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Starting a Business

4 Tips for Planning a Pop-up Store

A pop-up store is a temporary shop set in a preexisting physical location or in a booth the duration of a trade show or festival. The idea behind a pop-up is that it’s temporary, hence the name “pop-up.” These stores provide ample opportunities to increase sales if done the right way. Here are four tips for planning a successful pop-up store.

  1. Decide on a Location

There are a number of different types of pop-up spaces available, such as a vacant retail store, a booth at a festival or trade shows, or shelf space in an existing store. The cheapest option isn’t always the best if it’s not going to serve your products well, according to Business2Community.

The most important aspect to take into account is what type of products you want to display and how they’ll reflect your business. A big part of pop-up stores isn’t just to increase sales, but to also publicize your business to generate a larger loyal customer base.

If you need to spend a little more to display your merchandise properly, it could be worth the investment. Regardless of how great your product is, poor presentation will drive down sales.

  1. Drive It with Social Media

Social media is the name of the game these days, and that’s no different when it comes to pop-up stores. The best part of social media in this specific context is that it’s all about driving awareness through sharing.

Social media presence is a much-desired asset to have, since it also equates to selling power, because more people see your product.

For example, Marc Jacobs opened a pop-up store in Manhattan to hype a new perfume. However, instead of exchanging dollars, the company wanted to exchange “social currency,” according to Entrepreneur.

In other words, customers can receive products in exchange for sharing the designer’s content via social media. A tweet equals a physical reward in this case.

The idea of this type of pop-up store isn’t about immediately selling the product being showcased, but rather, selling the Marc Jacobs brand and awareness of a new product. Generating social media shares to hype your pop-up, or even using the pop-up to increase your social media presence, will all lead to increased sales.

  1. Products That Deserve Prime Real Estate

One of the most difficult parts of organizing your pop-up store is deciding which products you want to include, especially since a pop-up store has limited space to display things. One guiding principle is to showcase a range of products that customers can interact with, according to Business2Community.

This is especially important if you run an online business on an eCommerce platform like Shopify, where all sales take place without a tactile experience. Choose items that are especially tactile or pop with color so that it’ll attract a shopper’s eye.

The perfume mentioned before is a good example.  There is a tactile experience since there is a strong scent, and often perfumes pop with color.  You could potentially even offer free perfume samples.

Pop-up stores offer an opportunity to provide a snapshot of what your business has to offer customers, so make it memorable. The final step in this equation is to also have a way of processing transactions on the spot, so be prepared for that, too. These days, most consumers only carry plastic, so you’ll want to invest in some sort of transportable technology to make in-person transactions go smoothly.

  1. Weigh the Cost

Cost is everything when it comes to business investments, and you have to weigh your financial decisions carefully. It’s best to prioritize where you want your pop-up by weighing two elements: product presentation and location.

Product presentation is one of the most important, since there’s no point in spending money, only to have your products placed in a display that makes them look undesirable.

The second aspect of making a good investment when paying for a pop-up is the location. Ideally, you should choose a location that’s of specific interest to you. Blindly choosing a space in an expensive commercial district of a city, for example, is potentially a waste of money.

You need to approach location with a strategy, rather than assuming the most expensive area is the best. If your products don’t appeal to the types of people found in these locations, it’s a wasted effort.

Instead, focus on who your preexisting customers are, and expand from there. If your customers tend to be people from rural areas, for example, then place your pop-up store somewhere that those people tend to congregate.

It’s best to focus on your core constituency and place pop-ups that’ll appeal to them, rather than assuming a location with the most foot traffic is the best, which also tends to be the most expensive.

Pop-up stores are a great way to get your business’s name out there and have a physical presence in areas that you might otherwise miss out on. Whether you run an online business that doesn’t have a permanent brick and mortar location, or your regular storefront doesn’t attract many passersby, a pop-up shop is a great way to take advantage of visibility you wouldn’t get otherwise.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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The content on is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not financial advice and we are not certified financial advisors. strives to keep its information accurate and up to date, but it may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with companies listed on our site. We may receive compensation for the placement of sponsored products or services. We work hard to write authentic and accurate articles.