What is a pop-up shop?

A pop-up shop is temporary retail space used by one or multiple brands (shop share) to test new concepts, formats and markets in an innovative and original way without heavy investment.

Pop-up shops, by their ephemeral nature, encourage purchases through the FOMO  (fear of missing out) effect. It is also now part of a strategy used by bigger brands to test a market or try new concepts. For pure play retailers it can directly connect them with their customers in order to engage or provide relevant research information and greater brand awareness.

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The short-term retail concept is changing the traditional ways we shop.
Pop-up shops have become increasingly common as brands and retailers look to create new ways to heighten the brick and mortar arm of their operations. With the current demand for new retail concepts the property market is becoming more flexible through the use of technology, which enables brands to connect to landlords much faster than ever before and enable them to try short-term rents which is something that only started to happen in the last decade and is starting to go mainstream.

We Are Pop Up has created an easy process for brands to find and test spaces and for landlords to find tenants. It is the world’s largest network of retailers, landlords and brands collaborating on creative retail experiences through one platform. Known as the airbnb of retail, it is a booking platform for short-term retail spaces. Brands can also collaborate with each other to create retail experiences through brand-to-brand messaging and ShopShare.

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Regardless of how successful a brand is online, nothing can replace the physical experience coupled with human interaction; pop-ups are here to stay and ultimately it will become a movement which will change the way retailers and property owners consider space, making it easier for businesses to utilise vacant spaces and create concepts never seen before.

 

 

How to Market Your Christmas Pop-Up Store Online

Want to make your sales pop this Christmas? Festive pop-up shops are all the rage for eCommerce businesses who want to maximise their sales this season. From city centre pop-up stores to Christmas market stands, indie beer brands in Chelmsford and pop-up cheese shops in Bristol, to the big boys of eCommerce like Amazon and eBay, pop-ups are becoming a quirky new way to shop for gifts at Christmas. Hey, even Kylie Minogue has a pop-up store in London this Christmas.

In an oversaturated online marketplace, taking your online presence offline and creating a temporary pop-up store is a spectacular Christmas marketing strategy. Pop-up shops are a fantastic way to entice people into your store with the lure of being temporary. You get to build interest and excitement in your brand and test the popularity of your products face-to-face with Christmas shoppers. Add the incentive of Christmas to the time-sensitive nature of a pop-up shop and you have a compelling combination to grow your brand awareness and drive Christmas sales.

So, how do you make the switch from the online marketplace to a physical store, ensuring the benefits make the work involved worthwhile? Here, we give you expert advice on marketing your Christmas pop-up online. With our run-down of techniques for pop-up success, we’ll make sure you’re on everybody’s wish list — and that you ‘sleigh’ your company targets for 2016.

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Independent design market Christmas pop-up store

  1. Design a Pop-Up Store that Reflects Your Online Brand

Retailers need customers to buy into their brand as much as their product, GfK stated in its report on the future of retail. Your physical pop-up store needs to seamlessly reflect your online brand. Creating synergy between your online and offline store will improve brand recognition, foster brand loyalty in your customers and keep them returning to your website for more, long after the pop-up has moved on.

For a Christmas pop-up, this means ensuring your pop-store signage, colour and decor reflects the look and feel of your online eCommerce store. The stronger your branding is, the more buzz you’ll be able to generate online about your pop-up store and your online store. Create mood boards with potential designs for your pop-up store to see which ideas give the look and feel you want. You can read more tips for creating an effective pop-up shop here.

Increasing your online presence with your brand’s unique image leads to increased footfall in your store, which translates into increased traffic and conversions on your site over the Christmas period, even once your pop-up store is gone.

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Temporary Christmas pop-up shop in Bournemouth

  1. Promote Your Pop-Up Store on Your Website
  • Add a banner on your website — A homepage banner advertising your pop-up shop event is a great way for your current website users to learn about the event. You could include a countdown timer to increase excitement and add a sense of urgency.
  • Write a blog post — Feature the pop-up event in a blog post on your website in advance. You can direct website users here to find all the event details. The blog post can also be shared on your social media channels and email newsletter. It’s also worth writing up a blog post after the event to show off how awesome your pop-up store looked.
  • Fire out an email newsletter — Many eCommerce websites will have built up a mailing list through email newsletters or subscriptions. Use your email newsletter to let previous customers know about your upcoming pop-up store.

