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.

 

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.

Creating a brand profile boosts your business on We Are Pop Up

Your brand profile is like an elevator pitch – a compelling introduction to grab someone’s attention, make them want to find out more and ultimately do business with you. The more engaging your profile, the more space owners and brands are likely to get in contact. So, with the right details and images in place, you’ll receive more messages and offers, meaning more contacts, collaborators and bookings for your brand.

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Did you know that We Are Pop Up is the only platform where spaces can approach brands and not just the other way around? Concept stores all over London, NYC and beyond are using We Are Pop Up to source up-and-coming brands like you – 1 in 3 conversations on the website are initiated by space owners. Lauren Lewis, founder of Glassworks Studios in Shoreditch and Dalston, tells us that:

“We use the We Are Pop Up platform to find new brands to partner with in our London stores. It is simple to use and has introduced us to great brand partners.”

By creating a brand profile, you can be discovered and stock your products in retail destinations all around the world.

Communicate your concept

The description forms the central part of your profile. We often hear from new brands that it’s not that easy to describe yourself – you know what you’re all about, but sometimes it’s difficult to put that into words. It’s important to describe your brand well to convey your concept and prove your credibility to other users. We Are Pop Up is a network built on on trust and transparent communication, so establishing a clear voice on your profile is key to starting up conversations.

Here are some things to consider as you write your brand description:

  • What is the story behind your brand?
  • What are your main aims and ethos?
  • Who is your target customer?
  • What keys words would you use to describe your products?
  • Credentials. Have you done any previous pop-ups or worked with any other spaces/brands?
  • What is the nature of your pop-up concept?
  • What collaborations would you be interested in, if any?

Make it your own

Take a look at the following examples of how you can make the most of your profile as creative business tool and get inspired by brands who are doing it right:

Cover photo

Think of your cover photo like a mood board – what gives the best feel for your brand? This is the image that will appear on the brand search pages, so make sure it’s bold and representative of your company.

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Photos

Add photos to your profile to tell your brand story visually. Include a range of product shots, lookbook images, key branding examples and photos of previous pop-ups. Ensure all images are high-res to keep your profile crisp, clean and colourful.
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Social media

Link up your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram profiles to include a feed of your social media activity and reach. This will refresh constantly to show spaces and brands what you are up to in real time.

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As an added bonus, we feature one of our favourite new brands daily on our social media channels and in our newsletter to a network of over 50,000 people. Good reason in itself to get started on creating your beautiful brand profile.

We’re on hand to help you every step of the way so if you need any assistance don’t hesitate to contact our support team. Otherwise, you’re all set to get started right away here. We can’t wait to see what you create.

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10 steps to launch your pop-up

Launching a pop up is an excellent way to test your business concept, build awareness of your brand and meet your audience. Hundreds of brands that have been powered by We Are Pop Up started out over a few days and have now grown to become established, successful companies. We Are Pop Up has put together the top 10 steps to launching your pop up to break down the process into an easy checklist for starting your own creative space.

Pick a space

Choose your space wisely, as the location is very important. It should not only suit your budget, but also your brand and design identity. Find out how far it is from the nearest station. You want plenty of foot traffic, but make sure it’s the right demographic for your products and price point. Check out the surrounding area, including the neighbouring retailers and the passers-by. Do they match your audience and style?

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Think about finances

Your budget and the amount of stock you have will be defining factors for how large your pop-up will be, its location and its duration. Start with your budget and work backwards. Crowdfunding is an excellent way to top up your budget, and sites like Kickstarter and Crowdfunder are two of our favourites at We Are Pop Up. They can help get financial backing for your project, while also building a community that will be passionate about your concept from the start. 

Check out this great manual by our friends at Kollektiv Gallery for hints and tips about starting your own alternative creative laboratory, gallery, school or studio via crowdfunding.

Promote your pop-up

You need to start promoting early to create a buzz around your project – at least 3 weeks in advance is ideal. Use a combination of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and contact any relevant magazines, bloggers and local press to tell them about your concept and launch date. Drop us a line at We Are Pop Up too so we can put the word out about you on our channels.

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Tickets

If your pop-up is a ticketed event, use a company like Billetto or Eventbrite to deal with your ticketing. They take away the admin headache and its also a great way to increase the visibility of your pop-up on a platform with an established audience.

