Shopping the big box stores during the holiday season can often get monotonous, which is why many consumers find the vibe and atmosphere of seasonal pop-up shops so appealing. For starters, the pop–up is often located in a fun, new environment worthy of exploration and discovery. Add to that the allure of a fresh merchandise mix carefully curated to highlight key items and you’ve got a prime opportunity to generate sales and build PR buzz for your brand. Regardless of what pop-up shop scenario is best for your business, it’s important to make marketing and event promotion a top priority.
Choose the right pop-up shop setting for your business
Apparel brands that require large amounts of selling space will generally do best in a stand-alone pop-up shop. This scenario allows for adequate room to create compelling merchandise displays while providing space for signage, rolling racks and fitting rooms. For businesses with product lines that don’t physically demand excess space, a collective pop-up shop setting or limited time pop-up shop in an established boutique is a better fit.
Establish a brand identity for your event
Brand the event with a key graphic and details that can easily be shared to help build buzz. Having several versions of the event graphic available is essential to facilitate sharing. I like to have an event graphic that is suitable for printing on postcards, a second for online promotion that includes key details, and a third graphic that is image heavy and easy to share on a visual platform like Instagram. If you plan on advertising on the web or in email newsletters you’ll also want to consider having a banner ad graphic available as well.
Create (and execute) promotional calendar
Setting your calendar early on is a wise choice for a successful pop-up shop. Be sure to include all the communication platforms that your company uses including email newsletters, blogs and all applicable social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Developing a marketing calendar that will allow you to strategically plan what type of posts you’ll publish and when is key so that you have time to customize content for each platform and execute it in a timely manner.
Pitch your Pop-up
When working with editors on coverage of pop-up shops I find that a tailored approach with varied story angles per audience works best. Some editors might be interested in covering specific brands or products that will be found at the pop-up shop while others prefer to focus on the event angle instead. It’s important to be creative and customize your pitch to each outlet in order maximize engagement and help editors understand how your pop-up shop is relevant to their readers. Don’t forget to include bloggers and influencers on your outreach list for the event. You might also consider giving media guests a preview of the shop before it’s open to the public to help build excitement.
Make it easy for shoppers to buy
In addition to brand awareness, the purpose of holiday pop-up shops is to generate sales. The best way to maximize sales at a pop-up shop is to create as many opportunities as possible for customers to buy. Merchandise that is pre-packaged in a gift box is always a big hit during the holiday season. Grouping complementary items together is also a smart idea because it encourages shoppers to buy multiple gifts for a single recipient under the premise that those items simply “go together”. Easy grab and go stocking stuffers are also a nice find for shoppers who are in a rush. If your company offers gift certificates, use custom stationary for printing and having matching envelopes available for buyers. Gift tables featuring merchandise at various price points also do well at pop-up shops. Plan displays around key items and consider running special promotions to sweeten the deal for shoppers.
Maximize on-site marketing opportunities
Having signage with your company’s social media handles will do wonders to increase engagement at the event. Be sure to have someone from your team doing LIVE social media updates at the event to help generate buzz. Consider doing an on-site raffle as a way to build excitement and capture customer contact information. It’s way more fun than having a clipboard with a generic sign-up sheet and offers shoppers an incentive to sign-up. Swag bags and door prizes are also fun elements to include at events and help set the pace for an enjoyable shopping experience.
Have you been to (or thrown) a memorable pop-up shop? What was your favorite part about the experience?
Photo Credit: jpellgen