The Christmas Edge
Heading into Christmas, one of the most crucial and crowded trading times of the year, more than ever businesses need to get noticed.
New York pop-up retail Queen and author of The Pop-Up Paradigm Melissa Gonzalez says using temporary retail is a great way to generate customer loyalty, understand new markets, test concepts and more.
“I think that anything that they can add which is experiential is really what is key,” Gonzalez says.
“We did a pop-up with The National Peanut Board last year. And everyone knows what a peanut is, everyone knows what peanut butter is but not everyone knows how to make a peanut butter cocktail.
“So you surprise and delight people in a memorable experiential way, you kind of build mind share and you create a stronger loyalty to you brand whether they are buying it right there at that moment or the next time they are looking for a bagel they know they have to have yours. That is the success of a pop-up.”
Her company, The Lionesque Group, has identified that over the last couple of years the average pop-up they work with sees a 35 per cent increase in sales over a six-month period and outside of that 50 per cent see an average increase of 30 per cent on social media engagement over the lifespan of the pop-up.
But, Gonzalez says, it is important brands focus on much more than just the financials.
“How many people walked through the door, and how does that foot traffic compare to maybe your web traffic, what was the conversion rate of those people and how much stronger was it than your website,” she says.
“And then how many items did they buy and are they the kind of items they wouldn’t have purchased online because you needed to get over that touch feel gap, and then how many of those customers were new.”
Gonzalez says having the infrastructure in place to capture those metrics is crucial, as well as really useful in helping brands identify how to better market themselves.
“What are they taking pictures of the most, what are they posting on social media, what words are they using to talk about it?” Gonzalez says. “That gives the brand more information about how they should approach their marketing and merchandise choices moving forward.
“Ultimately if they take that information and use it, it should increase ROI over the next couple of quarters because of what they have learnt.”
So are pop-ups a temporary trend? Gonzalez thinks not - but they will evolve she says.
“I see a lot of brands investing more in mobile pop-ups and wanting to take it on the road and getting really creative with kiosks,” he says. “They are seeing they can utilise social media to see where to find them next.”
Briar McCormack is a contributing editor at BlueNotes