Why Pop-Up Shops Can Help Your Ecommerce Company Build Relationships
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A pop-up shop, by simplest definition, is a temporary retail location, with the goal of making a permanent impact with your audience. More and more brands – ranging from established retail giants to ecommerce companies – are using pop-up shops as a mechanism to build stronger relationships with their customers.
Notice that the goal is relationships, not sales? Sales are nice, but pop-ups have a unique ability to build relationships between customers and brands, so the goals are often driven more by marketing and awareness than revenue.
Regardless of which industry you’re in, we live in a hyper-connected world where consumers are exposed to more options than they can possibly digest – from fashion to food to social causes. Everything is a click away, yet the level of interaction can sit on the surface, often on a superficial level.
In this environment, consumers crave personalized interaction. They crave an experience that will surprise and delight them.
Let’s explore how a pop-up shop can be a critical tool for your ecommerce brand to create an immersive experience that conveys your brand promise, lifestyle message, and bridges the “touch-feel” gap that can be common in our online world. While there are numerous reasons why you would launch a pop-up, here are three of the most common ways that it can make an impact on your business.
In-Depth Customer Education
Canadian-based technology company, Shopify, is a wonderful example of a company who successfully utilizes pop-up shops to educate its customers and ultimately establish a deeper connection. Through Shopify’s retail initiative, businesses owners who use the platform for ecommerce, or who are thinking about it, have dedicated destinations to visit where they can sign up for workshops and work side-by-side with experts and elevate how they utilize the technology via design, app integration, product photography, and more. It instills the message that by using this platform, they have a true partner in their success, and that Shopify is more than just a tool. Instead, these pop-ups brand them as an expert community that users can rely on to learn best practices for growing their business.
Companies with complex offerings, new formulations, or a special mission can benefit from giving customers an in-depth, in-person demonstration of their product at a pop-up shop. By allowing a customer to take a deep dive into real-time, hands-on, live demonstrations, you’re giving them a clearer idea of who you are. When this is done properly, the environment makes the customer feels like this brand is educating them, not just selling them a product.
Immersing Your Customer in Your Brand
The #DaisyMarcJacobs Tweet Shop is a great example of a brand that understood their customers and delivered an immersive brand experience pop-up shop. No matter how many times they went to the Marc Jacobs store a few blocks away the following weeks or months, they would never have the same experience that they got in those three days during New York Fashion Week, where they could participate in the brand conversation and get free products for it.
They could hear DJ Jilly Hendrix spinning, have coffee from a solar-powered coffee truck, get free manicures, see great artwork by Langley Fox Hemingway, and receive free Marc Jacobs products in exchange for a Tweet. They had an opportunity to engage with the brand in a way that they wouldn’t be able to do the next week.
Brand message is the number-one thing that could make or break your company: it’s the promise you make to your customer. By creating an immersive experience, you allow customers to experience your brand on a whole other level, and empower them to feel like they’re truly involved in your brand.
In order to achieve this immersion, your imagery, product quality, and lifestyle message must be consistent, and the temporary spaces you create should deliver an environment that makes your brand feel approachable and attainable. It should allow customers to step into a world that might have otherwise seemed beyond the realm of possibility.