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Bonordic pop-up shop promotional banner

  1. Promote Your Pop-Up Store on Social Media

In the run-up to the launch of your pop-up store, post promotional material about the store on your social media channels. Brands with a significant social media following will find the process of promoting and revving up to a pop-up launch a relatively simple job. However, if your social media following is low, there are still strategies you can use.

  • Create eye-catching graphics — Bold, eye-catching and shareable graphics that you can use on your social media channels are a must. Include location, date and time on the images, and create separate images to promote the ‘exclusive’ products you’ll be selling at your pop-up store.
  • Create a Facebook eventFacebook events can generate buzz about your pop-up store in the city where you’re basing yourself. After you’ve created the event, brand the page and post images. The aim is to create a well-branded Facebook event for your pop-up that will cause friends and family to invite more friends and grow organically. Use the event page to offer incentives to attend (like a discount or exclusive offer) to encourage this.
  • Create an event hashtag — A unique hashtag for your event can be used on Twitter and Instagram to keep track of engagement. Use this on all your own posts about the event in the lead-up and document the building of your pop-up store. Encourage shoppers on the day to post pics of themselves and their purchases on the day(s) your pop-up is up and running.
  • Create a Pinterest board — A pop-up shop inspiration Pinterest board where you pin images of the different products, design ideas, props and other inspirations for your pop-up store is great for brands with a Pinterest audience. This technique is particularly useful for home interiors, fashion and art brands.

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Launch part at the New Mayork pop-up store

  1. Involve Bloggers and Social Media Influencers

Contact influential bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers in the area and invite them to an exclusive pre-launch party at your pop-up store. In exchange for an invite and a glass of bubbly, ask the bloggers to write a blog post about the event and ask influencers to post about your brand on their social media channels. Encourage them to take photos of the pop-up store and the products you have stocked there.

Their coverage of your event and brand gives you a chance of tapping into their devoted fan-base. This is a great way to make your business known to new customers and drive more people to your pop-up store and online shop during the Christmas period — not to mention that backlinks to your website from bloggers and online new sites will improve your website’s SEO, too.

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Activities at the New Mayork pop-up store

  1. Involve the Local Press

I’m not usually one to recommend press releases, but pop-up shops make great fodder for local press. Write up a press release about your pop-up store and shoot it over to local news websites and papers in the area where the store will be, along with an invite to the pre-launch party. Pop-up shops are on trend and make for great local news articles right now. If you get featured online, you may also be able to gain valuable links back to your website, too.

Are you an eCommerce startup or small brand?

If you’re a new business or small brand and are unsure whether a pop-up store would be worth the investment, here’s a bonus tip. Pair up with other businesses in the local area to and collaborate on a pop-up store together.

If you’re an eCommerce store owner without an online presence in a specific area, you might decide to work with a brick-and-mortar store in the area to make sure your shop gets local advertising from them. If you only sell a few items, pairing up with another store is a great way to make sure your pop-up is fully stocked. You may even just pair up with a local caterer or foodie business for the launch party to gain them some local press coverage alongside your own business.

With effective online marketing of your Christmas pop-up store, your brand will see the benefits long after the snow has melted. Try using these strategies to market your pop-up store online this Christmas and enjoy the results that will give your business a jumpstart into the new year.

Author Bio: Charlie Marchant is head of digital PR and content marketing at Exposure Ninja. Charlie has years of experience providing eCommerce digital PR consultancy to companies, helping them convert the clicks they’ve been leaking into successful sales.

5 Tips for an effective Pop-up

pop upPop-up shops offer brands the opportunity to connect and interact with customers in a unique way. Due to its temporary nature, it provide a huge added exposure.

Here are some benefits in opening a pop-up shop:

  • Test a location: Allows you to try out a space in a specific country, city or neighborhood. You can also improve your concept and product effectiveness.
  • Build awareness: Create a unique experience and valuable relationship with your customers and invite new ones to discover your brand.
  • Sell more: The fear of missing out (FOMO), makes a temporary shop more attractive for shoppers’ and can trigger the desire to buy on the spot.
  • Seasonal appeal: Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day and all the other festive days of the calendar year where you can provide a service or product to cater to the needs of the target audience at that moment.
  • Low cost entry level: In order to evaluate if you want to sign a 5 to 18 year lease, it is a good option to try the location for a short period instead of directly investing into a long fixed period. Spots can start as little as 3 euros a day if you want to share space. (Go to Wearepopup for more information).

