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.

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!

juicytots_home

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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Ask the experts – how do I crowdfund my pop-up?

I’m thinking about launching my own pop-up but I don’t know how I’m going to cover the project financially. Is crowdfunding suitable for me?

Hosting a pop-up isn’t always necessarily an expensive exercise, but we know that sometimes a bit of extra help is needed when it comes to covering the costs.

There are some amazing initiatives out there for raising money towards your project which tap into the global reach of the internet. So-called crowdfunding involves creating a campaign which online communities can pledge cash to in return for rewards of your choice. If people like what they see, they’ll support you, whether you need money for a pop-up graduate art show or a breakthrough temporary restaurant.

We asked Jess Ratty, Brand Communications Manager at Crowdfunder, Michael Stewart, Communications at Kickstarter, and Sophie Giblin, artist and founder of crowdfunded pop up Kollektiv Gallery for their expert tips on how to harness the power of your fans and crowdfund your next project. 

Get a team together

When it comes to launching a crowdfunding campaign for your pop-up, our experts recommend you get a team involved. “No man is an island!” states Jess. “At Crowdfunder we know that it takes energy, passion and commitment – getting a team involved and having individual roles and responsibilities not only spreads the load, it also increases the reach of the campaign and also makes it a real team effort.”

Sophie adds that “having a talented crew committed to a clear unanimous goal will help your campaign reach your funding target. And of course creating and working with a team is fun, it helps your Kickstarter reach more people, stand out and attract curiosity amongst the vast archive of campaigns”.

Enlist the help of friends, family and likeminded creatives who share the same vision and passion behind your pop-up project. For Kollektiv, the group was made up of 20 artists wanting to open a gallery in an empty shop. Sophie explains that “we problem-solved, shared the workload, spread the word and completed the project.” Put together a pop-up team and you can both strengthen your own skill-set and build on the positivity of others.

Before you launch

Another thing to think about before launching your campaign, according to Michael, is to put in the legwork and make the most of what you’ve already got. “You should be as far along as you can reasonably go without the money. Having a lot of the work done gives you something to show, and it allows you to focus your energy on running the campaign itself.”

Even if you’re at the very early stages of your pop-up concept, make sure you go and ‘do’ something – just try it. Create something tangible that people can get behind, beyond just an idea.

Jess emphasises that planning is one of the main aspects to think about when crowdfunding for your pop-up: “setting a great target, creating an engaged network, organising a marketing plan and having some great rewards for everyone to pledge on.

“For example, Snactan eco-loving fruit jerky company, built a plan knowing exactly what they were going to do throughout their Crowdfunder campaign to promote it. They said that “contacting people directly and with personal messages was key. Starting a conversation and sharing this new exciting adventure in your life is really effective!””

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Budgets and targets

When it comes to setting a goal for your campaign, Jess tells us that “it’s important to identify your supporters (or groups of supporters), estimate how much each supporter or group might pledge, and make sure that this total exceeds your target. Test and examine your assumptions as part of your campaign planning by asking your friends, supporters and family how much they may each consider pledging to get a great idea of what people are willing to pay to support you and your pop-up idea.”

Sarah Bentley from Made In Hackney, a community kitchen in London, said: “Look at your network and work back to discover how much you think you can raise. It’s got to be big enough to be worth all the effort – but it’s also got to be attainable and realistic so you don’t waste your time.”

According to Michael it is important to think about the bare minimum you realistically need to launch your pop-up. “Be sure to factor absolutely everything into that – the raw cost of what it is you’re trying to do, the cost of rewards you expect to produce, shipping, taxes, and platform fees (usually an additional 5-10%).

Pro-tip: Things always cost a bit more, and take a bit longer, than you expect them to.”

The 5 W’s

You need to think about how you will get your campaign across to potential backers. Michael advises including the 5 W’s on your page: “who are you or who is involved in the team , what is it that you’re trying to do, when and where are you doing it, and why should I care? Also the one H — how are you planning on getting it done?”

He adds that you need to make sure you share your campaign with your pop-up concept’s existing audience, as well as thinking about how to reach new ones: “Do you have online communities you’re a part of? Are there places you visit in real life that might be willing to tell folks about your thing, or at least hang a poster?”

