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Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets



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Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets

Many people think of taking their stores online to generate more revenue, but not many think of going offline to bring in foot traffic to boost their sales, but it's definitely something you should do if you really want to test your market.  Now, you can't just go anywhere and think you're going to get a good test going and be profitable, you have to do plenty of research prior to going into a physical location and selling your inventory.  You need to know who you're targeting, where they usually go shopping, and how much it will cost to advertise to them and get them into your store.  The advertising part you likely have touched on since you already have an eCommerce store, but you need to understand that getting foot traffic to your store through online advertisements is done slightly different because you need to entice them more Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets

I'm sure you've seen these little pop-up shops in your town or a town near you that's busy because they'll be there for a few months and then they vanish.  You likely think the same as me and assume they couldn't cut it, which usually is true, but sometimes those stores are just signing a short-term lease and testing the area before committing to a long-term contract with the building owner Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets

In this discussion, I'll be going over a few things about why you should think of using a pop-up shop to boost your sales if you're solely selling online.

Get a mall kiosk for a few months
This type of pop up shop is pretty common around the holidays because this is when most people are shopping, especially around Christmas, but it could be more expensive to do a test around that time.  The mall can charge you a premium around Christmas time because they know you'll make more money, but this wouldn't be a good time for you to test the market anyway since it will be a peak time for sales. 

What you want to do is focus on a slower time for foot traffic, maybe between March and May would be a good time to do your test, because the weather tends to be better and you won't see a lot of holiday shoppers. 

Sign a month to month lease on a popular street
A lot of buildings will ask you to sign at least a 6-month lease, but it's usually a 1-year lease, in order to move your shop into their location.  This is a pretty common thing, so don't get discouraged if you run into people who only want to sign long-term contracts.

The upside to this is you can sometimes negotiate a contract that goes month to month for maybe 6 months and then you are locked into signing a 2-year contract.  The building owners usually like something like this, because you're testing the area and if you like it you will sign a 24 month contract, which means they have 2 years of payments going into their bank accounts Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets  Now, if the building owner thinks you're not going to profit, then you're going to leave, they might not negotiate at all and stay firm with their contracts.  Just be patient, look for a building owner that will do a month to month contract, and hopefully, it's in an area that has decent foot traffic Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets

Geo advertising is key for this to work
If you don't know what this is, I'm about to blow your mind, because this is key to getting people into your physical location.  GEO targeting your ads will only show your discount codes, coupons, deals, etc. to people within a certain area.  You could do a 10 or 15 mile radius of your store, pay for everyone that clicks on your ad or pay per 1,000 impressions, and get people into your store that same day Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets 

Now, this sometimes backfires and the person will just buy from your online store, but that's still a sale and will keep your doors open.  The nice thing about this is that they know they can go directly to your store if they have a problem with your product, which will always increase your sales Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets

Do flash deals to walk in customers
A flash deal is something that is only available for the next hour or 6 hours, the timing depends on how long you really want to have it.  People will watch for these types of deals and run to your store when the item they had their eyes on goes on sale.  You can do a marketing tactic which uses scarcity that shows the customers how many items you have to sell and when you hit 0 they're gone until you get more.  People won't want to miss out on these deals they can only get in your store, and they will come on their lunch breaks or after they're off of work to get what you have Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets

Build a social following who eagerly waits for your next location
A hot business style right now is a pop-up shop that is only available for a day or two.  These businesses tend to build a large following on social media and post their next location the day they open the doors.  Now, these locations are there for a limited time, so this will increase the need for someone to get into the store if they want to purchase something. 

Think of a food truck and how they use social media to promote where they'll be next.  People follow these trucks and will drive out of their way to get the food they sell, usually because it's top notch and cheap, and this wouldn't happen without social media.