If you are ready to open a pop-up shop, here are some useful tips:

  1. Establish a budget: considering the cost of setup and what you want to achieve is a vital step in establishing a pop-up strategy. Your budget will define the type of location, format, and duration. If you are SMO or entrepreneur – Crowfunding sites such as Crowdfunder and Kickstarted can give you a way to get funded and provide some buzz around your project.

Determine the budget in accordance with what you hope to achieve by having a pop-up. Is it purely for marketing, branding (non-sales) or do you hope to get a good return on sales? What is the focus? Perhaps a combination of both. Make sure to consider how you would spend your budget on other channels as a pop-up is a media channel as well as a retail location. Consider the price of staff, fixtures and marketing and reason for having them.

  1. Determine the schedule: Make sure to set a specific date to launch your shop. If you are opening a fashion retail shop, you might want to open it on the fringes of a fashion week for example. Scheduling your opening during holidays such as Christmas or Mother’s Day where there are more impulsive buying patterns can also trigger success. Seasons can also play a part, for example opening a bikini shop in the middle of winter may be detrimental, consider the way people shop and the time of year that your product or service may be most suitable. The existence of your shop itself is an event, make it memorable !

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Kitchen table project christmas Pop-up shop

  1. Decide on the location: Finding the appropriate location is the most important factor, especially if you do not have a specific target audience. The perfect location provides visibility and footfall simply based on its proximity to a dynamic area. To find the perfect spot, do your due diligence focusing on the demographics, socioeconomics, the other retailers present in the neighborhood, visibility, footfall and vehicle traffic counts.

Consider the type of space:

  • Shared shop : We Are Pop Up’s Shop Share enables brands and retail spaces to join forces in a collaboration that is mutually beneficial. This new form of pop up allows brands to rent an area within a shop, as opposed to the entire space. In many ways this makes commercial sense, shops get new stock without paying for it, whilst brands get exposure and new customers without the big expense. You can rent a rail, table, shelf or concession, with the ability to get a better location by not renting the entire premises and sharing the costs.

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Collective 89 shop share at Camden

  • Gallery: With their open concept floors, galleries provide a very appealing style and carry a design approach that is perfect for sophisticated looking brands. Public space and cultural venues: You can also set up in gardens, public squares, quays and unused areas. The presence of a monument nearby is desirable for the prestige it confers.

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Wind mobile Pop-up shop in Athena

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The Oast House in Manchester

  • Shopping Center: The shopping center delivers massive foot traffic and a large exposure thanks to its location. It gives you credibility and grants you to everyday consumers’ interactions.
  • Festivals & Fairs: Such marketplaces are full of people that love boutique, unique and personalized apparel, accessories and crafts. They love the idea of supporting grassroots and local companies. They represent a fertile environment for diverse ideas and bold creativity.

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Edinburgh Gin Garden during St Andrew Square Festival

  • Transport hubs: Pop-up shops give brand the chance to reach a very wide audience of waiting passengers willing to test new concepts. Take advantage of waiting time, the time of day that they are travelling, for example, morning rush hour is good for coffee lovers on the run, or small products that don’t take too much time for decision making purchases.

Schiphol Airport and Made.com open branded pop up rooms at the airport.

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Made.com opened pop up rooms at the Schiphol Airport

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London streetwear brand sets up shop in a subway station toilet

  • Unusual spaces: urban areas that are abandoned, neglected or under construction present opportunities for brands to invest. They aim to preserve the heart and soul of the original place, while offering unique experiences with an underground spirit.

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Boxpark in London’s Shoreditch

  1. Create an experience

Devise a range of goods and services, a topic, anything that might satisfy your target’s interests and needs. Tell a story to empower a unique customer experience that would involve not only the product but the brand and the client. The main goal is to immerse the customers in your world to create a compelling brand experience in order to stimulate their intention to purchase and stay in their mindset in order to follow your brand. Be creative!

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The Kitkat Chocolatory in London

  1. Make some noise

Although your shop will be open for a short period, communication must not be neglected. The key to your success is the customer’s’ awareness of your opening. You need to get people excited and get them to plan a visit before you even open the doors. Too late and you risk the potential customers not showing up because the information didn’t reach them on time. Create an event on Facebook, Tweet frequently, establish an email campaign… Long story short, it’s time to create some buzz!
Get a press release out to the media. Create a website to promote your event or a landing page. Find an original title, remind the main elements supported by call to actions buttons, embed a promotional video of your event and, do not forget the social media sharing buttons in order to make it more visible and viral. In short, consider your shop as an event; the novelty effect arouses the interest of the potential customers and brings them right to your place.

