Pop-up shops are temporary establishments selling products or services for a limited time. They’re great for marketing and testing new business ideas and are scalable and low-risk. They also create brand awareness and a sense of urgency, boosting sales. Both online and brick-and-mortar store owners can benefit from trendy pop-up store ideas.
Here are 15 interesting pop-up shop ideas and how to get started.
1. Use Recycled Materials for Decor
With consumers placing more value on environmental awareness, businesses should be making more effort in finding ways to integrate recycling into their marketing campaigns. Pop-up shops are a great opportunity to include recycled materials in the store decor. This will allow you to create unique design ideas that will also improve the reputation of your brand.
Get started: Recycled materials are everywhere. Regardless of your theme and budget, you can create attractive designs with large, recycled paper crafts, papier mache, and use organic dyes. You can also use crates and boxes for larger decorations that are eye-catching to encourage visitors to take photos they can share online.
2. Use a Secondhand Vehicle for Space
For a unique stall idea, you should consider using a used vehicle for space instead of setting up inside a mall or using an immobile setup. This works well if you have planned a series of pop-up shops to market in places that are not close to major commercial areas. You can even tie in this idea to your brand.
Get started: Unlike food trucks, a pop-up shop on wheels is not as fussy to set up. You can rent or buy a used vehicle―usually a trailer―and dress it up with your brand colors and logo, depending on your marketing plans and budget. You can then fill the insides with shelves and other items you will need to work in your shop. Start with a simple online search on mobile pop-up shop solutions for more ideas.
3. Set Up a Unique Photobooth
In the age of social media, taking and sharing photos of everything, including selfies, will spark people’s interest easily. This is why adding a unique photo booth to your shop will draw a crowd. Pictures tend to attract attention, both online and offline. Regardless of what industry your business is in, the right photo booth design will get people talking and motivated to visit your store to have their picture taken.
Get started: Use your creativity to design a photo booth that’s attractive to your target audience. Add a frame and give it a 3D aspect for a more interactive design. Make a variety of quirky and branded props available to your customers. You should also consider promoting a hashtag and adding it to your photo booth’s design to motivate your visitors to share your event on their social media pages.
4. Feature Pop Culture in Your Shop
Adding a pop culture component to your pop-up shop will help with your marketing campaign. There are viral trends that you can weave into your marketing campaign and, fortunately, their popularity usually lasts long enough to give your pop-up shop the attention it needs to boost sales. You can use it with your decor―pictures of a prominent figure in pop culture―and online marketing campaigns.
Get started: You must identify your target market well enough to know which pop culture figure will appeal to them most. If you’re looking to attract a younger demographic to your store with music, you should select music that falls within a popular genre carefully for the age groups you want to target. Otherwise, they might not be able to relate and completely ignore your store. You also have to make sure that you don’t violate intellectual property rights and licensing laws.
5. Create a Unique Website
You must support your physical marketing campaign with your online efforts. Consumers tend to look for upcoming local events by doing a quick online search, and your pop-up shop should be visible in these searches. Start a website―if you don’t have one yet―or improve what you already have with features that will make it easier to campaign for your pop-up shop.
Get started: Regardless of how small your business is, you can still afford to make your business stand out online by using a reliable web host. DreamHost is a very low-cost web hosting service that’s user-friendly, so it’s easy to create and update your website. It also provides users with unlimited bandwidth, a domain name, and a one-click web apps installer to help launch your website in no time for as little as $4.95 a month. Visit DreamHost today, and take advantage of their discounts.
6. Offer a Delivery Service
A delivery service is a great option to provide in certain pop-up stores. For instance, it would pair well with businesses that sell products like food or large items that can be inconvenient to carry around when bought on impulse. To decide if this would be a good service for your pop-up shop to offer, consider whether your store attracts customers who don’t expect to make purchases on their way to work or school. If so, would they appreciate having the items delivered to their door?
Get started: Since pop-up shops attract local customers, the delivery would almost always be local, so you don’t have to worry too much about shipping expenses. Prepare a delivery request form where customers can provide their address and preferred delivery schedule. So, as not to be too complicated, you can ask customers to select from a list of delivery times. Then, you can arrange for a local delivery service to send out your parcels in batches that match the expected time of delivery to your customers.
7. Provide a Complimentary Service
A complimentary service is an extra service or product you provide to show customers how they can best use the main product you’re selling. What makes this different from providing demos or a makeover is that your customers get free access to a service they usually have to pay for and wouldn’t be able to perform on their own. For example, a pop-up shop that sells art materials can have a popular or professional artist available for consultation, or a business that sells weight loss products can feature a machine that evaluates a customer’s health.
Get started: One thing to remember when adding a complementary service to your pop-up shop is to make sure that your service complements your product or service. It should be marketed in a way that highlights why customers should give you their business. In addition, it should be something of value that customers want. Review your list of partners and suppliers for ideas.
8. Make Your Pop-up Highly Interactive
Modern consumers are looking for a unique buying experience, so create an interactive space to get them interested. What makes a pop-up shop interesting is that people don’t expect to run across it. Once you catch your target market’s attention, you need to have a display that will convince them to stop by. Interactive and experiential activities will help show customers the value of your product or service.