You should upload an eye-catching project image, an informative and exciting video explaining what your pop-up is all about, and offer some interesting rewards to attract people to the campaign. Ian Slade from Stiltskin arts and theatre gives some tips for your video: “Keep it short, sweet and attention grabbing. It is all in the preparation – script what needs to be said and work out a storyboard for shots. Find the human story – who will benefit and how.”

Incentives

If you’re stuck on what kind of reward you should offer, make it something creative and unique to your pop-up concept that will stand out and appeal to a wide range of people. The more money people pledge, the bigger the reward – Jess tells us that you need to “remember to create a set of different price points to suit every budget and don’t forget that you’ll want them to be good value for money.

“Also, make sure to reach out to your network when creating your rewards – you never know what people will gift you that you can use as a reward on your campaign. If you are a business with a product – it’s always great to pre-sell via crowdfunding – give your pledgers “early-bird” deals and one off opportunities.”

Alternatively, if you’re launching a pop-up gallery filled with the work of various different artists, why not take a leaf out of Kollektiv Gallery’s book. Sophie says “I asked all the artists to contribute something they’d made to the incentive list for us to raise the cash we needed. Stickers, prints, piece of arts, terrariums, bespoke artworks, workshops… the lot.”

Think about offering exclusive tickets to your pop-up launch party or discount vouchers towards your clothing line. Maybe cookery lessons at your restaurant or free coffee for a month at your cafe. What about rewarding the highest pledge with a year’s worth of screenings at your pop-up cinema?

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Spread the word

It’s important to create a marketing plan that encompasses the whole of your campaign from start to finish, and even a little bit before. Jess explains that “it’s true that 90% of the work that goes into a campaign is done in the weeks leading up to launching your fundraising project. Create a marketing plan that includes messaging around pre-launch, launch, live crowdfunding and post-success thanks and awareness driving. Having a plan around social media is a great way to drive pledges and awareness.”

Sophie’s Kollektiv Gallery has run two crowdfunding campaigns which both hit 50% of their target within an incredible 24 hours and hit full funding within 2 weeks – testament to how the team built up momentum in the lead-up to the campaign.

Samantha Dobbie from The Real Junk Food Project in Brighton adds: “Facebook was responsible for the majority of our Crowdfunder pledges. We made regular updates and frequently linked to the Crowdfunder page. It was a great space to post up images of the project and gain peoples attention.”

Keep people interested

One of the most challenging aspects of running a crowdfunder campaign is keeping up the momentum to make sure people stay interested. Mike explains that “you’ll see a spike of pledges when the project is new, and again near the end when the urgency sets in. That middle section is called the plateau – keep communicating, both to existing backers and new people; share something interesting.”

Also, launch parties are not only a great way to kick off your funding campaign, but also to create more interest halfway down the line. Luke Berkley from Newquay Community Orchard says “we created a launch event which was great success – we raised the majority of our funds on that night. We also had a follow up day event midway through our campaign to keep momentum and also include families. Showcase your video, have a live link to the total so people can watch it grow, and create a buzz!”

Don’t be disheartened

Some crowdfunding platforms operate under an ‘all-or-nothing’ basis – if you don’t reach your goal in the time period you have set, you can’t keep any of the money you have raised and it’s refunded to the backers. Kickstarter uses this model and it is also an option on Crowdfunder – this is useful because it creates a sense of urgency for people donating to the project.

However, if you don’t reach your target, don’t feel defeated. Michael explains that this ‘all-or-nothing’ approach actually diminishes risk. “You might think you’re losing a bunch of money if you don’t hit your goal, but if you calculated your expenses properly, how exactly do you plan to complete your project with half of the funding needed?

“Go back to the drawing board, tweak, round up a bigger audience, and try again. That’s how Coolest Cooler did it! Here’s his first try.” Your funding campaign is a great way of learning from your audience in order to test the market and strengthen your overall concept. Sort of like an initial experiment before the experience of your pop-up.

Reward vs. Equity

It is useful to note the difference between reward-based and equity-based crowdfunding. Regular crowdfunding, such as the initiatives mentioned above, collects funds from a community for a public project and the funders then receive rewards such as tickets, discounts or custom gifts, but no financial gain. When it is equity-based, such as Crowdcube or Seedrs, the funder becomes an official shareholder in the company and gains certain rights for making decisions within the business.

For more information head to Crowdfunder or Kickstarter and start your own project now. Also, check out this in-depth manual from Kollektiv Gallery about exhibiting in a vacant space and learning how to crowdfund.Pop up now

About

Screen Shot 2015-06-24 at 13.17.59Crowdfunder connects projects with communities to make great ideas happen all over the UK.

