Pop-Up Shops – What are the Pros and Cons of Pop-up Retail Spaces?
Did you know that almost 1/3 of businesses in the UK start life as pop-up shops?
According to EE's Britain's Pop-Up Retail Economy report, the pop-up sector is worth around £2.3 billion.
What started as a niche alternative to long retail leaseholds and as a bit of a marketing gimmick has gone mainstream in just a few years.
Pop-up marketing is a relatively new concept that relies on a temporary storefront space that opens suddenly, for a particular purpose and only for a short period.
From food and drink to fashion, arts and crafts, all kinds of retailers large and small are now using the pop-up format to grow sales and experiment with new ideas.
Pop-up experiences are a popular tool for startups or online retailers to test the market in a physical retail environment, drumming up business in a unique way.
Boxpark in London's uber trendy Shoreditch is an inspiring example of the new retail thinking.
A former shipping container, it's a permanent pop-up envelope housing independent fashion and lifestyle stores and cafes.
If you have a budding retail business and are exploring flexible and impactful marketing channels, why not take a look at the pros and cons of having a pop-up shop.
+ Cost effective space
Compared to the restrictions and commitments that come with long-term rents, rates and other financial obligations, pop-up shops are a much more budget-friendly solution.
For small, agile businesses hoping to make their mark, you can respond with maximum flexibility to commercial opportunities, simply by creating a stylish, temporary, practical space for one-off events and promotions.
+ High visibility PR
Design-savvy pop-up shops, bars or eateries have a high novelty factor, even in towns and cities where pop-ups are an established part of the cityscape.
The temporary nature of the space adds a sense of urgency to visit, while new concepts in cuisine or wares for sale arouse curiosity.
Connect with the local media and influencers for maximum PR impact.
+ Buzz and footfall
Pop-ups are exciting; they create a buzz!
Attracting people to experience your pop-up shop is a golden opportunity to introduce your brand, present your product/service offerings and share your business values.
It could be the beginning of a beautiful long-term relationship.
+ Face-to-face customer interaction
Online experiences and social media engagement is all very well, but nothing beats the human touch.
Creating a real, physical space for you to interact with your customers one on one will help you to understand them better, target your products and ideas and get real-time feedback.
Plus it feels good to have a personal connection.
+ Flash sales and discounts
Why not use your pop-up presence to offload some old stock, promote limited offer discounts, introduce new products or give out special offer vouchers?
Short bursts of sales activity can help push sales while raising your profile in just the right place at just the right time.
– Finding the right space
The most time-consuming and challenging part about setting up a successful pop-up shop is to find just the right location for your venture.
Many commercial landlords and agents don't support the idea, preferring more regular, longer-term arrangements.
– Health & Safety hurdles
Whether you set up a pop-up shop in an empty retail space, at an outdoor festival or other event, compliance with health and safety regulation is non-negotiable.
Have a scaffold tower on standby to help with 3D erection and assembly, sound & light installations without the risk of accidents.
– Insufficient customer care
The transient nature of your retail outlet may put some customers off.
How can you ensure a smooth customer journey when people cannot easily get in touch with you or return an item once the pop-up has gone?
Make sure you have continuation strategies in place.
– Limited stock availability
Similarly, the lack of space available will limit your ability to carry a wide range and a large amount of stock.
What happens when you run out? Can people order online? Come back next time?
Guard against any possible frustration among customers that won't show off your business in the best light.
– Time's up, now what?
The time-limited nature of a pop-up experience is also its main disadvantage.
Even if the event was a roaring success set in the perfect location, when it's gone, it's gone.