5 Pop-Up Shop Tips for Entrepreneurs

Today’s startups are entering the business world in a competitive atmosphere. As an entrepreneur, you’re wearing multiple hats and juggling several responsibilities at once. Bootstrapped businesses are looking to leverage the best digital marketing tips, exploring agile growth opportunities, and searching for the right investors.

One of the more unique ways of increasing brand awareness is by launching a pop-up shop or event.

There are many benefits to opening a pop-up shop:

  • Test your offline sales.
    It can be risky for any startup to invest in a brick and mortar location before they’ve tested the market, and a pop-up store not only adds an additional revenue to your existing model, but allows you to learn more about your on-the-ground sales potential.

  • Engage with physical customers.
    For startups with a wholly online presence, it can be difficult to connect with real customers. A pop-up allows you to talk to the people that come by, and get their genuine opinions and first impressions.

  • Capitalize on holiday sales.
    If you know your business can generate even more sales during the holiday, take advantage of the potential by hosting a holiday-themed pop-up event with your product at the focal point.

  • Educate customers.
    If you’re having a particularly difficult time educating consumers about your product, you can better achieve this in person, where they touch and feel what you have to offer.

 With these benefits in mind, here are five tips to help you launch a successful pop-up event:

Use A Mobile Credit Card Reader

Pop-up events require lean, mobile solutions for their products and services. Because of this, entrepreneurs should accept credit cards via mobile credit card readers from a reputable company. This allows your employees to be much more agile as they move about the shop, especially if the pop-up gets busy and popular. Relying on chunky POS systems at a fixed point in the space could hurt your bottom line. Your credit card reader should be just like your shop: versatile, and convenient.

Host A Contest

Everyone loves to win something, and hosting a contest could help you attract more people. Use your social media to promote the contest, and be sure to utilize hashtags that will garner the most attention. Make sure that the prize is something useful. At the physical pop-up, be sure to have proper signage that informs passerby of the contest. To enter, you might ask that people post a pic of the product with a cool saying, share a page, or simply follow your social pages. Here are some tips for hosting a great contest.

Reach Out To Influencers

Influencer marketing is becoming much more mainstream, and you should invest in it as you go through the motions of launching a pop-up shop. Make a list of influencers you’re interested in and consider several variables, like location, niche interests, etc.

For example, if you’re hosting a pop-up shop in New York City, you might look into influencers that are heavily focused on all-things NYC, with an emphasis on those that like to talk about city happenings.

If you’re selling handmade gelatos, you might reach out to foodies, or even influencers that focus specifically on desserts. Consider hosting an event for your influencers, where you can give them the head-up on what will happen, what you’re offering, etc.

Influencers like to feel exclusive, so this will give you an edge. Offer prizes, free products, etc., in exchange for some promotion. Some influencers charge a fee--it’s up to you and your budget to decide what’s worth.

Take A Look At Other Pop-ups

By analyzing other pop-ups, you’re able to better understand what works and what doesn’t.. Pay attention to the layout and logistics, and take note of what you like. Conduct research both on and off the field: seek out pop-up events nearby, and research some of the more popular pop-up events that have happened in the past.

For example, Magnum ice cream created a pop-up store that allow users to decorate their own Magnum ice cream bars, with over 20,000 unique creation possibilities. Take a look at this list of 10 other pop-ups across the country.

Reach Out To Press

Reaching out to press not only helps you build buzz around your event, but can help you build relationships. In fact, it’s much easier to get a positive reaction out of bloggers and reporters when you have a physical event happening.

Local newspapers, like the Village Voice in New York, are often more inclined to offer you coverage if they know they can provide their readers will valuable happenings in their area.

Publish the pop-up details on sites that list events, and put out a press release. You’d be surprised at the amount of people that will reach out to you when all the necessary information is being marketed properly.