Get started: Your pop-up shop must keep customers engaged. This means they don’t just receive complimentary services but are also allowed to interact and make decisions that will affect what they eventually purchase. Consider involving your staff during the brainstorming process so that you receive a wide variety of unique ideas from which to choose.
9. Celebrate an Event Using Your Shop
Timing is everything in a marketing campaign, so consider setting up a pop-up shop to celebrate an event. This can be something local like a county fair or celebrating your local school’s win in a sport, or one that’s countrywide or global, such as during the Thanksgiving parade or Pride month, as long as it celebrates something popular. The idea is to capitalize on heavy foot traffic that you expect from an event widely celebrated in your area.
Get started: When planning a pop-up shop to coincide with an event, it’s helpful to make sure you have a very relevant theme. While it’s true that any business can set up shop during these celebrations, customers will appreciate and be more attracted to shops with an equally festive theme. This means developing the most relevant slogans, discount ideas, and freebies in addition to setting up creative decor.
10. Take Care of the Legalities
Pop-up stores can be fun and effective, but make sure you also have addressed the legalities before you open up your shop. Like most business activities, there are permits required for opening a pop-up. Different states have different requirements for selling certain products like alcohol and food, so you need to check your local regulations. If you’re leasing space, make sure you’re aware of what you can or can’t do when modifying it.
Get started: If you’re testing out a business idea, use a reputable provider, such as Incfile, to walk you through the entire process. Not only will Incfile work with you to reserve your trade name, but it will help you decide how to register your business―limited liability company (LLC) vs corporation. Its agents simplify the process of getting a business license and the necessary permits. They even offer to do the paperwork for you. Sign up to get started with Incfile today.
11. Use Signage to Attract Potential Customers
Pop-up shop signage should be attractive and intriguing to capture the attention of pedestrians. You want to be able to lead target customers to your shop naturally and posting signage that will motivate the curiosity of potential customers is one of the best ways to attract them. Remember that you can be creative without spending more than your budget allows.
Get started: You’ll have to be strategic with your signage. From the copy to the colors, you want graphics that will inspire curiosity and motivate potential customers to come to your doorstep. Once you have decided on your pop-up store space, evaluate the surrounding area, and observe foot traffic to figure out which places would be the most strategic to add your sign. This will also show you what type of sign will be most effective.
12. Offer Free, Branded Reusable Bags
One of the quickest ways to promote your brand is with branded packaging. Aside from the fact that reusable bags will show that your business is environmentally friendly, it also gives your business free advertising each time your customer uses your bag. This means you need to ensure that you invest wisely on design and materials. Your bags should be durable and handy, so they can be used often and reach a wider audience.
Get started: You can have your customized reusable bags printed from the same companies that supply materials for company giveaways like Branded Gifts and ePrinted.com. You’ll receive a bigger discount if you order larger quantities of merchandise. Before you do so, make sure that the materials used are durable. Check marketplaces like Alibaba.com and Amazon for a variety of options, and make a list of possible suppliers that you can contact to learn more about their products.
13. Leverage the Power of Social Media
Businesses should leverage their social media presence to help with their marketing campaigns. Your pop-up shop will gain more visibility by creating a buzz on social media immediately before your launch. Consider giving out cool prizes if customers share your posts. You can also create hashtags and offer special discounts for your online audience to build excitement over your store.
Get started: Creativity is the key to having social media play a unique role in your pop-up shop. Gather as many ideas as possible on how to use your business’ social media presence to boost sales by involving your team and even family or friends to provide suggestions. Conduct an online search as well for creative social media strategies. Maximize the use of your budget by integrating more digital processes into your campaign.
14. Collaborate With Businesses & Offer Sample Products
Partnering with complementary businesses can give your pop-up shop more potential to reach its target market. Smart customers are always conscious of how much they spend, not only for your product or service but, for anything else, they need to purchase to get the most value out of the products and/or services you’re selling. By giving your customers free samples of complementary products, you immediately remove a direct concern and help boost your sales.
Get started: The easiest way to implement this idea is to partner with local brands. It doesn’t have to be one that’s popular―those are usually more expensive in the market. You can introduce local alternatives and help promote their brands. This will give you a better chance at creating favorable partnership terms so that you can get the most out of your marketing budget.
15. Host Product or Service Demos
Even with online channels and videos, some consumers still prefer seeing how a product or service works with their own eyes before making a purchase. This makes pop-up shops the best venue to host product or service demos. It gives you a platform to directly answer the most common consumer questions about your business.
Get started: Make sure that the worker you assign to host your demos has strong product knowledge. You also need to make sure that your host possesses excellent customer service skills. The goal is to make potential customers feel that you are open to any questions and concerns. Hire one or two sales staff members who are service-oriented and patient with their audience.
The best pop-up shop ideas are the ones that offer the most rewarding experience for your target customers. This means you should carefully plan and execute the strategies you intend to try when launching a pop-up shop. Use our list of pop-up store ideas to get the most out of your new venture.
Do you have more pop-up shop ideas worth sharing? Let us know in the comments.