 

Kickstarter-Funded-50-More-Games-in-2013-Than-in-2012-416251-2Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects – big or small, from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology.

 

Kol

Kollektiv Gallery is aimed at emerging artists, supporting creatives who want to crowdfund and open galleries. You can read more about their Brighton pop up here.

 

 

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?

Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to hello@wearepopup.com with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

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Ask the experts – how do I make my pop-up stand out from the crowd?

I’ve just booked my pop-up location and I’m ready to start installing and decorating the space. With lots of competition out there, how can I make my project stand out from the rest?

More and more pop-up retailers are reimagining the way that we browse and buy in order to offer something that is more than ‘just shopping’.  By creating a unique environment within your pop-up – through anything from an innovative floor plan to flamboyant lighting installations – you can create an exciting, memorable experience for your audience.

We spoke to Calypso Rose, Director of The Indytute, Eve Reid, Visual Retail Specialist at Metamorphosis, and Daniel Peters, Founder and Creative Director of BBS Clothing about their expert tips on nailing your visual merchandising, creating a unique in-store experience and ultimately making your pop-up pop.

Grab people’s attention

The first thing that your potential customers will see is the outside of your space from the street. You need to grab their attention as they walk past. Eve recommends that you “think about how you can use your façade and windows creatively to capture your customer’s imagination and focus their attention on your products.”

“Your window display doesn’t need to be a complex set-up,” says Daniel, “but do remember that this is the first interaction that a passer by will have with your brand – it’s the perfect way to encourage them to browse and hopefully make a sale.”

Calypso adds that it’s a great idea to “collaborate with an artist to help with your window. Having a moving element in your shop window really makes people stop and look.” 

liberty-windows-january-2015_4

Create an atmosphere

Daniel explains that it is important to “take your customers on a journey through the space. You want to make people feel like they’ll find something new on every single pinpoint that you’ve chosen to build.”

But it’s not just about the layout – there’s so much more. Eve advises that “when building a great atmosphere you must consider smells, the music choice and volume, lighting. Even the store’s temperature is key as the customer won’t stay long in somewhere that is too hot or cold.”

For a quick insight into how your audience will experience you pop-up, she suggests that you “place a blindfold over your eyes and walk in your store as a customer – how does it feel and sound?”

Tell your story

It’s all about the story!” Calypso tells us. “From adding snippets about how you started, to your product labelling, to going all out and putting it on a huge sign behind the till. If you’ve had recent press, don’t be shy.  Let people know.” Likewise, if you are curating other labels, “find out the story behind the brands you stock and make sure your staff can re-tell the story.”

Adding to that, Eve explains that “successful brands create a strong visual connection with their customers through a series of visual touch points. It’s about visually conveying what your brand represents and showing your taste, style and personality through the following things:

  • Your choice of colour
  • Your choice of images
  • The way you package things
  • The type of products you choose to sell
  • The way in which you merchandise
  • The type of tickets you use
  • Your choice of props
  • The way you and your team dress

Top tip: check out our previous Ask the Experts post on the best ways to build your brand identity within your shop.

The Dandy Lab, December 2014

Showcase your products well

Dedicate plenty of time to your visual merchandising. Here Calypso breaks down some important things to think about:

1. “Test, test, test. Watch the flow of your customers in your store and don’t be scared to have a big change overnight. Rotating stock is an excellent way of keeping the store looking fresh.”

2. Be clear and don’t clutter. “Anything tucked up high or on a bottom shelf won’t sell – give each piece some space. Make sure your customers can tell in an instant what the product is. Complicated products are hard to sell!”

Daniel agrees – “Try not to litter your space with rails and fixtures that make the space feel cramped, as this may encourage a customer to walk away before even getting through the door.”

Top tip: take a look at our Top 10 inspiring pop-up shop design boards and the great projects on wearepopup.com for visual inspiration. Pinterest is an incredible resource for ideas too. 

Make it interactive

Eve suggests that you “think how you can make your merchandising interactive: allow your customers to touch, taste, smell, and play with your product. 92% of sales come from touch. Are there ways in which you can encourage customers to interact with the space? Collect thoughts and feedback.”

Etsy

If you want to take a leaf out of The Indytute’s book, why not curate an in-store workshop or lesson. Calypso explains that “putting a talk or a workshop into your space brings in a new crowd, encourages collaboration opportunities, gathers data and is fantastic for fresh new content.”

