Use Pop-up Shops to Drive Holiday Foot Traffic

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What is a pop-up shop?

A pop-up shop, also known as flash retailing, is a small, temporary store that “pops up” somewhere for either one day or up to several weeks. Pop-up stores usually sell either new or limited edition items; it’s also becoming popular to sell holiday items in pop-up shops. Opening up a shop specifically during the holiday season is a great way to bring in foot traffic.

What’s so special about pop-up shops?

The trend of pop-up retail is great because it’s profitable, temporary, and gives your business a unique and memorable look.

Pop-up shops are profitable because they have a cheap overhead and you can choose to pop it up during profitable seasons.

    • Cheap Overhead: Since the shop is temporary and is smaller than a regular store, that means lower rent. In fact, pop-up stores can be set up almost anywhere (more details further down) which means you may not need to pay rent at all! This is especially valuable for new businesses that don’t necessarily have extra funds for expensive rent.

    • Choose When You Pop Up: Since you get to choose when to pop up your store, it would be wise to research the most profitable seasons and set up your shop then. A good example of this is selling Halloween costumes in October or selling children toys in December.

The fact that pop-up shops are temporary brings up a lot of perks; limited time offers catch consumers’ attention and it enables you to test new products.

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    • While Supplies Last: Whenever something is available for a limited time, it’s more likely that someone will buy it right on the spot rather than going home first and contemplating about it. When someone sees a sign that says, “While supplies last!” the thought process is usually, “Wow I should take advantage while there’s still stock! If I come back tomorrow, they may be sold out and I missed my chance!” People may not necessarily have these exact thoughts running through their heads, but there is an unconscious pull towards the store more than if there was no sign. Everyone experiences FOMO (fear of missing out) to some degree, which gives a strong advantage to pop-up shop owners. This proves even more so if the items you sell are unique or brand new; people are more interested in an item that’s “hot off the press”, especially if it’s only available for a limited time.

    • Testing New Products: This is a good way to test out new items to see if it’s worth it to produce more and sell them in your regular store, whether it’s online or not. This gives you an option to treat your pop-up shop like a showroom. This gives your customers the ability to investigate the new product in person with experienced staff available for inquiries. This is obviously valuable to online retailers, but it can be important to box stores who open pop-up shops as well. When customers enter a big store, they usually know what they want and they go straight to those aisles. However with flash retailing, the customers are just checking it out and are more open to new products and ideas. Pop-up stores are a completely different experience than a regular box store.

Pop-up retail can give your company a unique and memorable look through its design, products, individual theme, and location.

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    • Design: If you want more foot traffic, switch up your design. As I’m sure you noticed in the pictures, pop-up shops usually have a unique and funky look to them and this grabs people’s attention. For example, seeing a huge adidas shoebox on a street corner will be sure to catch your attention, leading you to enter the shoebox (foot traffic), and perhaps even purchasing something! Design is vital for a successful pop-up shop.

    • Products: As mentioned earlier, unique and/or limited time products will cause more sales. If customers enter your pop-up store and just see the same stuff they can buy in a box store, what makes your store unique? That’s why it’s important to think of special and unique items to place in your shop.

    • Theme: Giving your pop-up store a theme goes hand-in-hand with proper design; it’s all about grabbing the customer’s attention. This is what really makes your company memorable to your customers. They automatically connect your business with your theme and vice versa. Along with your theme you can offer something that will make your company stick out amongst the rest; perhaps by providing free beverages. This can even be a theme in itself; a customer may say, “Oh yeah, I remember that pop-up shop! They gave out free lemonade, you should check it out.” Giving your company a memorable theme also makes your business “instagramable”. This means it gives the people something to generate buzz about, whether it’s done through social media or through casual chat.
    • Location:Location is key. Make sure to do your research prior to settling in a certain area for your shop. What to have in mind is the kind of audience you’re targeting. If for example you’re selling extra comfortable and fashionable flip-flops, your audience will most likely be teens and adolescence and a good location would be near a beach in the summer. It all depends on your clientele. Try to place it near stores that your audience is interested in. For example, you wouldn’t put the flip-flop shop near a museum, more likely you’d place it near boutiques selling bags and jewelry. It’s also very important to remember that your shop can go anywhere! Target even made a holiday boat pop-up shop for two weeks in 2002. If you can make it on a boat, you can make it anywhere!

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Overall, pop-up shops are great because they’re profitable, temporary, and they give your company a unique and memorable look which will drive more foot traffic. So what are you waiting for? Pop up your shop today! :)


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