When eCommerce began growing in popularity, it was common for traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores and other types of physical businesses to open online storefronts, in order to extend their reach and increase sales. But recently, companies that started out as exclusively eCommerce are reversing this formula and opening temporary physical locations known as pop-up stores.
WHAT ARE POP-UP STORES?
One of the latest and hottest trends in marketing, particularly for eCommerce, pop-up stores are temporary retail locations that open for a limited time, and typically stock a limited selection of products. The idea behind pop-up stores has been in practice even before the advent of online commerce—for example, mall kiosks have been used for years to launch new companies or expand visibility for established merchants.
Today, pop-up stores are a billion-dollar industry and a rapidly expanding vertical within the larger realm of commerce, with eCommerce retailers and merchants in particular using this strategy. Pop-up stores can grow sales, but they’re also invaluable for developing relationships with customers and communities, gathering data and leading indicators, and expanding customer bases for both B2B and B2C.
Stars like Kylie Jenner, Justin Bieber and Kanye West have taken their online stores to the streets – generating huge buzz for their brand, and helping their online stores gain notoriety as an added benefit.
THE BENEFITS OF APPLYING TECHNOLOGY TO POP-UP STORES
Through the strategic use of pop-up stores combined with technology, eCommerce shops can realize a substantial return on investment (ROI)—even with a limited IT budget. In fact, the popularity of pop-up stores among consumers is largely due to the increasing prevalence of mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets have become embedded in the consumer experience, and it’s increasingly difficult to separate shopping from technology.
As an eCommerce retailer, implementing strategically planned technology in a pop-up store can help you not only boost sales, but also capture valuable customer data, increase your digital footprint, and drive ROI through the omnichannel commerce opportunities presented by pop-up stores.
Some of the most effective technologies to use in a pop-up store environment include:
Social media: Encourage shoppers at a pop-up location to share their experiences across social media platform, such as by posting photos, using relevant hashtags, or joining your social channels. Offer incentives such as free products for liking your company Facebook page, or on-the-spot discounts for tweeting about your pop-up store.
Beacon technology: Beacon software is basically “GPS for indoors.” While your pop-up location is open, you can use beacon technology to push relevant messaging and special offers to shoppers via mobile devices while they’re in the right spot to take advantage of the deal.
Commerce platform: While consumers are visiting your temporary pop-up store, you can use a robust eCommerce platform to capture more sales, including products that aren’t necessarily stocked at the pop-up location. The right omnichannel commerce platform can even allow customers to check out through your online storefront at the point of sale (POS).
HOW A COMMERCE PLATFORM CAN INCREASE ROI IN A POP-UP STORE
Pop-up stores may be temporary, but the benefits of using them can be far reaching for your brand. An eCommerce platform in place that supports temporary store-fronts can help you dramatically increase your ROI in terms of feedback, insight, branding, visibility, CRM, and sales.
With a pop-up store, eCommerce companies have the opportunity to interact directly with customers. An omnichannel commerce platform like Magento gives you advanced functionality to extend the ROI of your pop-up store, with features such as:
- Web, mobile, and cloud-ready POS platform that provides the ultimate convenience for customers, and lets retail associates complete sales transactions from anywhere with a mobile POS
- Complete merchandise and supply chain management
- Full integration with your eCommerce POS and back-end operations
- End-to-end enterprise management
- Comprehensive reporting and analytics
When you combine pop-up stores with the fully featured Magento eCommerce platform, the possibilities are endless. Contact us to learn more.