It’s undeniable that e-commerce is all the rage today. With more and more consumers shifting to digital transactions, online shopping continues to make life easier and faster. As an entrepreneur, it’s essential that you know how to navigate your way around digital marketplaces. After all, a large chunk of customers are there. However, this doesn’t mean you should completely ignore the potential of having a physical store.
You may think that this isn’t an ideal time to consider putting up a storefront, with businesses and companies shutting their doors for good due to the economic fallout brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. But if you think about it, consumers are hungrier for a retail experience as the world slowly starts to get back on its feet. They may have engaged with online brands and websites for months, but they’re surely missing the physical attachment with brick-and-mortar shops that was never lost in the first place.
What is a pop-up boutique?
Physical stores and showrooms indeed have several benefits, including allowing you to establish your brand the conventional way. What’s more, if you can pick a desirable location, you can expect to draw more customers in. However, there’s also a plethora of requirements that you need to secure first before you can put up your very own store. Among those requirements (and probably the most significant one) is the financial aspect. (1)
Putting up a physical retail store regardless of the products or services you offer can be financially stressful. If you don’t have the budget yet for this endeavor, you can consider going for a pop-up boutique instead. In a nutshell, this is a temporary store that you can open up for a specified or limited period of time. Some shops operate for a few months, while others open for as quick as a single day during outdoor events, such as street markets or community festivals. (1) (2)
Also called flash retailing, pop-up shops can be an excellent way to give your customers a retail experience like no other. To add, it’s a convenient solution if you want to sample a new product or introduce your relatively new brand. You can test your target audience’s reception, meet potential clients in person, and create a lasting impression that hopefully leads to nurtured relationships with customers. (3)
Be unique with a pop-up boutique
Pop-up boutiques have become pretty relevant because of the low operating costs they come with. You don’t need to worry about long-term leases and considerable deposit fees since you can negotiate the terms with the space owner or landlord, depending on your retail preferences. In that sense, you can flexibly choose a location of your choice so you can make the most out of your store. New York pop-up spaces, for example, are perfect if you’re looking for a crowd who’s always open to trying new products and experimenting on the latest brands.
If you’ve found the ideal location, you can move forward to the most critical challenge—how to give your customers a perfect pop-up boutique experience. If you need some tips and tricks, look no further. Here’s a quick list that can help you out:
- The earliest store catches more
If you’re opening your mini boutique for a day or two, the best rule of thumb would probably be to be there on time—earlier, if possible. Remember that you need to factor in the time it’ll take to set up your pop-up shop. Getting ready is no easy task. It might even be the hardest one to accomplish for owners like you. There may be last-minute changes or issues that you could encounter, and being there early can give you the heads up you need.
Outdoor events, in particular, can be tricky, mainly if there are limited tables, chairs, and other accessories. If you arrive late, you might not have anything left for your store, and that’ll surely be a disadvantage. So make it a point to be there as early as you can. Another tip is to bring your own foldable or portable table to be prepared just in case.
- Think outside the box
For sure, you already know that you’re not the only pop-up boutique in the area. That said, you need to meticulously think of how you’ll design or style the store so you can attract more traffic. The goal is to make a lasting impression on anyone passing by and lure them into stepping inside your store.
Aside from incorporating your logo and colors, you also need to think of creative ways to set up the space. Even if it’s meant to be a temporary store, it doesn’t mean you can take design and setup for granted. Think of your brand statement and decide on a vibe or ambiance you want to create for your customers. Will it be a glammed-up look or a more relaxed theme for your pop-up boutique? How will you combine colors so that everything will be striking and awe-inspiring effortlessly?
Consider also the type of products or services you’re offering. If you’re selling clothes, mirrored surfaces and monochromatic colors can be a great combination. This design is almost minimal but elegant, which could efficiently showcase the colors and designs of the clothes on display.
