Temporary retail outlets, also known as “pop-up stores”, have been materializing more and more frequently in cities around the globe. Born as a way to capitalize on empty storefronts, pop up stores have grown in prominence as they represent a smart way to test new markets, assess different locations and increase the visibility of the brand. Plus, they are way cheaper and less risky than traditional stores. Think you could gain from a pop-up shop, but not sure how to go about opening one? Here is our advice on how to open a memorable pop-up store – in just 5 easy steps.
1. Create a strong concept
What are your goals? Which type of customer are you trying to attract? Do your research and create a strategy around it to make sure your pop-up store hits the mark and gets noticed by the right people – your customers. Try to grab people’s attention: get creative, be original, but make sure that your store stays true to your brand’s image. Think of your pop-up store as a chance to give your customers a 3D experience of your brand, rather than just a retail space.
2. Pick the right location
Find a location that fits with your brand style, to make sure you are seen by the right type of customer. Before you choose your location take a walk around the area, and pay attention to the amount of foot traffic: the more passers-by, the less effort you’ll have to put into marketing. Think outside the box: most temporary stores have been popping up in vacant storefronts and markets, but why not opening your outlet inside an existing shop, in a community space or a church hall? You could also think about revitalizing a vacant lot by opening your shop in a shipping container, if that kind of setting fits with your merchandise and brand.
3. Use social media to build up momentum
Use social media to get some buzz going before the project goes live, and to create engagement once your pop-up store is up and running. Social media can become your best free marketing tool: by creating a fun and original setup or event in your pop up store, you will encourage your customers to take pictures and share them on social media (this is what those in the business call “creating an Instagram moment” – it works).
4. Set up a payment system
Want to accept various forms of payments but traditional registers and software are too costly? Try a cloud-based point-of-sale system like LS One. To run your store you will only need a Windows tablet, a wi-fi internet connection and a credit card terminal, to accept the payments. Set up the software on your tablet, upload your inventory and you are ready to start selling. And as LS One is also cloud-based, you will be able to track the sales in your store even when you are not there, as all data is automatically synced with the cloud and can be safely accessed at any time from home – or wherever you are. When you close your temporary outlet’s doors for good, you can use the software’s simple reporting features to measure your success, and use the knowledge to plan your future business endeavors.
5. Keep in touch with your customers!
While your store is open, do not forget to collect your customers’ contact details. Keep the communication channel open by sending targeted follow-up information: let your customers know about local events they might be interested in, or encourage them to come to your next pop-up opening. Looking forward to trying out a new product? Want to test a new retail location? Give pop-up shops a chance – plan ahead, target the right consumer, and yours might just be the next success story.