Design a store that works

Think about colour, layout, theme and your visual identity in order to stay true to your brand. Where you place a product in the shop and how it is displayed can have a significant impact. Why not reuse old furniture within your visual merchandising, or find cheap items on sites like eBay. Check out Pinterest for inspiration – try these top 10 moodboards to get started.

Did you know that 64% of all products are sold from eye level within a shop? Take a look at We Are Pop Up’s top tips for visual merchandising and building your brand story.

Test, listen and iterate

Try out different products in your shop – pay attention to how customers interact with your items to find out which are the strongest performers on your shop floor as well as what’s not working. From this you can decide what to highlight and what to rotate, to help refine future choices.

It’s also important to speak to your customers. Not only can you gather valuable information and feedback about your products, but you can also learn a lot about your consumer base itself in terms of their experience and expectations. Think about providing signage which sends customers directly to your website – if they like what they see, they’ll want to know more.

Collaborate

Considering how you could join with other designer-makers to enhance the overall experience of your pop-up. We Are Pop Up’s ShopShare provides a way to quickly and easily create concession stands, or even create your own micro-department store. Ultimately it allows you to pool resources and extend your reach by accessing the extended community behind each brand.

Set up a workshop

Consider creating an in-house workshop or studio involving your designs – from our experience, having this engaging, interactive element in the window of your pop-up can increase sales in the shop by 800%! It enables you to demonstrate your unique selling point directly to your audience, tell your brand story, or showcase your craft in real life.

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Follow up

Don’t forget, it’s not all over when the pop-up closes. The fortune is often in the follow-up. Collect customers’ contact details in-store and communicate with them regularly beyond the life of your shop. Can you give them a discount flyer to encourage them to repeat buy on your website or come to another event? Keep them up to date with your news, and invite them to the next pop-up.

Evaluate and learn

The beauty of a pop-up is that it is an opportunity to experiment, test and learn. Be bold, and take risks. Then afterwards, focus on what went well and what didn’t – learn from any mistakes, then you’ll be ready for the next one. Finally, get back in contact with We Are Pop Up and we will be on hand to take you to the next stage.

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How do I measure the success of my pop-up?

When it comes to launching a pop-up for your small business, what’s the difference between a roaring success and a full-on flop?

The answer is: there’s no right answer.

How you measure success is 100% tailored to your individual project and depends on what you want to achieve. We Are Pop Up has put together these top tips on how to evaluate your pop-up and make the most of the experience for showcasing your independent brand.

Set out your aims

Right from the start your pop-up should have clear goals – these are often different for each project. Whether you are popping up in order to make as many sales as possible, to reach a certain number of Facebook followers or create a media storm in the local and national press, starting out with concrete aims allows you to judge whether each has been achieved at the end of your pop-up. Don’t panic if you don’t achieve everything you set out to in your original plan. Take the results into account and revise your intentions and methods for next time, building on what you have learned.

Budget and profit

You may decide to set targets around revenue from sales. To measure success against spending, track all the set-up costs of the project to see where you spent your money. Include the cost of your stock, the shop fit (furniture, fixtures, fittings), press and marketing (printing and distributing flyers, business cards), signage (vinyls, A-board), website, advertising, business rates, utility bills, insurance, wifi, refreshments and so on.

Now compare the costs with the income generated by your pop-up. That includes revenue from sales and any ticketed events, plus any funding from other businesses, public donations, sponsorship or perhaps grants from local authorities.

Even if your revenue isn’t greater than your expenditure, making a loss doesn’t necessarily count as a failure if a cash profit was not the aim of your pop-up. If your goal was to create a buzz, test a new business concept or access new audiences then profit will be a useful marker, but not necessarily the deciding factor for your pop-up’s success.

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Sales

If you are setting out to make the maximum possible sales for your products, make sure you test, listen and iterate on your tactics to find out what works and what doesn’t. Try out different products in your shop and take note of how people interact with them. Which items are the strongest performers and which aren’t working? Use this information to inform your choices on selecting, rotating and shelving stock for this pop-up and in the future.

If you have an online shop alongside your pop-up, be sure to measure any uplift in sales online too. We Are Pop Up has seen brands enjoying an uplift in their online sales throughout their pop-up of 12-25% on average, which sustain and grow beyond the end of the pop-up.