- Pick your fixtures and furniture well
After identifying the layout or concept that you want for your pop-up boutique, the next step is to shop for fixtures and furniture for the space. To start, lighting is one critical component that can make or break the experience you want to give your customers. A well-lit store can make it appear and feel exciting and dynamic in more ways than one. On the flip side, poor lighting can make clients feel bored or too lazy to look around.
Retail lighting can go a long way in elevating the aesthetic appeal of your pop-up boutique. Identify strategic points or areas of the store where you can provide visual intimacy. Vintage fixtures, track lighting, and recessed panel lights are some brilliant ideas you can try to use lighting to your advantage. You can create a unique setting, boost your products’ appeal, and make the entire space catchy and unforgettable. (4)
As for the furniture, you may want to consider the ambiance you want to create first before picking the pieces to go with your flash retailing. Of course, if you’re going for an elegant and vintage look, the same style for the furniture will work perfectly. If you wish to highlight a minimalist design, a few focal pieces should complement the space well.
- Go all out with the signage
Drawing the attention of passersby isn’t that difficult to do if you know the right path to take. An eye-catchy signage can make your storefront stand out and immediately get noticed by anyone, even from a distance. To add, it’s one aspect that makes up for the impression that customers will make out of your brand.
Your signage should speak for your brand. The colors, font, and design matter considerably if you want to convey a message in just a matter of seconds. As the attention span of customers becomes shorter and shorter, the more challenging it is to captivate people’s interest. A quick look at your signage can make your target audience decide whether or not it’s something that’ll pique their interest. (5)
Be careful not to create signage that could mislead your customers instead of the other way around. Since maximizing visibility is your priority, placement is critical. For instance, your pop-up shop is located in an area where people usually walk by the streets. If so, consider placing your signage at an eye level where people can easily see it as they pass by. (5)
- Pamper your customers
If you want to give a perfect pop-up boutique experience, pampering your customers is the best way to go. Complimentary drinks are a good start, especially for loyal customers who’ve been supporting your brand since time immemorial. They might be online shoppers who are always waiting for your new releases. You can also extend the compliments to new customers who you want to impress to attract repeat sales.
Another way to keep customers happy and satisfied each time they visit your shop is by ensuring they’re comfortable. Make sure your couches and chairs are enough to accommodate plenty of people, especially during peak hours. You can also offer free Wi-Fi, exclusive vouchers, and coupon codes. However, make sure to keep physical distancing measures in place, especially with indoor locations.
- Make your boutique photo-ready
If you don’t know it yet, shoppers are always on the hunt for photo-ready stores and locations that they can boast on social media. If you can turn your pop-up shop into a photo-op spot, you’ll undoubtedly start attracting more walk-ins and repeat visits. By adding fun signs, interactive features, murals, wall art, or even a photo booth, you won’t only increase brand awareness. More importantly, you’re growing foot traffic which can keep your pop-up boutique thriving.
You can feature your customers’ photos on your social media accounts. Add hashtags to make the trend searchable. That way, people can easily search you online, and they’ll be curious to find out more about your brand as a whole.
Pop-up boutiques are definitely not going anywhere any time soon. This retail strategy can prove to be effective in establishing a brand and attracting new and more customers without the need for substantial capital. Regardless of the size and nature of your business, consider putting up a mini store that can give you all these benefits.
- “Pop-up shops are paying off for retailers”, Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/pop-up-shops-are-an-effective-retail-tactic-2019-6
- “Why Pop-Up Shops Make a Great Business Idea for Entrepreneurs”, Source: https://www.score.org/blog/why-pop-shops-make-great-business-idea-entrepreneurs
- “What is a Pop-Up Shop?”, Source: https://medium.com/@storefront/what-is-a-pop-up-shop-ffeef3cdeb8f
- “Lighting Up Your Store — and Your Sales”, Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/223214
- “9 Common Signage Mistakes to Avoid”, Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2015/10/19/9-common-signage-mistakes-to-avoid/?sh=37e5129263ae