As retailers continue experimenting with new pop-up shops and pop-in stores to help draw customers toward brick-and-mortar locations, there are some key considerations to ponder if you want to do this successfully. Some are obvious, such as deciding on the layout, dates and locations of ancillary stores. Some are less obvious, such as the necessity to rethink back-office operations for pop-up situations, from who is hired to what technology is used.
In my prior post, How to Rethink Back-Office Operations in the Age of Pop-Ups, I shared some insights around trends in support of newer forms of retail. I continued this conversation with Ancillary Retail to delve in to how pop-ups can be leveraged to further drive brand awareness and customer engagement. Our conversation revealed a few takeaways:
Approaching Pop-Ups: Pop-up shops give brands the opportunity to position themselves within non-traditional markets and expand beyond their existing consumer base. The benefit does not lie solely in revenue generation per se, as that can be minimal at times. The benefit, rather, lies in the ability to increase brand awareness and engagement across markets, when and where consumers are.
Optimizing Experience: One way to optimize space inside a pop-up shop is through mobile point-of-sale systems, which also make the checkout process smoother for consumers. It is true that space tends to be limited within pop-up shops, making it even more important to design the space strategically. Retailers can do this by providing associates with mobile point-of-sale systems, which will require less of a footprint than a traditional fixed register. Further, by allowing associates to conduct sales anywhere and everywhere throughout the space, retailers can use every square inch for the display of products and more easily interact with customers.
Meeting the Ideal: So, what is the ideal pop-up experience for a customer, and, in turn, a brand? That varies greatly depending on the individual consumer and brand, of course, but there are many factors that tend to remain consistent. The ideal pop-up shop experience for a customer is one that delivers something both unexpected and exciting. By nature, popups are limited in terms of time. In many cases they are limited with exclusive inventory as well but should still be seamless for the consumer in respect to their interaction with the overall brand.
As brands continue to invest in omnichannel customer experiences, maintaining an ongoing dialogue with their customers, pop-up shops will become a continuation of that conversation. This will allow customers to experience their favorite brands in new and exciting ways.