Have you thought about running a pop-up shop to sell your products? Have you thought about where you would hold it, when you would hold it and how you would kit the space out? These are all very important points to consider in order to ensure that your brand’s message is translated to your target audience.
There are so many benefits to setting up a temporary shop in a location chosen by you, the fashion business owner, such as testing your products and interacting directly with your customers offline. Setting up a pop-up shop can also be a low-cost way to launch your fashion business.
You need to make sure that in the short space of time that your pop-up shop is open, you establish your brand to the foot traffic and beyond. Leave your mark and make sure that people remember you – and that those who missed out are so saddened they chase you down online!
Remember: you might not be there for a long time, but you are there for a good time. That means a good shop front, a good atmosphere, good sales and marketing, and a really good customer experience.
Whatever your reason for ‘popping-up’ there are some considerations that you should be aware of, at Enterprise Nation’s Fashion Exchange event, the owner of BBS Clothing, Daniel Peters, gave his advice to fashion entrepreneurs on running a pop-up shop.
He has previously run successful pop-up shops in central London, and has a lot of experience so we have shared Daniel’s advice, along with some of our own, to make sure that you are fully prepared to pop-up!
Who is popping in?
One of the first things that you have to consider is what your pop-up shop will do for your customer. Think about your target customer, and ask yourself what your goals are with this particular pop-up shop: to get rid of old stock, to test new stock with your audience or perhaps to establish your brand. Deciding on your goals early will make the further planning of your pop-up shop much easier.
Remember to take the time to talk to your customers. Aim to learn something valuable about them, such as their spending habits, and teach them something about your brand. Start a conversation to build a relationship with your customer.
Related Reading: How to Market Your Brand on a Budget
Timing is everything
When you open your pop-up shop and the length of time you keep it open for are both very important considerations. Some fashion brands open pop-up shops to sell seasonal products, so think about what the purpose of running your pop-up is? This is really important for not just which products you will sell, but also if your customers would buy them.
Remember that pop-up shops are temporary, and so you want to make sure that your target customer is able to make a purchase within the time frame that you are open. One top tip is to run your pop-up after the 25th of the month as most customers have been paid, and have funds available to spend on your products.
The duration that you run your pop-up shop for is important and depends on your budget and availability. According to Daniel, one week is too short; three weeks would be great, but if you can afford to run it for four weeks, do so.
Location, Location, Location
If your target customer expects a premium fashion product with a premium price point, does the design of your pop-up and location reflect this? You should constantly be thinking about what message is being sent to your customer through every detail that surrounds your pop-up.
You need to pop up where your customers will be or be willing to travel to quickly. Choosing the location of your pop-up shop is down to research into the demographics of your customer base and your gut instinct.
If your target customer is likely to be found shopping in a city centre, think about where you could position yourself, and then work within your budget. But bear in mind that you want to be in a location that has high shopping foot traffic. So do your research and don’t be afraid to get out there and speak to local people and local retailers.
“Hey, Good Looking!”
Make sure that your pop-up shop stands out and is the most accurate visual representation of your brand. From the layout of your products to the visual merchandising and packaging: make sure everything is on brand and is attractive to YOUR customer.
It can be costly to purchase furniture and props to ensure customer comfort and display products, so think about what you could rent or recycle. This goes for marketing and packaging too.
Daniel offered some fantastic advice on how to brand your product packaging: “Buy a stamp with your logo on and translate your message beyond one customer – if you’re in it to make money.” This is a simple, effective and creative way to wrap your product and advertise your brand.
Counting the Pennies
As with everything in business, you will need a budget and you will need to stick to it. You will have to make allowances for costs, such as: rent, utilities, insurance, staff, internet facilities, payment fees, marketing, furniture and more!
If you’re using a web-based payment system, you will need WiFi. If you have WiFi, this could be attractive to your customer and so you should share the details with them, via merchandising fixtures which is another cost.
You may think that you can do it all on your own, but having the staff to help with setting up or sales is crucial. If you’re doing everything, you’ll miss out on opportunities to have valuable conversations with customers, and you will not be able to do it ALL, and do it well. As Daniel said: “You can’t work on your own, I did that before and I was burned out. What’s the point in having the shop and not being at my best?”
So budget for everything you need, with the budget that you have. Daniel said: “A pop-up shop doesn’t have to cost the world.” Don’t forget that social media can be a free or low-cost way to shout about your pop-up and attract customers, depending on what and how you use it, and you might be able to borrow items that you need. Just don’t expect things, or a space, for free.
Pop-up shops are exciting for both customers and fashion business owners, but they also require a lot of creative effort and hard work. Make sure that you have a clear plan, goals and sales targets for your pop-up shop in order to get long-lasting value from this project.