04 Dec, 2017

Pop-up Shops: “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” Retail

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In the fast-paced world that we live in, the expression, “here today and gone tomorrow” can hold a meaning for a variety of different things. It could represent our social media presence, how quickly a news story is buffered out among digital devices, or simply how fast technology is developing.

In the retail world, that expression stands for a temporary physical space of retail that simply “pops up” for a short period of time. If you are catching on, then yes, we are talking about pop-up shops. These stores have made a huge impact in the retail industry, and big brands such as Nike are even jumping on board with the trend. Malls are even predicted to become permanent homes for pop-up retail.

Why Retailers Use Pop-Up Stores

Pop-up retail allows brands to communicate with their targeted customer while creating an engaging customer experience. The goal of pop-up retail is to connect with customers, giving them a window of opportunity to engage with the brand. They are meant to create an impression on customers and uphold the brand’s reputation while creating an urgency for customers to engage.

“The idea that you’re not going to be around for long is a huge plus point in getting customers to buy. Scarcity drives action through customers wanting exclusive, limited edition, or other products they can’t get otherwise, and a pop-up shop puts you in a perfect position to take advantage.” Shopify reports.

The beauty behind pop-up retail is that since the store is only active for a short amount of time, retailers have the opportunity to make it the most unique. This allows for brands to step outside their comfort zone and really begin to test what works and what does not when it comes to reaching customers.

Targeted Merchandise

Working in New York City, I am exposed to an immense amount of retail on a daily basis, especially during the holiday season. Retailers are constantly in competition trying to grab the attention of customers with fancy window attractions, music, lights, you name it. Pop-up stores draw customers through the doors because the merchandise available is usually targeted around a specific holiday, season, theme etc.. This gives customers the allusion that pop-up stores are more intimate and targeted to their needs.

Who Is Using Pop-up Retail?

Amazon, the e-commerce giant, is utilizing pop-up stores to sell their products that are usually offered exclusively online, through a variety of outlets, like Whole Foods. This gives customers the opportunity to bring online shopping to the forefront of physical shopping.

“The pop-up shops will allow customers to test out Amazon devices, such as Echo smart speakers and Fire tablets, and learn about services like its Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping and access to music and video content,” CNBC reports.

Along with Whole Foods, Amazon has targeted Calvin Kelin, to deliver an Amazon fashion experience in pop-up shops in NYC and LA. This move was the right one for Amazon because along with celebrities promoting the shops, all of Amazon’s digital products will be used throughout the store, such as Amazon Echo, which enables customers to ask Alexa questions about Calvin Klein’s products. This new deal has the ability to disrupt how fashion brands interact with department stores.

“Shoppers can take items home immediately, or scan a barcode in the Amazon app to have their items delivered to their home.” RetailDive reports.

From the looks of it, pop-up shops are not going anywhere. In fact, they are just getting started.

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