Pop-up shops are the next big thing. In fact, they already are the big thing. Large and small merchants have decided that the trend should be embraced, and you may be thinking the same. Before you make the leap, let us discuss pop-up shops in a bit more detail. They aren’t for everyone, despite their popularity.
What Is a Pop-Up?
When you think of a pop-up, think here today, gone tomorrow. Pop-ups appear in retail stores that have been closed, using them temporarily until they have made an impression with their customers. A pop-up shop allows a merchant to introduce their product, sell it quickly and then move on. Perhaps the most popular varieties are mall kiosks and those Halloween costume shops that are only around for about a month.
Why Are Pop-Up Shops “The Thing”?
Pop-up shops tend to be exciting. It was just over 10 years ago that the country was hit hard by a recession. During that time, the nation saw many of their favorite stores shut down, not being able to keep up with the financial losses. A pop-up breathes new life into the downtown area or even the local strip mall.
That said, you may not be certain whether or not you may benefit from opening your own pop-up. Consider these factors:
- They are Affordable
If you’ve taken the time to price out rent for different areas, you know just how expensive it can be. Pop-up shops usually have a lower rent, which can be advantageous for the new business owner who may not be working with a ton of capital yet. If your pop-up store doesn’t gain the popularity that you thought it would, you will also have the option of shutting your doors without having been stuck in a long-term lease.
- Long-Term Versus Short-Term
Unlike finding a space and signing a year’s long lease, a pop-up will give you the opportunity to rent a space for a month or so. Again, this can be very budget-friendly for the new entrepreneur. The thought of leasing a space for a year can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know how your produce or service will be received. With a pop-up, you can wrap your mind about being in and out. If your store does take off, you can always pop-up somewhere else or decide on something that will last longer.
- Get the Word Out
One of the biggest benefits of a pop-up store for a merchant is that they generate buzz. A pop-up draws the attention of the masses, and people get excited about the prospect of finding a good deal. Consider this to be a great marketing tool for your company. This isn’t only true of small merchants, some of the biggest store chains have opened pop-ups to promote a new product or sale. For example, the Gap, Target and Levi’s have all opened pop-ups as a way to create excitement about their brand.
- You Can Experiment
Because it is relatively low cost to operate a pop-up, you are giving yourself the chance to experiment. You can test new products, try out a new promotion and try to reach a different demographic. Imagine having the freedom to do these things without having to worry about too much capital. Give yourself the room to get creative with a pop-up; you may find out that something you’ve always been thinking of is a big hit. On the other hand, you may find that your new product is a flop and have the time and resources to retool your business.
- Spontaneous Purchases Equal Bigger Profit
The nature of a pop-up store allows for spontaneous purchases. When a consumer visits a traditional retail store, they are looking to buy a specific item in many cases. When they visit a pop-up, however, they are more likely to take advantage of a spontaneous purchase. Why? Because they know the product they are considering may not be available later. This can be a good thing for you, increasing your profits in a way you didn’t think possible.
- Get Out of the Virtual World
Let’s say that your company operates solely online. You rarely get a chance to meet your customers, if ever. When you open a pop-up store, you are giving yourself the opportunity to meet your client base face-to-face. Your customers can get to know you, and you can educate them about your products and services. This can be beneficial, especially if you are looking to expand your offerings into a new market segment.
- Crucial Feedback
Opening a pop-up gives you the opportunity to receive feedback directly from your customers. Consider creating a survey, even if it is a bit informal and conducted in person. Find out what your customers like and what they don’t. Use the information you gain to further your brand or to finally open your permanent store. This is your time to experiment, as we’ve discussed. Use the opportunity in your favor. When customers come into your pop-up, ask them what they think about your products and services. Ask why they chose to shop in your store. Find out whether there are more needs you could be meeting.
If you sell a product or service, a pop-up store can be a great way to test the waters. It can also be a good way to get rid of old inventory or to introduce a new product. The possibilities are virtually endless with these agile storefronts. With the number of empty shops dotting the landscape, now is the perfect time to get your feet wet and do the things you’ve been dreaming of. If they don’t work out, you’ve not lost much. If they do work out, you may have taken the first steps to a very lucrative career.
Get Small Business Funding with Company.com
Whether you’re considering a pop-up shop or a full-fledged retail store, we can help you quickly get the upfront capital to get your business off the ground, without all the red tape that can hold you down. We can also help if you’re expanding and need a bump-up in your bank account to reach new heights. Contact us today to learn about our small business funding offerings, as well as the other services we offer.