My products have started to sell really well online and now I dream of having a place to showcase them in real life. How do I transition my brand from the website to a physical retail space?
The great thing about opening a pop up shop is that you can test your product, measure its success and learn from the experience in a new and exciting environment. We spoke to Daniel Peters, Founder and Creative Director of BBSC, about his top tips for that all-important transition and how to build your brand identity within the shop.
Consider a theme
A theme can help entice a customer through the door, or even better gain press coverage which further spreads the word of your pop up. Daniel explains that “by theme, I mean that it’s great to give your target audience something more than ‘just another pop up shop’ – be imaginative as it helps with honing the visual aesthetic. This is your opportunity to moodboard your ideas and lay out a floorplan.”
Tell a story
It is important to form a flow through your shop by creating what Daniel describes as vignettes: “Take your customers on a journey throughout the space by plotting out areas that tell a story. You want to make people feel like they’ll find something new on every single pinpoint that you’ve chosen to build.”
You don’t need a huge budget to fit out your shop. “A lot of people think they need to have mannequins and so on — try and be clever with the way that you can utilise cheaper items such as rope. Think about using vinyl on the window which can be quite a cheap and cost effective means of having something fun and colourful. Where possible, it’s also a beneficial exercise to build simple furniture pieces that can be reused and stored away once the shop is closed.”
Select your products
Trial and error is part of the beauty of a pop up.”You need to try different things out because you don’t know what’s going to work. For me it’s constantly a learning curve – even though I’ve worked in fashion for nine years I’m still continuously learning and developing my brand and business identity.” See how customers interact with your products in order to find out which are the strongest performers, then decide which items to highlight or rotate.
Daniel says that “I learnt from my earlier pop up shops when I didn’t have anything like that that people will wonder who you are – you should signpost it so that people will then want to find out more about you. Don’t be vague and elusive; give people something tangible by having your name and your website there.”
Interact and learn
Within a physical shop as opposed to an online store you can directly interact with and get to know your customer base. Daniel adds: “I learn a lot from the customers that walk through my door. I think the lovely thing for me is when I have people who come in and spend an hour just talking to me about what products they’re interested in, why they like the experience, and having a story to tell. Getting to know my customers has been one of the most valuable things that I’ve taken away.”
BBSC, Best of British Shop Clothing, is a curated home for British menswear design. Daniel initially chose to do a single pop up shop about two and a half years ago to support friends with emerging menswear brands who he felt were not getting the exposure they deserved in the UK. Now, with six pop ups under his belt, BBSC operates successfully both online and offline, giving emerging designers a platform alongside those more established within the constantly evolving world of menswear.
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