To give you an idea, here is an example of a current successful Pop-up Coffee’s social media strategy:

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Quaker oats hits east London with Pop-up porridge shop with menus dictated Instagram

With that understanding, you’ve got more than half of the job done. Now, your task is to turn pop-up shops opportunity into success.

 

The Retail Revolution- Pop-up shops now popping up in Shopping Centres

We are in the midst of a retail revolution. Customers are demanding more experiences and unique offerings and less of the department store feel. Out are the stuffy, basic shopping centres and in are the exclusive shops providing particular experiences and technology immersion. Anchor stores, a once coveted spot, are left vacant, forcing shopping centre owners to re-think their strategy and work to fill the empty spaces piling up. It’s a fight to stay relevant and impress shoppers with innovative experiences.

http://www.app.com/story/money/business/consumer/2016/08/11/macys-close-100-stores/88556932/

This last year has seen several announcements of middle to large department stores closing from the likes of Macy’s, GAP, and Office Depot. Even luxury brands such as Michael Kors are pairing back their store counts, realizing that overexposure does not always equal more profit. Shoppers no longer want the standard department store or luxury shop that can be found everywhere in the world. The allure of a luxury brand is exclusivity but if it’s too accessible, it loses that appeal. This movement is causing centre owners some financial pain. Shopping centres in the UK have seen a 2% drop in footfall since July of 2016. Shoppers are bored and as we are currently in a mostly trendless season, they have little incentive to go to a mall to fill their closets with things they already have. Shopping centre owners must find other offerings to bring customers back in and keep them.

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Barbican in London

In a move to encourage pop-up shops to rent with them, big shopping centres such as Westfield Corp. and Simon Property Group are building “white box” stores. These stores will have a simple interior, able to transform for each brand that sets up there. These shopping centres in particular are allocating 5% of their leasable space to these places. Centres in Asia are doing even more to cash in on the pop-up store popularity. Hysan Bay in Hong Kong has hosted everything from a Nespresso pop-up shop to yoga classes hosted by Lululemon in an effort to get more people into the mall. Shopping centre owners are seeing the investment possibilities of these temporary shops.

People queue in a line at a Nutella pop-up shop in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg
People queue in a line at a Nutella pop-up shop in Hong Kong, China, on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

These pop-up shops are changing the “shopping centre experience”; breathing new life into an old concept. Many shoppers are tired of seeing the same concept luxury brands everywhere as they have oversaturated the market, making what was once exclusive so interesting. As well as welcoming back the once regular shoppers, pop-up shops are bringing in new clientele. The Kanye West pop-up shop in Northbrook brought customers from out-of-town that normally wouldn’t even be in that city, with attendees claiming they had driven quite a distance to get there. Rotating pop-ups encourage shoppers to keep coming back to see something different. We’ve seen successful examples of these shops for both well-known and obscure brands, each approaching the concept in a different way. As rent prices and vacancies go up, we are sure to see more of these strategies in use.

Pop-up shops changing perception

Pop-up shops are often thought of as a trendy way for Indie brands to get their name out there on a tight budget, but that isn’t always the case. More and more we are seeing big name brands using pop-up shops to their advantage. While lesser known brands may use pop-ups to sell inventory and increase awareness, bigger brands are using them to provide customers with a unique experience, educate, and possibly change perception of their brand. Household names like eBay, Kate Spade, and Adidas are using pop-up shops to entice millennials with experiential shopping and some companies are using pop-ups to change customer perception of their brand.

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  1. Fruit of the Loom recently did an experiment with a faux pop-up shop to show how much consumer’s perceptions matter. The underwear retailer created a fake brand, “Früt”, and displayed the brand as an upscale lingerie company. Only at the checkout did the company reveal to customers that the underwear they were shopping for was the low-cost, packaged, Fruit of the Loom. The goal was to show consumers that it’s what’s inside the package that matters. Fruit of the Loom was able to show that regardless of the fact that their product comes in packs of five and can be found at discount retailers, the quality and look could be mistaken for an expensive, high quality department store brand.
  2. Chobani is another example of a brand that used a pop-up to change customer perception. They found that while Europeans consider yogurt an ingredient for any meal, Americans only use it for breakfast. In order to change that perception, Chobani opened a café as well as several pop-up shops, that featured sweet and savoury meal choices using yogurt to show that it can be an ingredient used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Their website even has recipes presenting new ways to use yogurt in your meal plans. In changing the way Americans think about yogurt and its many uses, they not only change perception but increase sales within its current customer base. For the largest seller of Greek yogurt in the United States, it’s a clever way to increase sales.