If you can build a following over time, you can do a sort of pop up shop that is available for a day or two and sell out of your inventory, then post again when your next location is open.  You'll, of course, be collecting information from people who want to follow you as you sell them your products or food Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets

Use your products to advertise online purchasing opportunities
It doesn't matter if you're selling food or physical products, you can always slip your business card into the packaging in order to push your business even more.  You can also add in something like "Follow us on facebook or twitter to find out where we'll be next, and you'll even get a discount code for your next purchase" and they will likely follow you as soon as they get home or they sit down to eat Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets


In conclusion
Pop up shops are becoming more of a common trend than they were just 5 years ago.  People are able to sign short-term leases so they don't have to worry about a full year worth of payments, which means they are less stressed and can test out areas easier than investing a lot of money.  You can do various marketing techniques in order to boost your sales, one of them is building a massive social following through GEO targeting and advertising in the form of business cards to anyone that does come in.  If you can do all of this right, you can take your online business to a short-term offline physical business that might eventually make you more money than your flagship website Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets


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Thanks!

Tommy Carey

Comments

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jayjaydimson

I think this pop-up shop would become famous, because it will be easy to access for the customers and also, it will gain lots of customers because it will just pop up without knowing that the customers like it or not, then suddenly the customer will like it because of the content inside.



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Barida

Flash deals are great ways to keep the customer interested in what you are selling. Honestly, it does not matter how much you are going to lose during this discount period, but the truth is that many of the people around will get to understand about what you are selling at the end of the day.



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ajahcuizon

I agree. Flash deals can lure customers to your business. It can act as a welcome gift for your new customers. With that, customers will build trust in your business and will make them come back and buy products from you. You don't have to think it as losing earning, instead, think of it as way to improve your traffic for your business.



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stbrians

I do not understand a thing here. I understand when we discuss online things. When offline and online both come to be discussed then am lost for words. This is welcome information though.



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jetselle

Focuses as far as you can tell on your site. You can hit the guest when they go to your site, after a foreordained measure of time, when they finish a specific activity or as they are going to leave your site. Demonstrating a popup when a guest hits your site may furnish you with more messages yet it comes to the detriment of being meddlesome and conceivable irritating to a few guests.



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superlicca

Using a pop-up shop is a great idea! Even if the stores are not permanent in nature, it helps you leave a good impression on people to follow your products. It can boost your sales and build a long-term relationship with customers. It is also an easier way to build your brand because establishing your brand online will take a lot of time.



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Martinsx1

Seller/customer relationships is very essential to any business survival, whether the business is an online business or offline, it's very important to try as much as possible to maintain the good relationship between the seller and buyers. Although in this case, pop up can only be used in online business and they serve a great deal of purpose.



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overcast

I have seen one case study recently. I checked out the facebook page where peopel were selling their products and services. And they were showing the products with the WhatsApp number. You can see that stores that shows the product and then promote it on facebook page get a good conversion. I have seen that some of the time it may have traffic issues but it can be a good option to test out the market.



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jaymish2

I think that this is a fantastic strategy. I was watching CNN the other day and they were talking to startup entrepreneurs who have opened physical stores in newyork high street which is very expensive, but because shops are closing the rents have gone down. They have the booth option where you can renew your contract every month. Most of these entrepreneurs were using this as a strategy to advertise their online shops. There is something to be said for this strategy.



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Kakashi2020

Pop-up shops, Kiosks, Night Markets, Christmas and Holiday Stalls, In-door and Outdoor Bazaars and the like are good in promoting newly launched products and services. It can also be utilized for test market purposes, promotions. It's basically a good way to haul in offline traffic.



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ajahcuizon

Night Markets are really good example to prove that it is a good way to promote and introducemyour business to people. Also, having a good strategy on where and how you will set up your kiosk, stall or store might give a big impact to your company. When people would like your image, they will definitely help your business on advertising by posting photos in their social media accounts.



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centurion

Maximum E commerce website of this world have pop up option. Some times the peoples has been asking to submit their eo mail address or some times the peoples has been asking for eo mail subscription about the new offer and now a days the peoples has been asking for browser extension notification so that people can get the latest product update instantly. Moreover some times there have price comparison notification from specific product or category based and some times. I like the best offer based deals pop up notification on ecommerce based website- means when I am entering the website on a browser than the website is offering the greatest deals of that time. Its nice to me.

Thanks
Centurion



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ajahcuizon

I appreciate those tips. It can really help those people who are just starting off their businesses. It is really a great idea to set up a pop up shop to let people know what product your business is selling. It could build a contact with the people that could be your potential customers. Building pop up shops are becoming a trend nowadays since the takes is not that high. You can gain more customers by providing some promos or events that could lure them to your product.



