As an online business, you reap the benefits of many cost-saving opportunities. You don’t have to deal with certain overhead costs associated with brick and mortar stores, and there are plenty of hardships that come with traditional retail. However, as an ecommerce business, learning to think outside the box can put you in a favorable position. That’s where pop-up stores come in. According to one study, 80% of global retail companies that used pop-up shops in their strategy said it was successful.
Pop-up stores offer a happy medium; you can reap the benefits of selling products physically without having to assume the responsibilities of brick retailers. If you’ve already built an audience and seen success with your current online ads and marketing efforts, use that power to promote your pop-up shop. Take your ad efforts a step further by going offline in another direction by using physical mailers. Create an integrated direct mail campaign with color window envelopes that evoke your brand spirit (get them here). With that in mind, here are a few reasons to put together a pop-up store of your own:
Meet your customers
One of the drawbacks ecommerce brands deal with is that they have little to no opportunities to meet their customers or target market face-to-face. Seeing a potential customer in person presents two clear benefits:
- The ability to create real engagements and put a face to your brand
- Allows potential customers to touch and feel your product
Allowing those consumers to see the product firsthand helps them make a decision. When they aren’t able to try the product themselves, they’re more likely to move on to the next best thing. If they have any questions or concerns about the product, you’ll be there to address them on-site.
Educate your market
When you’ve got a new product and/or a new brand, it’s difficult to build awareness. Consumers don’t know who you are and whether you’re a trustworthy business just yet. With a pop-up store, you can educate your consumers in a meaningful way. Demonstrate your product value in person and convey the story built around it. This is especially important for ecommerce companies starting a business around a very particular niche. When you’re able to demo the cost-value, you’ll get further with building brand awareness.
Target your demographic
Retailers are confined to a particular space, and ecommerce companies are at the mercy of their digital marketing strategies. However, when you spearhead a pop-up shop, you can take that pop-up shop anywhere. This gives you the chance to go where your market is. For example, if your product is tailored to college students, you could set up shop around busy campuses. With this in mind, it’s important to consider your data before you choose a location. Where are your customers residing? Are most of your website visitors coming from cities or rural areas? What income bracket are they in? What are the referral sources? Understanding these important metrics allows you to hone in on a location that's most likely to produce results.
Create a sense of urgency
Most marketers understand how the psychological concept of scarcity plays a key role in consumer shopping behavior. One fallback that brick and mortar stores face is “showrooming”—the practice of visiting stores to examine merchandise, and then proceeding to hunt for the best price online. For example, a person might use this showrooming tactic to browse books in Barnes and Noble, only to return home and order on Amazon.
Because pop-up stores are temporary, they create an inherent sense of urgency. Customers are most likely unable to come back another time or shop for limited edition products at another location. As a result, they’re more likely to make a purchase while they’re there.
Experiment with brick and mortar
If you’re toying with the idea of opening a brick and mortar location, pop-up shops can offer great insight into whether there’s a market for it. By testing this revenue stream early on, you can avoid costly mistakes. Digitally native brands may want to explore growth by eventually transitioning into physical retail, but there’s a time and place. Every major business decision should be backed with concrete proof, and a pop-up shop will help you determine whether brick and mortar is right for you.
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