1. What is a pop-up shop?
- According to BigCommerce, a pop up shop is a temporary storefront space operated by an online merchant.
- The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as : a store that opens suddenly and usually exist for a short amount of time: A temporary pop-up store often appears when retailers take advantage of empty retail space.
- Shopify.com describes a “pop-up shop” as is a short-term, temporary retail event that is ‘here today, gone tomorrow”. Pop-up retail is the temporary use of physical space to create a long term, lasting impression with potential customers.
2. How does one impress potential customers with a pop-up shop?
A customer needs to make some connection with the location. To connect, there must be an experience. As a physical space with human guides, how does an online business make that three dimensional visit memorable when EQ comes into play?
We know that online businesses greatly value data, as do four wall businesses. Both measure conversion, average transaction value, units per transactions, bestselling merchandise, slow selling merchandise, etc, etc. Both have financial plans and staffing models as well as visual presentations. The skills required in getting the customer over the proverbial threshold, engaged with the product, and serviced to best fulfill their needs require eye contact and conversation in a physical space. As we develop in this omnichannel environment, the expertise of the physical environments needs to be valued to the same degree that the digital expertise is respected. Unless the goal of the pop-up shop is to serve as a glorified billboard with minimal exchange and engagement, it would behoove the online businesses to welcome some four wall experts into their midst when concepting and executing. Best practices in both channels will only enhance the total business with greatly improved customer experience.
This Smith Corona manual typewriter is a sentimental piece of my history. The best gift ever at the time I received it. Reams of paper were consumed and miles of words were written. My typing skills were honed here. Let’s not forget the White Out and Korrecto-type consumption either.
In our current world of keyboard options, I have been forever grateful to have my typing skills. My fingers fly faster than many. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. asdfjkl; Thanks to my computer savvy husband who watched in mild horror as I worked with green ledger paper, pencil and calculator to calculate orders, I began using our home Apple computer and Lotus in 1985. Got my first laptop in 1992 for Mother’s Day along with a portable printer. (Everything needed to be on paper.) As time has gone on, my keyboard proficiency has continued to serve me well as I embrace every possible efficiency which new technology continues to provide. Change has not caused me to lose skills, it has allowed me to improve and add to them.
Now expand that thinking to business acumen. Everything learned over time has been continually refined and expanded to allow for more efficient decision making and a humility borne of an understanding that simply because an approach didn’t work once upon a time, it shouldn’t be ruled out in a new environment. No two people approach things in exactly the same way, but clear direction towards a common goal will lead to the best results.
- What about those physical stores emerging from the world of ecommerce only businesses? Are they all warehouses for inventory? No. Some do double duty, but not all. Do they allow a consumer to get a comfort level with physical product before investing? Yes. A purchase is more likely to “stick”.
- Direct mail pieces from Wayfair? Catalogs from Bonobos? Who would have thought.
- The real story is that people want to shop where and when they choose depending on the product, their time and their need to get familiar with products.
All of this goes back to the simple truth that as long as we continue to push for better answers, we will build on instinct and experience using data to confirm and expand on opportunities. Nothing and no one is old as long as we continue to challenge assumptions and apply new learnings.