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HappyLady

These seem excellent ideas, depending on what you have to sell. Some time ago, my artist son and some friends shared space in an empty shop. Apparently, some councils will let you use the space while waiting to sell. I am not sure if rent was involved, but I have an idea this was a very cheap option. It may have been free. I think whoever had the idea got a cut of the payment for the pictures, so maybe they did pay a bit of rent.

had advantages. All the artists sell online. Most could not afford a studio but were able to signpost the people that came into their sites online if they did not buy on the spot. I was always telling them they needed business cards, but artists are not always practical.

One other place it might work is if you hired a market stall. There is often fierce competition for these, but it is another type of pop up shop.



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Everett

Selling artistic pieces is very head, it appears no one cares for art these days. I am assuming they have better things to spend their money on. But I find it so cool that the shop owner allowed your son to a space in the store to sell, that is really neat. Never thought about that before.



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HappyLady

I disagree. My son does make his money from his art. He is, however, prepared to use any avenue open and doesn't rely on galleries. His main income is from caricaturing. What I do notice is his websites do not get as many hits as he gets sales from word of mouth. This probably reflects his lack of understanding of SEO and business acumen. The thing about art is it either has to be cheap enough for an immediate response, or good enough for someone to remember you for a better work. My son is talented enough to meet both and get into galleries. He just does not keep his eggs in one basket and I have a feeling that with the right web designer and SEO he could spread himself further than he ever does. This is one good reason for improving my own SEO skills



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mitan143

Yes, I think the best thing for people who are artistically talented must try online selling because it will give more opportunities to gain potential clients. There are actually online communities for artistically talented people and those communities might also help him market his talent easily. But it will also depend on how he will effectively market himself to other people.



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HappyLady

To be honest, professional artists avoid anything like this. They do not want to sell their work for the kinds of prices asked and know they are worth more. It is actually a mistake to spread yourself widely. The show that the artist is not of professional standing.

Galleries, once they find an artist and support them, do not want that artist appearing in other galleries and may refuse a good artist because they cannot make them exclusive to themselves. I really think art schools should teach business skills relevant to art as this is a topic often missed.



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Everett

This sounds like a good idea, especially for businesses that primarily sell online. However, rent is often at times very expensive and in the thousands. Where I live because it is a beach town or resort, the rent would be at least $10,000 per month. If you do not get $10,000 profit in a month then there is no reason to open up a store here.

A lot of the time stores will open and stay open for about a year then close. I have seen this happen so many times in this area. The rent is what gets business owners. They believe since it's a beach town/resort then there would be a lot of customers however there is a lot of shops around here. The winter here is basically dead (figuratively speaking.) so it is very hard to get customers in the door. So a lot of businesses would just rather sell online because the costs won't be so high.

If I started a business that had physical products I would much rather sell online then to sell at a physical store, and especially in this area. Save me a lot of money in the long run for sure.



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overcast

Yes for me the same case. The rent is very high and often the conversion from business needs to happen quick to cover the cost of the rent. I have seen many people spending their time in such markets in the hawk street instead. There is no fixed space and anyone can do weekend sales.



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superlicca

Having a popup shop to test the market is a great idea. It is low risk and cost to test if your products will you high sales. Since pop-up shops are only around for a short period of time, do all you can to encourage customers to follow your products. It is also good to get your customer feedback through social media to know what they like or hate about your products. This will start a conversation and the chance to know your customer's interest.



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anyone01

Centers the extent that you can tell on your content you can hit the visitor when they go to your site after a fated proportion of time, when they complete a particular movement or as they will leave your site. Exhibiting a popup when a visitor hits your site may outfit you with more messages yet it goes to the drawback of being nosy and possible disturbing to a couple of your possible visitors.



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theresajane

Pop-up shops are great! Even if it lasts for a limited period of time, the satisfaction of the customer, especially if your product is remarkable, is enough to keep your business going. Wherever you are, once you have gotten the interest of customers, then you will have less worries.



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rlpzbeermoney

I don't agree. You have to spend money to get a space on the mall and the man power to set up that shop and attract people. Most of the kiosks in mall I frequent don't have many people flocking to them. Though in some ways it might boost traffic to your site, there's a reason why not all the major clothing brands are online for example. They have studied and found out they won't be getting a huge return on their investment setting up shop somewhere. In fact, most of them are even pulling out of the stores and going full online for this reason. They are losing money in the brick and mortar side.