Amazing fact: having a workshop in your window can increase sales by up to 800%!

Be creative & resourceful

You don’t need a huge budget to create your in-store experience. Daniel tells us that “I work with a selection of chosen set designers and builders who are in tune with my vision. We work toward creating a unique shop that is born from an itemised budget that encompasses all of the required fit-out pieces.”

Make the most of friends and other designers by asking them to pitch in – Calypso says “if you have a great space there are always people looking to collaborate – I love the We Are Pop Up ShopSharing idea, its excellent!”

Top tip: visit as many other shops as you can for inspiration. From Liberty and Selfridges to your local independent retailers and pop-ups, ideas and new styles are all around you. 

About

Indytute logo

From poker to ping pong, baking to biking, The Indytute runs brilliantly inspired lessons of all shapes and sizes. @Indytute

Metamorphosis logo

Metamorphosis is a dedicated Independent Retail Consultancy specialising in visual merchandising, brand delivery and retail performance improvement. @MetamorphosisGr

BBSC logo

BBSC, Best of British Shop Clothing, is a curated home for British menswear, providing a platform for both emerging and established designers. @B_B_S_Clothing

 

 

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?

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Ask the experts – how do I staff my pop up?

I’ve booked a space for my pop up and I’m starting to think about launching, but I don’t know how I should staff the shop. What’s your advice for hiring a team and what are the main things I should be thinking about?

Trying to choose how or who to hire can seem like a difficult task – especially if this is your first experience of taking over a physical retail space. We turned to the experts and asked Karli Dendy, Captain of the Brighton Etsy Team and Co-founder of Designosaur, Carina Filek, Director of Elevate Staffing, and Angela Millar, Retail Managing Consultant at Four Seasons Recruitment, for their insider tips on how to staff your pop up.

Practicalities

First things first, Karli suggests the following handy checklist to get the ball rolling:

How many keys do you have?
Will you alternate who opens and closes the shop?
How will you hand over the keys?
How busy will your shop be?
How big is your shop?
If your shop has multiple floors you are going to need one member of staff per floor (at least!)
Will you need one, two or maybe more people manning your shop at one time?
Weekends will be busier, you may need more staff.
Are there any local events which will increase or reduce your footfall?
Will you give lunch breaks or will you have shifts that are shorter?
Who will cover the lunch break?
Don’t forget your staff can’t come when the customers arrive and leave when the doors close, so plan preparation and cleaning times before and after opening times.

Angela adds that “your level of involvement day to day with your pop up will define what level of candidates you require.” Think about hiring a manager if you aren’t going to be in the shop every day and consider what level or interactive experience you want to create for your customer. “The level of service you would like to deliver will have an impact on how many people you hire.”

You also need to consider the size of the space. As Carina explains: “Don’t overfill small spaces with too many staff. It would be better to have less staff covering multiple points rather than overcrowding an area. Similarly, don’t skimp on staffing!” Make sure the team has enough support between them to encourage engagement with customers.

Rota

When the Brighton Etsy Team popped up over the Christmas period last year, their shop was made up of a collective of 25 designer makers – “some already had full time jobs, and could only work weekends, others were mums who could work in the daytime but needed to leave to make the school run. Some people would prefer to come in once for a long shift, whereas others would find it easier to come in for a few short shifts.” Don’t worry – it is possible to plan around complicated schedules like this! Karli recommends using a scheduling site like Doodle which does all the hard work for you.

Representation

Whether you design and make your own pieces or curate others within your store, you are essentially the embodiment of your brand. To make sure that your staff represent it as well as you do, make sure you have a serious training session before the launch. Show your products to the team and get them to read up on the brand story on your website.

Karli recommends that “if you don’t have an online resource, get each maker [or brand] to create an article about themselves and their products to include in a big “fact file” which can be left in the shop to help with swatting up.” Carina adds that “face to face, hands-on and brand immersion training really is invaluable and provides strong results. This allows staff to provide a brand advocacy that a digital briefing document can’t deliver by itself.”

Think about your target audience. Angela tells us that “your team should be brand relevant and relatable to your customer.” Carina also emphasises that “having staff that share the brand and concept passions will allow for a more organic engagement, resulting in memorable consumer moments.”