Customer experience


Engage with your audience by speaking to customers before, during and after your pop-up. How did they hear about you? What do they think of your brand, pop-up, product range? Gather feedback, find out more about your audience and learn if their expectations have been met. Think about how you can maximise interaction with customers beyond the life of your pop-up by collecting email addresses in-store and sending follow-up mailers, offers and updates about what you are up to and what’s coming next.

Social media

Use qualitative data from your social media pages to measure your numbers, including likes on Facebook and Instagram, followers on Twitter and visitors to your website. How do these figures correlate with the activity and duration of your pop-up? Work out which social media posts resulted in the most engagement using analytics tools on each of your social media channels and be sure to use these techniques in the future.

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Top tip: find out how to make the most of Twitter here, and read advice on e-commerce and your pop-up here.

Learn

One of the most important aspects about launching a pop-up is that it enables you to trial a new concept and grow your business in a low-risk and often low-cost way. It is an opportunity to experiment, so be bold and take chances. If you make mistakes, focus on what went wrong and turn it into a positive by learning how you can improve on the project next time.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses understand that failure is an important part of the creative process, so use the experience to make your next pop-up even better. And if your pop-up is a roaring success the first time you’ll more than ready to take on the next project, so get back in contact with We Are Pop Up and we will be on hand to take you to the next stage.

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Ask the experts – how do I integrate e-commerce with my pop-up (and vice versa?)

Hundreds of businesses are using pop-ups as a way of building their brand in a physical space having already established a successful online presence. Likewise, many creative projects start with a pop-up, testing the market for their product before creating an e-commerce site that reflects their brand identity.

We Are Pop Up spoke to Alex O’Byrne, Shopify expert and Director of We Make Websites, to get the lowdown on everything you need to know about creating a coherent brand presence across your website and pop-up. If you’re making the move from online-to-offline, or even vice versa, here you can learn how to achieve success both online and in the real world.

What can you learn when making the transition from online store to pop-up? (or indeed vice versa?)

In a pop-up environment you can actually talk to your customers and gather their praise, feedback and suggestions.

This will help you figure out what exactly it is that people like about your products which is essential information – this is what you build the brand around. You’ll typically find that this isn’t as you first expected, so this set is essential. It’s hard to do online, which is why it’s worth trying to sell what your product directly to someone by doing a pop-up.

Once you know what it is that people value about your product, you can improve your website photography and copy to convey this message better.

We can do a lot to make a website convert well but if the product offering is no good it’s not going to make a difference.

Going the other way, from online store to pop-up, you should use your online channels to make sure your audience knows about your pop-up well in advance and also whilst it’s on. This is a brilliant opportunity to meet your online following in person and find out who your customers are.

Use sales data from your online store to work out what your most popular items are and make sure these are stocked in your pop-up. Similarly, think about what people tend to buy together so you can recommend this when they are in your pop-up.

Which is better – Big Bang launch or soft launch?

Cop out answer – both have their uses. Use the soft launch to test out the website and ask family, friends and advisors to try it out. Ask 5 people to use it and you’ll gather most of the feedback you need.

Then once everything is running smoothly, go for the big bang. The biggest bang is usually from a coordinated PR campaign, our client Negative Underwear received 100 orders on their first day due to the press coverage they were able to arrange for their launch. You don’t want this happening on the actual day your site goes live, when no doubt there’ll be teething issues and feedback you want to action, so ensure there’s ample time to fix issues between the soft and hard launch.

With that said, you need to build a growth machine that consistently generates more interest and customers so either way it’s a long game. Building a business that is inherently ‘viral’ is powerful because customers will recommend you to others and this is the easiest way to grow. Outstanding customer service and product quality is the first step towards this.

How can I make sure my pop-up and my website both reflect my brand identity in a coherent way?

Your branding should be consistent and uniquely you, everywhere.

Branding should be consistent at every point of the way – whether that’s your email campaigns, your website branding, how people dress in your shop, the merchandising in your shop, your order update notifications, your email addresses, where your shop is, your business card design, your social profiles, the style of your photography, your copy tone of voice etc…. I’m fond of the saying ‘the only business is the marketing business’, this I take to mean that firstly, everything you do that a customer sees is part of the marketing of your brand and secondly, without a solid marketing strategy and execution there is no business.