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Kakashi2020

In my country, the Philippines most online store owners join bazaars and night markets to showcase and promote their products and services as well as their online site. I think it's a very effective way in testing the market and gaining more customers.



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rlpzbeermoney

If it's an occasional thing, then yes. Bazaars and night markets are a good marketing strategy to push traffic to your site. However, people who set up stalls in malls and the like lose a ton of money just setting the stall up to gain any source of income or online traffic. It's not worth it in my opinion.



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amelia88

I like the idea of using a mall kiosk. My local area has lots of markets that also pop up from time to time, which can be useful depending on the niche of your business and what products or services you sell.



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anyone01

Yes, pop up stores are perfect for those purchasers who still like to attempt a physical thing before making an installment. Most online business stages have merchandise exchanges however a few clients might not have any desire to manage the apparent bother of returning unsatisfactory things. The buyer can attempt on and handle items before they purchase in a pop up store.



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Kakashi2020

I do agree that using an offline physical pop-up shop is a good way of marketing your online shop or business. It's economical and it could get you the needed traffic and physical feedback your business beeds.



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overcast

I think such shops can be good for testing ideas. And also having limited product it makes the choice economical. You can see that traffic in such case is lot easier to handle and some of the time you have to just adjust with the same.



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Chinet23

I am like one of the many people who think that stalls or stores which suddenly disappeared just didn't cut in. The reason, therefore, could be they are just testing out their markets. Contracts can be stressful if the store will not profit. The reason why most people do not start up with their business are the risks involved. This strategy can help lessen the risks.



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NerdIndeed

This pop-up store concept is a great idea. It sure is a great addition on top of your e-commerce store. It can also be a good source of organic marketing materials like images, reviews, and such when you launch a digital marketing campaign. There's no need to pay for influencers anymore as you get to encounter real customers of your product and services in real-time.



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Martinsx1

I totally agree with you on this about using the pop-up store for e-commerce. When used appropriately, it's definitely going to be very effective in getting the business desired results.

But let be known that it's also important to incorporate the use of influencers because they are such a huge force in the business of influencing clients decision.



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NerdIndeed

Yes, but what I mean is one can take photographs on their respective pop-up shop interactions and use them as material to power up and launch a marketing campaign online. No incentivized reviews and such as most of the visitors in your store will be organic.



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romyter013

I agree on that and very effective because people love freebies and discounts so what they do is they request or ask a little favor to like or follow them from their website like facebook, twitter, IG and all that. With that strategy both sides get the benefit.



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Youngshark

I like this post since it emphasizes on the importance of offline shops. I think that as far as the online markets have a huge potential we should never neglect the possibilities of earning a revenue from offline purchasers. They can also help us to get more feedback which is one to one and you can read them properly rather than online.



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Martinsx1

The importance of social media can never be said to be overemphasized because it adds an unchallenged level of importance and value to promoting one's online business. There are so many people ready to be grasped and turned into potential customers who would patronize your business products and services without any questions once they are convinced in the quality of your business products.



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conniemac

That's a great idea. An offline pop-up shop. Bazaars and night markets are on trend nowadays. It helps online sellers to test the market. Buyers tend to go to night markets to find cheaper but good quality products. But rental fee and location must also be taken in to consideration to avoid loss.



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Jeane

This business model hasn't been adopted where I live.

Many people may consider starting a business somewhere but aren't sure whether it will be the best place for their shop. With pop up shops that would solve the problem of wondering whether it would be a suitable spot or not. And it also lets you assess other things in the process.

This way, you'll practically find out whether your business idea was viable whilst also finding out whether it (the location) will be the perfect place for your shop. If neither scores, you could just move on try something else elsewhere. It's something I could try in the near future Using a pop-up shop as an alternative to your eCommerce store to test markets



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Corzhens

I have some friends who rents a kiosk in small malls for the Christmas season because they said that selling in the mall is very brisk and they earn a big profit. There are lots of shoppers in December until the first week of January and if you have a kiosk you can sell almost anything simply because there are buyers who would buy because people have the money for their spending power.



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