The strength of your brand identity is also important. If there is an interesting story behind the concept, your team are more likely to be able to convey it to customers. Angela adds that “the more passionate they are about your brand the more they will sell it on – only hire people that are naturally excited about what you are trying to do!”

Final tips

Angela recommends that anything you can do to make your staff feel empowered and positive will yield good results all round: “what else can you do for your team that will make them love working for you? A high energy, fun work place can be appealing and a strong reward scheme works well.”

Finally, Carina explains that “honest and engaging staffing results in increased brand perception in the hearts of your most valuable customers, and an experience they wish to share with their peers.” Ultimately, don’t forget about staffing! It can often be overlooked, but “having proactive, engaging, passionate and on-brand staff can be a real asset to a pop up.”

 

About

The Brighton Etsy Team are a friendly, supportive, location-based team of over 700 Etsy sellers based in Brighton and East Sussex. Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Elevate Staffing specialise in delivering innovative bespoke staffing solutions for live events and brands in the UK and US. FacebookTwitter

Four Seasons Recruitment is a market leader in luxury retail and fashion recruitment, established for over 30 years. FacebookTwitter

 

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?

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Ask the experts – how can I make the most of Twitter for my pop up?

I have a Twitter account for my brand but I’m not sure of the best way to use it for my pop-up, especially to get the word out and drive customers and sales. How can I make the most of it as a marketing channel? 

Twitter is an easy, effective and immediate way of getting the message out about your brand. It is also a useful storytelling channel for building content, encouraging conversation with your customers and providing exclusive insights into what your event is all about. By using Twitter in the right way not only can you achieve high levels of engagement with your pop-up concept, but also help drive high attendance and sales. We spoke to some industry experts on their recommendations for how to maximise the platform’s potential.

Talk in real time

Georgina Parnell, Lead Account Executive at Twitter (@parns), is a strong advocate for the immediacy of the channel: “The beauty of Twitter is it gives brands the ability to share exclusive content in real time.” It is one of the most powerful platforms in terms of connecting with your customer – the ‘memory encoding’, or engagement, is stronger on Twitter above any other platform, thanks to the power of favourites and retweets.

This is why it’s so important that you prompt engagement, rather than simply post information about your pop-up. Brevity is key, but it is still possible to create attractive, engaging content. “The competition for attention takes place now on someone’s notification screen,” so in order to connect to the consumer, post images and updates in real time to engage your audience right from the word go.

Think in hashtags

Develop a strong hashtag strategy. A hashtag not only centralises and encourages conversation, but also compels an action – it conveys a strong message that can drive people’s involvement with a campaign. David Wilding, Head of Planning Twitter UK (@drwilding), explains that “as well as being an excellent summary of an idea when a campaign goes live, hashtag thinking – asking “what’s our hashtag?” regularly throughout the planning and creative process – can help to create better ideas.” 

Express your pop-up idea as a hashtag from the start of your planning to shortcut and simplify your thinking process. Create hashtags for your followers so they can easily share your news. Use the engagement rate as a way of tracking your campaign’s success, in order to analyse your strategy and build on what works and what doesn’t.

Tell stories

Justin Cooke, Founder and CEO of Tunepics (@JC7777), started his career in fashion and helped create ‘Art of the Trench’ at Burberry, one of the most successful social media campaigns in modern fashion history. He tells us that the magic of fashion is in the entertainment: “you should be selling a dream. If you’re not selling a dream you’re not selling anything.”

The same goes for pop-ups. Invite your audience into the world of your event – make them feel part of the process by uploading teaser pictures up until the launch; create exclusive ‘behind-the-scenes’ insights with inventive gifs; put together short time-lapse videos to pack as much information as possible in a few seconds.

Even when your pop-up has finished, continue to involve your customers. Share their images, tweets and messages on Twitter. As Georgina Parnell explains, “platforms are now an extension of your emotions and feelings,” so make sure you stay in the mind of your audience even after the door closes.

Reach out to Influencers

Make use of the established networks of important people in the industry and don’t be afraid to message, tweet and tag relevant brands and media figures in fun tweets to get your message out. Aim high and think outside your closest usual following of friends and family – it’s important to overcome any aspects of marketing your pop-up that you’re scared of, embrace fear and welcome risk. If you follow the norm, you’ll never create anything different, and after all isn’t that what pop-ups are all about?

 

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?

Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to hello@wearepopup.com with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

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Ask the experts – how do I transition my online brand to offline?

