?
  • What’s the average foot traffic?
  • How much deposit is required? 

Marketing 

Once you’ve decided on your location, you need to start drumming up interest in your pop-up to maximise its effectiveness. Think:

  • Social media - share teasers of your pop-up, images from behind the scenes, details of any promotions or offers, and the date it’ll open and close. Don’t forget to emphasise the exclusivity of your pop-up and its limited nature.
  • Co-marketing - ask local businesses if they’d put a poster in their window or flyer on their point of sale advertising your pop up in exchange for some free samples or even free marketing in return. 
  • Blogs and news outlets - are there any local blogs or news outlets that you could reach out to? Remember to always consider what’s in it for them and try and sweeten the deal with something in return. 

Payments

How are you going to take payments in your pop-up? This one’s crucial to nail down ahead of your grand opening but thankfully it’s easier than ever to set up.

Here at takepayments, helping small businesses accept card payments is just what we do, here’s a rundown of our top pop-up options:

Mobile card machine

It’s lightweight, holds a long charge, accepts all leading payments types (credit, debit, contactless, Apple & Google Pay), prints instant receipts, and can be used anywhere with access to the internet.

A920

Our state of the art touchscreen terminal is as sleek as it is functional, also accepts all payment types, can be set up in minutes, plus you’ll get online reporting as standard so you can keep tabs as you transact. 

Beepaid 

All you need to start taking payments with beepaid is your phone - it’s totally contactless, a doddle to set up, and you can have your money in your account the next working day. 

Epos Move 

Eposmove is our state of the art electronic point of sale system that sits in the palm of your hand. It lets you run your business from one slick handheld device, meaning you can take payments and download a range of apps to make managing your business easier than ever. 

If you’re not sure which payment solution is right for your business that’s where our experts can help. Remember, at takepayments we:

  • Don’t charge sign up or exit fees
  • Don’t tie you down with lengthy contracts
  • Offer round the clock UK-based support, and
  • Curate packages to suit each individual business. 

We’ll be your one-stop shop for pop-up payments.

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce

Copywriter

Takepayments Barclaycard