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.


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.

wind mobile

Wind mobile Pop-up shop in Athena

oast house

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.


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.


Made.com opened pop up rooms at the Schiphol Airport


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.


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!


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:


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.