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    www.newyork.seriouseats.com
  3. European grocery chain, Lidl, was having trouble convincing customers that although they were a discount retail chain, their products were high quality. Consumers usually believe that you get what you pay for, high quality equals high prices, and their opinions were reinforced by the bare bones customer experience Lidl provided. To change this, the grocery retailer launched a pop-up restaurant, Dill (an anagram of Lidl) , in Stockholm for three weeks. Michelin star Chef Michael Wignall was in charge and ingredients only found from a Lidl store were used. The mantra, “good food doesn’t have to cost more”, manifested and became the theme for the pop-up. The restaurant was a hit and fully booked from day one. Consumers started to speak positively about the restaurant and the company, resulting in a change of perception of the goods Lidl sold.

    Because a pop-up shop can be used as an educational format, it is an ideal outlet for changing the way customers think about your company. Pop-ups use the five senses to engage customers and can change their opinion through unique experiences. A study found that 74% of consumers have a better opinion about a brand after an in-person event, such as a pop-up shop. When faced with a perception issue, try using the “show don’t tell” approach with a pop-up.

Five Reasons to go Pop-up

It’s a scary question for all brands just starting out, “What’s next?” You’ve had a successful run with online sales but it’s time to think about expanding and growing. Then the headaches come. “How much will rent be?” “Can I afford a place with a large footfall?” “What if I pick the wrong neighbourhood?” There are a million ways to go wrong and run your successful business into the ground. A pop-up shop is a great way to expand your business!

What are the benefits to doing a pop-up shop?

  1. Save rent money – Pop-ups allow you to rent out a space for a temporary period of time, saving you money by not being locked into a contract. With a cheaper rent, you’re able to spend your budget on creating a unique experience for your customers. Both brand and landlord can benefit from a pop-up store. Filling a location that isn’t making the landlord any money can be very helpful while they look for a more permanent resident.www.miva.com
  2. Test out different locations/New variety of customers – Not all neighbourhoods are created equally. Researching locations and neighbourhoods is always helpful but sometimes reality doesn’t reflect the google description. Your hipster brand most likely won’t fit in too well in the family oriented neighbourhood. Aren’t you glad you only rented the venue for the weekend! What better way to test the perfect location than to experience it first-hand? 
  3. Shop sharing – For those brands that don’t need a full space, shop sharing can be a great option. If you have a small amount of inventory, a few shelves or a corner of a store is more than enough space. Shop sharing can also expand your customer base by introducing your brand to people who are already shopping in your shop share location. You may also find the perfect brand pairing. Your wine tastings may be just what the customers in a specialty olive oil shop are missing. Pairing brands can help you find synergy with other companies and could lead to future projects together. Shop sharing is also great because you have built-in employees. Being present in the store every day isn’t always a feasible option, but through shop sharing there is someone ready to run the store.

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    The Dry Goods Store London, UK
  4. Meet customers in person – Emailing can only get you so far when it comes to getting to know your customers personally. There’s value for brand owners to have face to face interaction with customers and allowing those customers to interact with the products in a way they can’t experience online. In store shopping is all about the human experience. Ninety-four percent of total retail sales are still generated in brick-and-mortar stores and having a physical presence could help drive business to your online store. It’s a great way to market and advertise your online business in a simpler and less expensive way than online advertising.

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    TopShop pop-up from Covalent Marketing
  5. Create an urgency – What makes you click “order cart” faster than seeing the sale ends at midnight or the store is almost out of stock? A temporary shop creates that same urgency to purchase or attend. Nothing is more exclusive or sells tickets faster than having a supper club available for just one night. Customers are experiencing a once in a lifetime event and creating that fear of missing out is sure to bring crowds.

Wondering how to get started? We Are Pop Up provides the ability to book full locations, shop share locations, and enables brand-to-brand communication. Register your brand or location at www.wearepopup.com and get started on the pop-up of your dreams!

Food: The Experiential Movement

We’ve all done it, posted an Instagram photo of that carbonara you’re about to dig into, spent hours waiting for a table at the hottest new restaurant in town, or just gotten lost in the vortex that is Pinterest looking for a new recipe to try. Food. We love to eat it, post about it, and we spend most of the day thinking about what our next meal will be. As of 2014, 50% of millennials consider themselves to be foodies. What is it about food that makes it more than just a means of survival?