My products have started to sell really well online and now I dream of having a place to showcase them in real life. How do I transition my brand from the website to a physical retail space?

The great thing about opening a pop up shop is that you can test your product, measure its success and learn from the experience in a new and exciting environment. We spoke to Daniel Peters, Founder and Creative Director of BBSC, about his top tips for that all-important transition and how to build your brand identity within the shop.

Consider a theme

A theme can help entice a customer through the door, or even better gain press coverage which further spreads the word of your pop up. Daniel explains that “by theme, I mean that it’s great to give your target audience something more than ‘just another pop up shop’ – be imaginative as it helps with honing the visual aesthetic. This is your opportunity to moodboard your ideas and lay out a floorplan.”

Tell a story

It is important to form a flow through your shop by creating what Daniel describes as vignettes: “Take your customers on a journey throughout the space by plotting out areas that tell a story. You want to make people feel like they’ll find something new on every single pinpoint that you’ve chosen to build.”

Top tip: take a look at our Top 10 inspiring pop up shop design boards or the great projects on wearepopup.com for visual inspiration.

Be resourceful

You don’t need a huge budget to fit out your shop. “A lot of people think they need to have mannequins and so on — try and be clever with the way that you can utilise cheaper items such as rope. Think about using vinyl on the window which can be quite a cheap and cost effective means of having something fun and colourful. Where possible, it’s also a beneficial exercise to build simple furniture pieces that can be reused and stored away once the shop is closed.”

Select your products

Trial and error is part of the beauty of a pop up.”You need to try different things out because you don’t know what’s going to work. For me it’s constantly a learning curve – even though I’ve worked in fashion for nine years I’m still continuously learning and developing my brand and business identity.” See how customers interact with your products in order to find out which are the strongest performers, then decide which items to highlight or rotate.

Signpost

Daniel says that “I learnt from my earlier pop up shops when I didn’t have anything like that that people will wonder who you are – you should signpost it so that people will then want to find out more about you. Don’t be vague and elusive; give people something tangible by having your name and your website there.”

Interact and learn

Within a physical shop as opposed to an online store you can directly interact with and get to know your customer base. Daniel adds: “I learn a lot from the customers that walk through my door. I think the lovely thing for me is when I have people who come in and spend an hour just talking to me about what products they’re interested in, why they like the experience, and having a story to tell. Getting to know my customers has been one of the most valuable things that I’ve taken away.”

BBSC, Best of British Shop Clothing, is a curated home for British menswear design. Daniel initially chose to do a single pop up shop about two and a half years ago to support friends with emerging menswear brands who he felt were not getting the exposure they deserved in the UK. Now, with six pop ups under his belt, BBSC operates successfully both online and offline, giving emerging designers a platform alongside those more established within the constantly evolving world of menswear.

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?

Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to hello@wearepopup.com with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

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Ask the experts – how do I start a supper club?

I am passionate about food and meeting new people and really want to start my own pop up supper club. What are the main things I need to think about when I organise my event?

Supper clubs are a great way of bringing together communities of food lovers who share similar passions and interests, encouraging them to try new and exciting dishes and meet a whole host of interesting people. We spoke to Wen Lin Soh of Edible Experiences, Jess Astbury of Grub Club and Iain Wells of Mr Pigstuff for the lowdown on starting your own.

Location, location, location

There are two main factors to think about when you look for a space: the location and the facilities. You need to consider how easy it is for your guests to get there. How far it is from the nearest station? Wen recommends “shoot for less than 10 minutes. If more, be tougher on your hire price.”

It’s also really important to know what you are getting with your venue hire arrangement: gas or induction hobs? Enough plates and cutlery? Unique features? Jess explains that “you can do wonders with some fairy lights and personalised place holders, but existing personality in the space is always very welcome!”

Get the word out

Word of mouth, customer feedback and social media are your best tools here. Jess explains that it is important to “utilise your existing networks by starting small and local – ask family, friends, friends of friends, put flyers in your venue and around the local area.” Feedback can also be really helpful for spreading the word and Wen advises “don’t be shy to ask happy customers to tell their friends about you. If they had a good time they’ll want to support you. And nothing holds more weight than a recommendation from a friend.”

When it comes to social media, Iain would head towards Twitter for its great visual impact: “images are very important, they show guests what you do in less than 130 characters.”

