The highlights from Social Retail Summit #9

On a balmy summer’s evening in June, We Are Pop Up attended the Social Retail Summit #9 at Google Town Hall for a series of discussions about customer relations strategies for post-internet brands. Initially established in New York, the inaugural UK edition sought to delve into the reinvention of offline retail, its convergence with media and the changing disciplines of social marketing. Of the wealth of information covered, we have put together some highlights from the discussions just for you.

Alice Mayor, founder of We Built This City, a pop-up shop revolutionising London souvenirs, amazed us with the story of how the project progressed from Keynote presentation to a fully-fledged shop in a mere three weeks. “People walking past on Carnaby Street every day stopped and witnessed the project appear from nothing out of an empty space.”

She explained that opening both last Christmas and now for summer has been an excellent test for comparing between seasons, with interesting results – summer being a much more successful period specifically for tourists, with Christmas catering to locals buying presents for friends and family.

Peter Jeun Ho Tsang and Julija Bainiaksina, founders of The Dandy Lab, aim to go beyond the traditional form of retail and enhance the consumer experience using groundbreaking technology to augment physical retail space. They told us about one of the innovative ways in which they track success in-store – the metric of “experience per square foot,” which acts as an alternative data source based on creating value and making people smile (or not!) through this new approach to retail.

Daniel Peters, founder and creative director of BBS Clothing, a multi-brand business offering a curated selection of emerging and establish British menswear, emphasised the importance of creating a synergy between your online and offline presence. “Your website should mirror how you visualise the pop-up space and how you create the customer’s journey – you need to give things a realness.”

Keeping people engaged is also key – Daniel added that from his experience with organising promotional evenings at Selfridges, holding an exclusive event with a drinks reception and unique activities can lead to a 90% uplift in sales over three days.

Nicola Fry, Industry Manager at Google and specialist in the Fashion vertical, revealed some impressive Youtube statistics, including:

  • 1 in 3 millennials have bought a product as a result of watching a how-to video
  • There are two times the amount of UK views for fashion and beauty videos than there are women in the UK
  • A ‘haul’ video created by YouTube sensation Zoella, featuring her purchases from a trip to Topshop, has reached around 1.8 million views, amounting to the equivalent of 13 years of marketing engagement for the brand

Nicola added that the key points of maximising the potential of YouTube lie with understanding your brand and video category, building a community and understanding your audience.

Her top tip for creating video content? Head to YouTube’s newly launched Creator Hub for tutorials, tools and support.

Finally, we also heard from Brendan Courtney, co-founder of Frockadvisor, a social and customer service platform that supports independent retailers. He told us about their recent success, Fashion Independents Day. Taking place on May 28, it followed London’s most influential fashion bloggers as they supported the independent retailers of the city by visiting as many as possible and shouting about it on social media.

The campaign had a massive impact of 88 million, with 18.8 million people engaging with the event online. Thanks to Frockadvisor, he added, “it’s time for the artisan and indie retailers to step in and utilise their loyal following.”


Whether we’re talking about materialising an entire retail concept from deck to shop in three weeks, measuring the value of someone’s experience by square feet, or achieving 13 years of marketing reach in a 17 minute video, the world of social retail is evolving fast. It’s going to be an interesting ride for post-internet brands, with the Social Retail Summit eagerly scratching at the surface of the deluge of converging dispiclines to come.

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