How to launch your ShopShare

So, you’ve found the ShopShare brand match of your dreams, fitted and kitted out the space, and agreed a launch date with your ShopShare collaborator. But how do you get the most out of your pop up, and the partnership with the collaborator brand(s) to really stand out from the crowd?

Do you have a launch party organised?

Screenshot 2014-08-21 18.54.51Talk to the shop owner and any other collaborators about a launch party. This doesn’t necessarily have to be your first day of trading – you might want to have a ‘soft launch’ couple of days trading before you go large with a party. Once you’ve set the date, tell your customers, press, fans and family. A top tip is to send a quirky invite to press, to make you stand out from the crowd. For example when McQueens florist and Black Vanilla gelato launched their ShopShare, they sent a press release and invite with a small posy of flowers and gelato samples, which got the media’s attention and secured them plenty of mentions in the press.

If you’re an online only brand, coming offline into a phsyical shop for a short time, why not take a leaf out of Elisa’s book from Wandering Minds and supply a voucher that your online regular customers can use in-store. This will encourage them to pay you a visit whilst you have a bricks-and-mortar presence.

When it comes to marketing your pop up, think about your various channels and tweak the message to be appropriate to each one. Have you thought of a catchy #hashtag, and told your team and collaborators about it? Why not share your mailing lists with your ShopShare partner – this is a great way to access each others’ target markets and gain wider coverage with new customers.

Once you’re ready to launch, don’t forget to tell We Are Pop Up about it! We’ll promote you to our networks, and as always, we’ll try to come along to say hello.

Can you tie in with any local events whilst you’re popping up? Is there anything going on locally, such as a festival, or regular late night shopping night, that would be a good opportunity to piggy back?

Don’t forget to also check out the neighbours and make sure they are all on board and excited about your launch. Perhaps you could team up with the local café and invite them to do the catering for your launch event, or maybe the local beauty bar can come and give manicures and makeovers on your opening night. So long as it’s suitable for your target customers, these types of collaborations all help to amplify your message.

And finally, let us know how it went, and keep us posted about your hopes for your next pop up – we may already have just the venue or collaborator for you!

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How to match brands

Our ShopShare initiative provides an opportunity for brands and retail spaces to join forces in a collaboration that is mutually beneficial.  This new form of pop up allows tenants 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. Overall everyone wins. Whilst a ShopShare arrangement can provide excellent opportunities for both parties, it’s very important that there is a good synergy to make the most of the relationship. It’s not as simple as finding a space, it is also about making sure it’s the right fit – that the space and product attract the right customers.

One of the main benefits of a ShopShare is accessing the footfall of potential customers in the area. When looking at the outside of the building ask yourself if you would want to step inside to look around? Does it have the look and feel that best represents your brand? Appearances count and a shop exterior is the first introduction customers get to your product so make sure it suits your vision.

Having the right fit is important to a ShopShare success. Chris Shelley Manager of Lanna, a Jewellery shop in Notting Hill recently collaborated with Dar Leone a globally inspired range of homeware and lifestyle products.

“When Dar Leone approached me I knew her jewellery designs would fit right in…I think it’s important to get that mix right, otherwise it’ll make the shop look a bit odd and won’t be a good selling experience for the pop up.”

The overall result was a positive one with both partners open to a ShopShare experience in the future.

Thinking outside the box can also make for interesting and eye catching matches. Recently McQueens Florists and Black Vanilla gelato joined forces to create a unique ShopShare. They collaborated to make floral-inspired gelato flavours – English Rose Petals, Mint and Lime and Madagascan Vanilla. The romanticism and beauty of both products made it an excellent match, and its originality captured the imagination of local media helping both business gain significant attention from the press.

Like all collaborations, finding the right partnership is essential to ensuring the success of a ShopShare. See more top tips from Pip Black, founder of FRAME Studios in our previous blog post here.

It’s important to take your time to discover the right location and product that suits your overall needs. We Are Pop Up offers an enormous range of ShopShare opportunities available to help turn your vision into a reality.

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How to finance your ShopShare

Whether you’re a shop owner looking to rent out part of your shop, or a tenant thinking of embarking on a ShopShare, there are a few top tips that will help you make the most out of the experience financially. After all, whilst ShopShares can bring fantastic PR and marketing benefits for both sides, many of you will be approaching your ShopShare as a commercial arrangement, looking to make sales and bring in a tidy profit. So, here are a few points to bear in mind.

ShopShare, how does it work financially?

–       When you book out the space through, you’ll agree on the flat-rate rental for the rail, shelf, wall or concession space and the tenant will pay this upfront before the launch.