As millennials, we are all about the experience. We don’t want just a basic transaction between a business and a customer, we want creativity and novelty and to feel like we have had a memorable moment in our lives with that experience. We are also looking for communal experiences. Having a connection to the people around us is important, we don’t care if it’s with strangers or friends. About 55% of millennials prefer communal tables as opposed to private seating. The food movement is really a communitarian movement says author of several foodie books, Michael Pollan. We want to be involved and present with everyone and everything when enjoying our meal.

About 80% of millennials want to know more about how their food is grown and will spend more on ethically sourced meats and farm-to-table experiences. It is for this reason that community is an integral part in the investment we have in every step of the process when it comes to our food. We want to know where it came from, if it’s processed, and even how happy the pig was that is now bacon on your plate. What’s better than when the waiter sets butter on table and lets you know it was locally sourced from a farm down the road, was churned in the restaurant and the cow’s name is Betsey? Or when the Chef who just created the beef tartare you’re munching on, comes by to introduce himself? A deep connection with the food is made when we know all of the information.

Pop-up restaurants and food trucks are a large source of experiential dining. Theme Night? Kale Craze? All possible to experiment with when you’re taking over an abandoned warehouse or “space 12” in a parking lot. It also breeds a feeling of exclusivity. Scored tickets for that secret supper club? Time to let Facebook and your friends know how much you’re enjoying your meal that they will never be able to get. Millennial diners have major FOMO (fear of missing out) and 72% have said when they see posts of friends dining out, they wish they could be there with them. Hashtag jealous?

Gone are the days of frozen meals and mystery meat. Here to stay, at least for now, is a communal experiential movement. To all those brave enough to host, good luck keeping us entertained.

Should I Dropship My Products?

A guest article from our lovely partner, Modalyst

To Dropship or not to Dropship? That is the question.

There are many conflicting feelings about Dropshipping. Like all business models, there are advantages and disadvantages so it’s up to you to decide whether is right for your brand. To help you get started, we’ve outlined some pros and cons for you below.

First, what is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a retail fulfillment model where the store does not hold the inventory but rather sells products and has the supplier ship them directly to the customer.

Let’s talk Pros and Cons from a supplier’s perspective.

Pros of Dropshipping:

Marketing

So you spend a ton of time creating a beautiful e-commerce site but how do you get people to see it? We hear this all the time at Modalyst. Suppliers are finding it difficult to drive traffic to their own online stores. There is no secret sauce for this but we can offer a few ways that may help you increase your visitors. But one of the best strategies is to be open to Dropshipping.

By offering your products for Dropship, you can exponentially increase your exposure. For example, if you are online selling sunglasses through your own online store, you are only reaching the audience you have been able to connect with through your own marketing efforts.

If you choose to Dropship your products, you can sell the same pair of sunglasses across hundreds of online stores. Each of these hundreds of stores are aggressively marketing their own site to drive traffic (often by using your products!) so you are reaching new audiences by just allowing them to post your sunglasses to their site.

Selling through your Online Store VS. Dropshipping through several Online Stores

As the supplier, you are not restricted to the amount of stock you have on hand. As long as you are diligently updating your retailers on the inventory levels, you can “sell” 1 pair of sunglasses across as many sites as you choose!

Making $$$

Now that you are handling all the logistics (and often returns) you can negotiate better commissions. Modalyst offers a standard 60/40 split with the vendors so the suppliers receive 60% of the full MSRP of the product.

Additionally, you can manage hundreds of relationships and not have to worry about Inventory since Modalyst automatically syncs your stock levels. As soon as a product is out of stock, it will be marked that way across all stores selling that item. So now multiply that 60% by hundreds and you can significantly increase your cash flow.

Offloading Excess Inventory

Inventory is the devil. There is nothing worse than staring at left over units from previous collections that didn’t sell. While wholesale buyers are typically picky about selling stale goods, online retailers are much less season-sensitive. Let’s face it, consumers will buy what they want, when they want online, whether it is mittens in Summer or swimsuits in winter.

So if you are reluctant to put your past collections for sale on your own e-commerce site, why not off load it across other online retailers? Dropshipping can be an effective way to quickly get rid of the ghosts of seasons past.