Top tip: Think about listing your event on a foodie platform, such as Grub Club or Edible Experiences, to make your presence known with existing audiences.

Tickets please

When it comes to how much you should charge for your event, Wen suggests a helpful formula: “Do a practice event. Invite acquaintances and friends of friends (not your family and best friends, who will skew this experiment), or other supper club hosts you like. Tell everyone in advance you’re not charging, but you want them to contribute whatever they think the meal is worth, at the end of the evening. Take the total, divide it by the number of guests. That’s what you should charge for your first fully professional event. It won’t be perfect, but it will be an uncannily reasonable guess.” From there you can alter the price according to your event’s success and the waitlist for each one.

Play that funky music

Music can be a really great tool to set the scene for your supper club. When you choose the soundtrack to your event, Jess recommends to “go with music that fits your brand and make sure that it’s loud enough to create a lively atmosphere but not loud enough so that guests have to shout over the table!”

Likewise, at Mr Pigstuff, Iain makes sure that the music doesn’t drown out the chatter of the group. Pick something that suits the ambience you desire. If you are stuck for tunes, go with what makes you smile! Wen says a happy playlist is a surefire way to inject some sunshine into your food and service, “and your mood, for better or worse, will be infectious.”

Make some memories

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It all boils down to two things according to Iain: “great food, and a good social experience.” It really is the people and the participation that make your supperclub memorable – Jess explains how “guests often go to an event for the menu but leave with the people, conversations and atmosphere lingering the most prominently.” Interact as much as possible, have long communal tables, and make sure the atmosphere is chatty and fun – you are the most important ingredient!

If all else fails, Wen says tell some stories about your food: “Why did you make this dish? How and why do you eat it? Is there a “proper” way to eat it? Who taught you how to make it?” Stories are great for people to talk about in their social media posts or during their chat around the office water cooler the next day.

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?

Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to hello@wearepopup.com with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

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Ask the experts – how do I get my press pitch noticed?

I’m really interested in starting my own pop up, but I’m not sure how I should approach the press about my project. I know it’s important to create a buzz with journalists, but I don’t know where to begin! Can you help?

Contacting the press is a sure way to get your shop covered in the news, but getting their attention to get your press pitch noticed is an entirely different feat. Asa Bennett of the Huffington Post, Bex Burn-Callander of the Telegraph, and Alice Revel of Running in Heels each gave us their top tips on how to Perfect Your Pop Up Press Pitch.

Plan Ahead

Start your marketing weeks before the launch of your pop up. This may even be before you have secured a space. Successful marketing needs to be planned months ahead. Give warning to the press and ensure that journalists know as far ahead as possible of your launch, especially if you want them to attend – they are busy people and get booked up in advance. Online and offline publications have different deadlines. Stories in magazine print can be planned two to three months in advance, so bear that in mind when creating your marketing plan.

Secret tip – deadlines vary so it might be worth your while to do a little research. For instance, there aren’t as many people working weekend shifts in the press. Send your press release on a Sunday morning and you have a much greater chance of getting into the paper the following day.

Target Your Journalist

Look at who you want to target and what demographic you want to reach. Is your pop up a restaurant? Look for journalists who write about food. If your pop up is in London, you are not going to want to reach out to a journalist in Aberdeen.

Set Yourself Apart

Journalists are bombarded with over 600 emails and different pitches every day, so it begs the question, what makes them pick a worthwhile story? Start with your subject line. Give the bare necessities such as the company name and what is happening. Grab them by the first paragraph, as journalists tend to have short attention spans. Pull in the key points to your launch or event. Paste the rest of your press release under your email in case journalists want to read further. Do not include attachments or high-res pictures. Just offer to send them upon request instead.

gelato mcqueen press release

When writing your email, think carefully about whom you are reaching to. Depending on the angle, tailor your email to the story and the messaging you use.

When McQueens Flowers and Black Vanilla Gelato collaborated on their wonderful Shop Share pop up last summer, lucky journalists received a press release accompanied by a taste of things to come – some samples of Black Vanilla’s flower-inspired gelato. A sure-fire way to get journalists’ attention!

Use Social Media with Caution

Social media has given people instant access to others, including journalists. But should you tweet your press release? Most would agree it’s better to keep it in email. Pitching to journalists via Twitter can be tricky because you’re constrained by characters. Keep the details of your pitch all in one place as it will be easier for journalists to get all the information they need.

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?
Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to hello@wearepopup.com with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

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