–       Usually, the shop owner should run the till on behalf of the tenant. Sometimes there will be a small fee for credit card transactions that the tenant will need to cover. Discuss this upfront before launch, to make sure both sides are happy with the arrangement.

–       Some ShopShares are set up for you to pop up with an independently run concession within an existing space. In this case you’ll need to bring your own till and POS system, etc. Be sure to check out there’s working wifi so you can run your till and take payments!

–       Think about price points – does the price of your products or service chime with the price of your ShopShare collaborator’s products? It may be that they are very different, and that can work brilliantly, so long as the prices are suitable for your customer target demographic. For example, when Black Vanilla popped up in McQueens florist, the gelato was relatively much lower price points than the flowers on sale, however the gelato provided a great entry point for customers who might not normally have set foot in McQueens.

–       To help with different price points, don’t forget to market your products together in a meaningful way [see here for more on that]

I want to do a revenue share pop up, how does that work?

–       Revenue share gets a little more complicated but it’s feasible. When we see it work best, it’s in addition to a flat rental fee, usually to cover extras the landlord might provide like staffing, security, visual merchandising etc. Revenue share tends to be around 5-8% when combined with rent – be sure to define this upfront before you launch.

Getting clear about how you manage the finances of your business will allow you to focus your creative energies on more of the creative aspects so that your brand can continue to succeed.

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How to work collaboratively

With ShopShare brands can rent out an area of an existing shop, in order to connect with new customers and build their business. Whilst one clear benefit is gaining a new space, we believe a working collaboration can provide a lot more resources for you to take advantage of.

A wealth of knowledge

Owning and maintaining a successful business is no easy feat. It takes more than a good idea to keep a shop afloat. That’s why when brands and retailers choose to collaborate they’re getting more than a space – they’re are also accessing the experience of the store owner who can provide vital information to help make the most of a Shop Share experience. When building a collaborative relationship we strongly suggest taking the time to learn from the retailer who can give insight into a variety of different aspects of their business, the local area and customer activity.

Loyal customers

Years of owning a shop also means a strong customer following.  Working with an established store means you can instantly access their long term relationships and repeat customers. Finding out about their customer behaviour and spending habits will help you to position your product in a way that allows for maximum returns.

Sharing resources

ShopShare offers more than an area of a shop, it’s a collaborative relationship that can also provide other resources. Depending on your ShopShare arrangement it may be worthwhile discussing accessing each others’ social media networks, to amplify your marketing message. Why not take advantage of each others’ Facebook, Twitter, Website and Newsletters? For the shop it’s a chance for them to share something new with their customers whilst significantly increasing your brand awareness.

Shop Share Success

We want your Shop Share experience to be as beneficial as possible. Your success is our success and we are confident that the collaborative opportunities that exist in ShopSharing can significantly boost your business.

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A win-win shopping experience

If you’re starting out in business, the commitment of taking on an entire space may seem a little daunting, You asked us for smaller spaces and so we are happy to deliver.  We Are Pop Up is working with shop owners to bring you easier access to spaces within existing stores, which are cheaper and allow a unique shopping collaboration for all involved. This style of Shop Sharing means a win-win experience for businesses and existing retailers.

For Isatu Funna, the Owner and Creative Director of Dar Leone, a globally inspired range of interior, homeware and lifestyle products, Shop Sharing makes complete sense. Having displayed Dar Leone at Trade Shows, Isatu wanted to extend her reach “ I really like the idea of pop ups because it gives you a less targeted audience and it’s much more randomised because it’s all about who is passing by.”

Through We Are Pop Up’s directory of Shop Share Spaces, Isatu was able to connect with Chris Shelley the Manager of Lanna, a Jewellery shop in Notting Hill. She visited the location and within the day both the retailer and tenant agreed to work together. Chris told us “When Dar Leone approached me I knew her jewellery designs would fit right in…I think it’s important to get that mix right, otherwise it’ll make the shop look a bit odd and won’t be a good selling experience for the pop-up.

Collaboration is at the heart of what makes this initiative a success. Isatu and Chris worked together to ensure that the space was suitable for both their needs. Overall the experience was positive, although Isatu did have one top tip for future tenants: measure the allocated space properly before bringing products to the location.  Her original display did not quite fit in the designated space but luckily Chris was there to assist her in working within the store to get the best results.

Chris happily recognises the value of Shop Sharing “It’s great fun to do and a win for both parties, running a shop is very expensive and so the pop-ups get good exposure without the commitments and the retailer gets new stock without heavy investment”. For Itsa the responsibility of your own business means having to think outside the box. “You can’t always afford a whole space in Central London because the daily rates are astronomical, so it’s a good way to start.”