Cons of Dropshipping:

Shipping and Logistics

If you are a one-man/ woman show, handling the shipping for all the items can be time consuming. First, you will need a good understanding of the costs so you can relay that to your retailers accurately. The vendors will need to know the rates before you sell anything so they can inform their customers. The retailer will pay the shipping costs on top of the 60% so make sure you are properly charging (that means not over charging as well!). Be aware that the online store can price their shipping however they choose.

Second, you will need to be fulfilling the orders promptly so the customers are receiving the items as soon as possible. Remember that the customer is interacting with the retailer (not you) so you are in fact shipping on behalf of the store. If you ship the items late, that will reflect poorly on the store and they will likely stop Dropshipping your items. So if you plan to go on vacation- let your retailers know!

Returns

Get ready to deal with returns and refunds. You are probably already familiar with them from your own e-commerce site, but multiply that times the amount of stores you are Dropshipping with and this can be a bit of a headache. To avoid confusion, be upfront about your return policy so the retailers are well informed and know what to expect.

Managing Cash Flow

In wholesale relationships, suppliers have control over minimums and delivery which allows for better predicting of cash flow. In other words, many times suppliers are only producing the amount of units ordered as to protect against excess inventory.

With Dropshipping, you have no idea when you will be paid and how much it will impact your cash flow. If you are new to Dropshipping, you might say yes to every store that requests your products but as you become more experienced, you may find it more effective to only deal with the stores that predictably sell your products. This will help you better organize and predict your cash flow. If you are interested in learning more about cash flow, take a look at our series on the subject here.

In conclusion, Dropshipping can be a great way to market your products but it comes with challenges that you will need to asses and be prepared to face!

Want help dropshipping your collection? Email lillian@modalyst.co and she would be happy to get you started!

 

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We have a winner: all-natural skincare scoops TREAT first prize

What do you get when you combine fifty budding entrepreneurs, five diverse concepts, two days of hard selling, one happy little egg and a sack of concrete?

The TREAT Mother’s Day Pop Up – filled with ingenious gift ideas, dedication, frustrations and pleasant surprises – produced a much-deserved winner after a challenging but rewarding weekend.

Five Escape the City Startup Tribe teams were given the challenge of creating a retail concept around the theme of #shedeservesatreat, offering delightfully different gifts for the mums in our lives. Customisable chalkboard mugs, all-natural skincare products, handmade chocolates from the north, industrial-chic concrete planters and upcycled glass bottle vases all featured in the Covent Garden concept store for one weekend only. Every team brought a unique approach to the challenge including branding, visual merchandising, marketing strategy and selling technique – here are some of the key takeaways and highlights for each:

THE WINNER:
Mother Nature

Winner

From green tea and lavender foot soak to coffee anti-cellulite scrub, Mother Nature built their brand around all-natural, handmade skincare products that looked as good as they smelled. They combined simple packaging with a rustic, welcoming visual merchandising strategy to form a cohesive and beautifully-executed brand experience for the customer.

Speaking to team leader Fizzy before the challenge, she told We Are Pop Up that “I’ve never done anything like this or anything in retail before. I don’t think anyone has in the group so we’re going to have to really hustle over the weekend to figure it all out. I’m really hoping it’s going to work and we’re not going to leave with more body butter than you’d ever need in your life…”

As the store opened on day one, we caught up with Fizzy again: “I’m exhausted. We had quite a few delivery issues so nothing arrived until about 4:30pm yesterday – all of this was made between then and now. Everyone came over to my house and we were up until 3am making products but we’ve made a couple of real sales so far which is exciting. It’s fun and it’s a chance to see what happens when you put real products out there. I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing some happy customers, selling it all, making a profit and celebrating! But even if not it’s still been a nice way to work with other people and see what we can do.”

That said, Mother Nature managed to finish as the winning team, having sold an impressive 177 items, taking £991.04 worth of sales and gaining a total social media following of 612. Congratulations also came from across the teams: “The products looked gorgeous, the sellers fit the brand and the stall was open and engaging making it easy to entice customers. All aspects of the business were consistent.” “Mother Nature skincare was my favourite (isn’t everyone saying the same thing?!) They just smashed it on all levels and seemed very cohesive as a team.” “The team members were great shopping consultants. And the product could keep up with conventional and commercially sold cosmetic products.”