The pop-up should not jar with the website or vice versa. So ensure typography, colours and other brand elements are consistent between the two.

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How do I make sure my products come across well both in the shop and online?

Photography is key online. ‘Lifestyle’ photography where you show your product in use is useful to see and can be inspirational to the customer. This is where the concept of a fashion lookbook comes from. Product photography is important for showing product detail. The product page is where people make the final decision to buy so this needs to provide as much information as possible.

In store, have a think about how you can merchandise your items to be more appealing. How can you be innovative so that products are shown to their full potential?

We’re working with Mo:vel who just opened a store in Brighton and were able to do some interesting things with their store design such as making sure that every size of trainer is available from the shelf, without the need for someone to go off into the storeroom and take ages checking and finding the right sizes. Innovative young brands are naturals at this type of fresh thinking, so make the most of it!

How do I make my products stand out and create my brand story?

The first question is to find out what makes you unique. This could be a story, a particular audience you have, the way something is made, where it is made, who makes it, a lifestyle that goes with the product, a particular set of advocates you have, the materials you use, the design quality or what you stand for.

I’d try and answer the following to build your pitch, these were passed on to me by my friend Annik, who runs the public speaking club Pony Express:

  • What problem are you solving?
  • Why you and not someone else?
  • How do you do it?
  • How will their life be better?
  • Call to action

An edited version of this can be used for your elevator pitch, homepage copy and twitter profile. Again, these should all be consistent so we aren’t confused about what you do.

The brand story should be honest, interesting and refreshing. Some that comes to mind are Hiut Denim, who brought back jean manufacture to a small town in Wales, NastyGal who are now massive but started off with are fresh attitude selling vintage clothes that appealed to young smart women, and Warby Parker, who have made designer glasses more affordable and have a socially conscious vibe built in to their brand.

The most common mistake I see is not making the brand story niche enough, or potent enough. My theory is the stronger the niche, the more people you put off but the more people know they’ve found the right company when they find you. For example Nastygal appeals to a particular type of savvy, stylish young woman, and will be of no interest to most other demographics. This makes them magnetic to that audience. Who is your audience? And how do you become magnetic to them? Answering this is very helpful when it comes to marketing strategy as it will help determine where to market your brand and what content to use.

What can I learn from my site about my customers that might be useful for my pop-up? And is there anything I should track on my site during or after the pop-up?

In Google Analytics you can see the location of your customers, it might be interesting to see how many are in your local area. In Shopify and most other ecommerce platforms you can download your customer list – you could then also segment based on which are local and offer them some sort of treat for dropping in.

Another use for analytics would be to see which products are your bestsellers – make sure you have these available in your pop-up!

Tracking customers between online and offline is notoriously difficult but one thing you could do is ask how customers found out about you during your checkout process and make this a mandatory field. I know it’s not great to add another field but this information is invaluable so we can make an exception. To grow, put more time and money into wherever customers are finding you.

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How do I generate repeat business on my website and beyond my pop-up?

The easiest thing to do is get the first order right, this means delivering the goods as expected and on time.

Improve on this with some innovative packing, or by including free samples or a discount code for the customer’s next order. Handwriting thank you notes can be a nice touch in the early days when you don’t have huge order volumes.

Email mailing lists are gold – use yours when you need to generate interest such as during sale or when you have a new collection.

Consider segmenting your list, for example by finding your 100 most loyal customers and emailing them a special discount code to say thank you.

To get more advanced, email remarketing is getting cheaper and easier to implement every year and has huge conversion rates. We’ve been looking at Emma and Soundest recently, both integrate tightly with Shopify and allow you to send targeted emails to your customers, sometimes automatically.

Any other top tips for our pop-up community?

Use Shopify’s digital Point of Sale (POS) to allow you to gather an email address with each order. It’s only a partial POS in the UK though so you’ll still need a PDQ machine to take card payments.

If you don’t want to do that – take a clipboard and ask customers and interested passers by for an email address. As I keep saying, email lists are gold in ecommerce. The customer Lifetime Value (LTV) of an email address can be huge.

