The Internet makes it easy for low-budget entrepreneurs as well as major retailers and franchise groups to get their products and services to consumers. E-commerce revenue surpassed $1.1 trillion in 2013, making digital retail one of the world’s biggest markets.
But a new trend has online vendors shifting their focus away from the screen. Pop-up stores, so called due to their quick setup, are attracting vendors who want to reach new customers, promote their brand and increase sales.
If you own a successful online store, then you’ve probably considered investing in an actual storefront. But when you add up the rent, building maintenance and other overhead, it’s just not a practical option. But a pop-up store requires minimal investment but still delivers the benefits of physical retail.
You can set up a pop-up store almost anywhere, but there are a handful of venues where store owners almost always enjoy success. This article will introduce you to three of them:
1. A Store Inside a Store
Just like any business, success quite often depends location. You can take advantage of another store’s location by setting up your pop-up inside it.
Where are your customers shopping? Which stores carry goods that complement yours? Finding the right location could be as easy as answering those two questions.
Once you have a place in mind, approach the owner with a simple pitch. In the end, they benefit from increased foot-traffic, and if you agree to pay rent, they also make a return.
Besides benefitting from the location, the cost of rent is much cheaper than renting or financing a commercial property. You might also consider simply reserving shelf or counter space, allowing the products to sell themselves.
2. Event Spaces or Galleries
These venues offer the benefit of being aesthetically pleasing while also providing pop-up stores with easy set-up options. Temporary stores are common during galleries and events, which makes it easier for new retailers to reserve a space.
Make sure you network with other pop-up store operators. Ask them about the do’s and don’ts of the trade, and learn from their experience.
3. Farmer’s Markets
With fresh food, plenty to do and affordable prices, farmer’s markets have never been more popular. For small businesses, they offer access to massive crowds of local consumers, many of whom are interested in finding new products.
If you think a farmer’s market is the right venue for your pop-up, be sure to check the vendor requirements. You might need to reserve a space well ahead of time, and there could be regulations on store setup. Also, some farmer’s markets limit the types of goods that vendors can sell.
Try getting the advice of existing vendors. Ask about how they got started and about their experiences.
Besides expanding to an entirely new sales environment, pop-up stores can help you test the waters in primetime retail. Experiment with the options listed here, and you might find that physical retail takes your business to the next level.