The four fantastic remaining teams:

Good Egg Creations

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Good Egg Creations, a gift shop with all proceeds going to children’s charity Barnardo’s, encouraged people to buy something meaningful for their loved ones and feel “gooey inside”. Upcycled homeware, handmade candles, customised mugs and tote bags were some of the products available, with guest brand Cold & Blac offering samples of London’s first coffee liqueur. Their social media campaign was fun and interactive, posting photos and videos asking customers and people on the streets of Covent Garden, “Why is your mum a good egg?“. The team made solid sales of 87 items and managed a modest profit above the seed investment they received.

Mum’s The Bird

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Team Mum’s The Bird tapped into the current homeware trend for mini succulents and cacti and backed up the products with simple but effective branding. A life-size polaroid frame also added a fun, innovative angle to their social media campaign. Having never made concrete planters before, the team told us that “they were far from perfect, but we sold through almost every single one and were even asked to do another pop up in East London, which two of us have already started working on.” Total sales at the end of the weekend surpassed the £200 seed investment with sales including 15 potted plants, and a social following of 513.

Make Her Day

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“On a mission to end generic Mother’s Day gifts,” Make Her Day produced a selection of handmade, customisable products so customers could add their own twist on the day. Chalkboard mugs and carafes, tote bags and even the paper cranes that decorated the stall proved a winner for the team. Clever use of origami also resulted in one of the most innovative logos of the challenge, with social media encouraging customers to write down how they would #MakeHerDay. The team sold a solid 93 items including 30 chalkboard mugsTheir social following totalled at 460, including the only email obtained by any team.

From London With Love

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From London With Love centred their brand on handmade, artisan goods from British entrepreneurs, including Good & Proper Tea, NIX & KIX cayenne chilli drinks and handmade Guppy’s Chocolates from York. Members of the team dedicated time to attracting passing trade despite the cold, creating their own signage and actively engaging the public with their chalkboard message campaign. Learning from their experience on day one, on Sunday the team completely rearranged their table to create a minimal, cohesive and ultimately more effective visual merchandising display. Total sales more than doubled their seed investment, with the highest volume of product sold including 46 packets of chocolate. 

 

Escape the City is on a mission to help talented professionals escape unfulfilling jobs and forge exciting, unconventional career paths. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

If you’ve been inspired and would like to try your hand at your own pop up then browse and book spaces all online at wearepopup.com.

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Pop Up at These Three New York Food Pop Up Spaces

There are plenty of New York City retail pop up spaces. But for food? That’s a different story. You need powerful kitchens and elegant dining areas. Food certifications and an intimate setting. We’ve partnered up with three of New York’s premier food pop up spaces in downtown Manhattan’s Soho and Lower East Side. New york food pop up space – now easy to find and book at We Are Pop Up.

new-york-food-pop-up-space-we-are-pop-up-old-bowery-stationOld Bowery Station
Old was an ironic shout out to the fact that this ground-level space is inside a former subway station. Now, it’s literal, as Old Bowery Station turns four this year and is the first pop up food lab in the city. With its tiled walls, reclaimed furniture from Tri-Lox and unmarked red doors, Old Bowery Station is the perfect NYC food pop up space. From underground dinners to public food pop ups to R&D for new food ideas, check out Old Bowery Station. Fung Tu‘s Jonathan Wu, Huertas‘ Jonah Miller and many other New York chefs got there start here. You can too

Book Old Bowery Station or reach out to our New York City team to find out more. gregs@wearepopup.com | 207-522-6715

 

exhibit-c-new-york-food-pop-up-space-we-are-pop-upExhibit C
Exhibit C is the perfect blank canvas for your dinner parties in the Lower East Side. Launching a new art project? Take advantage of this New York food pop up space, their perfect white walls and sparkling lighting set up. The chic minimalist loft features a fully-equipped chef’s kitchen, high ceilings and a flexible furniture arrangement. Make Exhibit C your home for the night.

Book Exhibit C or reach out to our New York City team to find out more. gregs@wearepopup.com | 207-522-6715

home-cooking-new-york-food-pop-up-space-we-are-pop-upHome Cooking New York
An open kitchen + a Soho location = The perfect New York food pop up space. Home Cooking New York is your location for cooking classes, test kitchen work and foodie meetings. Home Cooking is a unique mix of modern aesthetic and commercial capabilities. The warmth of home and the power to produce. Host a cooking class, wine tasting, video shoot here.

Book Home Cooking New York or reach out to our New York City team to find out more. gregs@wearepopup.com | 207-522-6715

 

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