Related to that, I’m a fan of adding a mailing list pop-up or drop down window to gather emails on a daily basis from your website traffic.

For improving your website, I’d also say that you should watch five people using it and gather their feedback.

Speaking generally – don’t give up, perseverance is important when you run a business because you’re going to face ups and downs.

With companies like We Are Pop Up and Shopify helping startups and growing retailers, there’s never been a better time to start and grow a retail business so let’s get to it!

We Make Websites build beautiful and effective online stores for creative retail companies. You can view recent case studies here. Follow them on Twitter for daily e-commerce advice.

Ready to launch your own pop-up with this advice? Check out hundreds of spaces available for your project on wearepopup.com.

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Top 10 tips for e-commerce and your pop-up – Alex O’Byrne, We Make Websites

We Make Websites co-founder Alex O’Byrne is an expert on e-commerce and speaks regularly on the topic of marketing and e-commerce for design-led retailers and organisations such as the London College of Fashion and Startup Weekend.

We Are Pop Up spoke to Alex about his top 10 things to think about across your website and your pop-up, from marketing to building your brand identity and making the most of feedback from your customers.

1. The analogy I like to use is a house party. No one is going to come to your party unless you build up an invite list and ‘market your party’ by creating awareness about it.

If your party does indeed rock and everybody has a great experience, they tell people about it. The same happens when you exceed expectations by offering a brilliant product combined with thoughtful customer service.

2. The most important things is to build an email mailing list by taking every opportunity to add emails to it.

This can start with friends and family, everyone off your LinkedIn, people you meet at events and parties, hell even your neighbours and ex-lovers.

3. In a pop-up environment you can actually talk to your customers and gather their praise, feedback and suggestions.

This will help you figure out what exactly it is that people like about your products which is essential information – this is what you build the brand around.

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4. You should use your online channels to make sure your audience knows about your pop-up well in advance and also whilst it’s on.

This is a brilliant opportunity to meet your online following in person and find out who your customers are.

5. Use sales data from your online store to work out what your most popular items are and make sure these are stocked in your pop-up.

Similarly, think about what people tend to buy together so you can recommend this when they are in your pop-up.

6. Your branding should be consistent and uniquely you, everywhere.

Branding should be consistent at every point of the way – whether that’s your email campaigns, your website branding, how people dress in your shop, the merchandising in your shop, your order update notifications, your email addresses, where your shop is, your business card design, your social profiles, the style of your photography, your copy tone of voice etc.

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7. In store, have a think about how you can merchandise your items to be more appealing.

How can you be innovative so that products are shown to their full potential? We’re working with Mo:vel who just opened a store in Brighton and were able to do some interesting things with their store design such as making sure that every size of trainer is available from the shelf, without the need for someone to go off into the storeroom and take ages checking and finding the right sizes. Innovative young brands are naturals at this type of fresh thinking, so make the most of it!

Handy hint: We Are Pop Up spoke to Daniel Peters, Creative Director of BBS Clothing, about how to build your brand story in your pop-up.

8. The brand story should be honest, interesting and refreshing.

Some that comes to mind are Hiut Denim, who brought back jean manufacture to a small town in Wales, NastyGal who are now massive but started off with a fresh attitude selling vintage clothes that appealed to young smart women, and Warby Parker, who have made designer glasses more affordable and have a socially conscious vibe built in to their brand.

9. In Google Analytics you can see the location of your customers, it might be interesting to see how many are in your local area.

In Shopify and most other ecommerce platforms you can download your customer list – you could then also segment based on which are local and offer them some sort of treat for dropping in.

10. Email mailing lists are gold.

Use yours when you need to generate interest such as during sale or when you have a new collection. Email re-marketing is getting cheaper and easier to implement every year and has huge conversion rates. We’ve been looking at Emma and Soundest recently, both integrate tightly with Shopify and allow you to send targeted emails to your customers, sometimes automatically.

With companies like We Are Pop Up and Shopify helping startups and growing retailers, there’s never been a better time to start and grow a retail business so let’s get to it!

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We Make Websites build beautiful and effective online stores for creative retail companies. You can view recent case studies here. Follow them on Twitter for daily e-commerce advice.

Ready to launch your own pop-up with this advice? Check out hundreds of spaces available for your project on the website here.

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