Pop-up stores can generate great benefits while they’re open, from raising a retailer’s profile (both in the real world and on social media) to creating excitement about the brand. But pop-ups continue to pay off even after the stores shut their doors, according to Melissa Gonzalez, Founder and CEO of The Lionesque Group.
“Pop-ups are a two-way street; it’s not just about what you can offer consumers, but what you can learn from them,” said Gonzalez during the initial podcast in the Retail TouchPoints Holiday Insights series, titled Is Your Store The Next Museum Of Ice Cream?. “Particularly when pop-ups are highly experiential, full of Instagrammable moments and calls to action, it’s like retailers are empowering a powerful focus group.”
The podcast series, hosted by Content Strategist Alicia Esposito and sponsored by Salesforce, continues with guest Brian Solis, Principal Analyst at Altimeter, who also will be a keynote speaker at the 2019 Retail Innovation Conference.
“We always say that the ROI for a pop-up comes not just from sales while the store is open but the impact over the next two quarters,” said Gonzalez. Retailers should track data from the pop-up in order to answer a number of questions, including:
• What were the most commonly purchased SKUs in the pop-up store versus online?
• Were cart sizes bigger in the store than online? Were there more items in the cart?
• What was the impact on web traffic in the geographic area after the pop-up store opened? Did the effects on traffic continue after the store closed?
“Pop-ups also give retailers a chance to find and unlock ‘superconsumers,’ people who spend more, buy more frequently and return less,” said Gonzalez. “There’s a ton of information you can learn from them.”
Retailers are increasingly integrating pop-up concepts into their permanent brick-and-mortar locations. “They’re seeing that it’s not just about beautiful interior design but Instagrammable moments and points of education,” said Gonzalez. “The athleisure space has been leading here, by using their spaces to build community, for example by hosting free classes with the top instructors in the area. That creates a deeper relationship with the brand, because it’s not only about the product, it’s about the lifestyle the retailer is helping the consumer be a part of.”
Gonzalez also identified a few key trends she’s observed about the 2018 holiday season, such as payment innovation. She cited the GH Lab holiday pop-up store in the Mall of America, a collaboration between Good Housekeeping and Amazon, which allows shoppers to add curated items to their cart by focusing their phones on Amazon SmileCodes printed on the products.
“Everyone is trying to figure out how to increase adoption of mobile payments, so this combination of the trust people have in Amazon and their huge Prime user base is a good way of integrating payments into the pop-up experience,” said Gonzalez.
Another trend is more basic: the expansion of BOPIS and curbside pickup: “We see a lot of retailers utilizing the physical store as the experiential ‘moment,’ and then having it supported with the technology of e-Commerce to make it a really fluid experience,” she noted.