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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 event — Facebook 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.
- 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.
- 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.