The synergy between Lanna and Dar Leone has been a success with both parties open to Shop Sharing again. As the world of retail grows more competitive – with bricks and mortar stores vying for attention with online commerce – this new business collaboration helps provide growth opportunities for everyone involved.


Grow Your Independent Creative Business With Etsy!


Sarah here, from the Community Programmes team at Etsy UK. We’re passionate about supporting small creative businesses in the UK and we’re excited to be working with the We Are Pop Up community!

As well as in-person sales at pop up events, selling online is an excellent way to grow your business. Etsy is a global marketplace for handmade and vintage. Not only is it free to open your Etsy shop and you keep 96.5% of all sales (meaning more money in your pocket!) but you can also:

  • Reach 40 million users, worldwide. (The UK is our fastest growing market!)
  • Grow your brand with smart tools and promotional features.
  • Share the story of your craft in your profile, item photos and shop banner.
  • Access our busy programme of support services and educational resources for small creative businesses, including The Seller Handbook, Etsy School and the Etsy Success newsletter.
  • Join our vibrant and supportive community – connect with experienced sellers, online and off, through Teams.
  • Apply for opportunities to showcase your work, like our art exhibition for London Art Month.

Find out more about selling on Etsy here!

A little gift to our WAPU friends –

Opening an Etsy shop is simple… Get started with 20 free listings! Enter the code: WAPU at (new sellers only).

Best wishes


How to choose your pop-up location

When you’re planning your next pop up, how do you decide on a location?

For businesses already trading online, there is a wealth of information about your customer base which you have at your fingertips. Using this wisely, with a data-driven approach, will help you find the very best location and give your pop up the greatest chance of success.

Here are the key points to bear in mind.

First, if you’re already trading online, look at every order you’ve received over the last 6 months including the order total value, and the postcode. This is best done in a spreadsheet, so you can sort the data.

Next, group the orders into unique postcodes – what is the total revenue for each postcode based on the total of all orders in that area?

If one post code emerges as a clear leader, you know where to set up shop! If you have more than one post code with similar spend value, then you might even like to ‘A/B Test’ the two locations. Why not run two trial pop ups, one in each location. Whichever is most successful (in terms of sales, footfall, media coverage or whatever your objective is), focus on that area for a more ambitious follow-on pop up, safe in the knowledge that you have tested the market and the investment will be worthwhile.

Don’t forget that Facebook ads are a brilliant way to target geographical locations – once you’ve identified postcodes where you have a high value of orders, increase ad spend in those areas to promote your pop up launch.

Finally, think about ‘adjacencies’. Who are the neighbouring businesses in the area you are considering? Do they attract the demographic you need? Don’t be afraid to locate near other similar businesses. Whilst it may seem counter-intuitive to locate near competitors, in retail a critical mass of similar businesses works well, because it creates a shopping destination. (Think Carnaby Street, Oxford Circus, High Street Ken, etc)

If you need help to decide on a location for your pop up shop, contact the team on and we’d be happy to discuss your needs.

Tips taken from WAPU experience and from Anna Kegler’s RJMetrics blog post.

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The benefits of sharing a shop

Welcome to the Shop Sharing Revolution

Glassworks Shop Share For RentWe’re firm believers in the power of collaboration and in making it quick and easy to access short-term retail space, so we’ve decided to bring these passions to life in the form of our brand new Shop Sharing scheme from

So, what is Shop Share?

It’s an opportunity for you as a business to rent a rail, a table, a shelf or a concession in a pre-established business environment. Exactly as the name suggests… share your shop!

We are connecting small and independent retailers and businesses who don’t necessarily have a place to hang their hats yet with space that boast an already set-up retail environment. Therefore allowing for both parties to benefit – it’s a wonderfully symbiotic situation in which everyone’s a winner.

Landlords and shop owners get to have a fresh face in their space, and some additional rent, and the businesses they’re collaborating with get to take advantage of their established footfall, customer base and prime location. 

Pitfield London 

How do I use it?

You can search for shop shares here. Those already signed up for welcoming collaborators into their space include McQueens, tokyobike, Gugiuman & Morella and Glassworks to name a handful. And we are signing up more spaces daily.

Shop Share is a concept that we devised because you asked for it. We listened to your comments requesting more affordable spaces that were easier to pop up in, and we developed this new offer to meet those needs. Necessity is the mother of invention after all.

So, whether you’re a brand, business or space… It’s time to get ready to share the love and join the Shop Sharing Revolution.



“How Social Media Powered The Pop-up”

For Social Media Week (September 24th – 28th in London), Eventbrite

As part of Social Media Week, EventbriteUK (@briteuk) hosted 60+ attendees at Engine to discuss why pop-ups use social media, how to market big new ideas and what growth really looks like in a world gone digital. We heard from a great panel composed of major London pop-up entrepreneurs:

Andrew Swain – social media consultant at Boxpark (@boxpark),

Alice Hodge – co-founder of The Art Of Dining (@artofdiningldn)

Max Bergius – founder & editor of Art Wednesday (@artwednesday)

Sam Michel – founder of Chinwag (@chinwag)

Daniel Young  – founder of Young and Foodish (@youngandfoodish)

For pop-ups, the problems with promotion and consumer traction are obvious: they are intrinsically ephemeral, underground, inconsistent, and often invisible to the naked eye (read: invite only). They are projects built from scratch by courageous and inventive individuals keen to bring something new into the world. Conversely, they’re often unable to afford the luxuries of promotion, mass-marketing, or any paid advertising whatsoever. We heard from the panel that proper (paid) promotion can actually damage reputations if the goal is to find an authentic and authentically engaged consumer base.

Enter Social Media.

“Everyone on Twitter Is Into Crochet”

The consensus in the room was that user/consumer/fan-generated content is the most valuable to both identifying and growing a dedicated base of customers. Rather than filling Facebook with every little announcement, or feeding Twitter with flippant information, success comes from re-posting Instagram photos, sharing positive consumer feedback and reinforcing messages of gratitude. While these strategies seem fairly obvious, we were given plenty of counter-examples where Pinterest had been used to mask commercial interests, verbose blogs fell on deaf ears and scattershot over-use of Facebook and Twitter isolated everyone.

As Daniel Young put it, “Everyone on Twitter is into crochet.” This doesn’t mean that any crochet business will de-facto succeed through Tweets alone, but rather that the challenge is to bring new and useful information and projects to the platform. Take the time to tell the right people about them, and then take them on a journey. Daniel found a collaborator in Edible Experiences, and they often share and support each-other’s content.

For Alice Hodge, the journey starts with ‘being real’, which is facilitated primarily through Twitter and Instagram. The accurate buzz word here is “oblique.” Tweeting about mis-steps and antics, coupled with Instagram photos of what happens behind-the-scenes can do a lot to bring humor, life and humanity to a new business. Andrew and most of the panel echoed the value of re-posting Instagram images and other user-generated content as a way to build a reputation directly through relationships, rather than ‘pitching’ anything at all.

Email = Workhorse

So how do you connect directly with your base to promote events, sell tickets, generate a buzz or announce a new feature? And how to do you measure retention vs. interest when social network stats are only as good as the last week’s activity?

For Max Bergius, email equivocates best. Because it is so direct, Art Wednesday sees the most monetization come from direct emails. MailChimp is the favorite tool for scheduling and building email campaigns (we use it at WAPU for our mailing-list and love it). As social networks grow larger daily, getting a signal through the noise can be quite the challenge. But email – set apart from networks and inherently personal – is a great way to find and keep your ‘sticky’ supporters.

Quality, not G+

Of the many platforms supported and praised for their ability to help connect and network users, Hootsuite and Tweetdeck were praised as tools to manage and schedule social updates (they focus on Twitter and Facebook). Path, Highlight and Banjo were mentioned as good personal networking tools. Drupal and WordPress were the blogging favorites.

We would like to throw in Shhmooze as an up-and-comer which helps you find people from your networks at events hosted by Shhmooze, Eventbrite and MeetUp.

The consensus was that Google Plus and the complicated integration of Google Plus Local and Google Plus Groups makes it more of a headache than a tool. When resources are already stretched across development, outreach and service, convoluted software that changes frequently is the most likely to drop off.

“If corporates can get out of the way… we’ll have a great time”

The most poignant question of the session came at the end of the event, when Sam Michel had a chance to discuss the role of big brands amidst the pop-up phenomenon. The title quote is his, issued after explaining the potential and exciting opportunity for entrepreneurs and brands to partner around offering large-scale, authentic experiences.  Brands can bring financial support and capability, where entrepreneurs bring authenticity and a true connection to consumers.

This is most likely to work if the brand is just barely visible. We imagine meaningful or quiet product-placements, rather than big noisy ad-campaigns.  Most brands now don’t seem to cop to the idea, so maybe they just need to be taught.  Connecting with true pop-up entrepreneurs is a great opportunity for brands to authentically connect with their consumers – as we see in The Art Of Dining’s new Tradicional project.

Many thanks to Katie McPhee and Eventbrite for facilitating this fascinating conversation. (And for not forcing everyone in attendance to wear big orange shirts.)

Watch the live stream

Event overview and speakers: