If your fashion or beauty brand needs instant results, hosting a creative pop up shop experience is one of the fastest ways to grow your social media presence, get a loyal base of customers, and create buzz among Influencers.
We chatted with Ana Pelucarte, the founder of Pop Up Mob in our Mingle Mastermind webinar about how to create a pop up shop experience that will bring instant rewards. Pop Up Mob is a full service pop up agency that develops, curates, and executes unique retail experiences for brands such as cosmetic company Benefit, French fashion brand Mugler, and more.
Expert Advice on How to Create a Successful Pop Up Shop Experience
Create a Pop Up Shop Budget
Creating a unique pop up boutique experience that will bring significant rewards isn’t a cheap thing to do, but if you’re trying to choose where best to spend your promotional dollars, a popup shop is often the perfect choice for a new brand or product launch.
What kind of pop up boutique do you want to host?
The type of pop up boutique you’re hosting will determine a major portion of your cost. Explore all your options to see where you’ll get the most bang for your buck. Ana advises against hosting pop ups in cities like New York or LA. You’ll get more traffic for your event if you hold your pop up in a city with less competition for people’s attention.
The different kinds of pop up shops you can host are:
- A store-within-a-store
- Kiosks or booth space at a major event
- Galleries or event spaces
- Shopping Malls with a lot of traffic
- Virtual reality stores
Fixed event costs
While you may need to pay a percentage of sales to an event producer, depending on the type of pop up shop you choose, you will also have fixed costs that may include:
- Insurance – always protect yourself from unexpected situations. Your products could get broken, or someone could get hurt. Insurance is cheap compared to dealing with a disaster. In most cases, it will be required.
- Internet – Don’t rely on free internet access, it will be slow and often impossible to connect, usually right when you need it…
- Utilities – If it’s not included in the venue fee, ask the property manager or event producer in advance for the average cost for similar events.
- Property maintenance post event – If your event is large, you’re going to need professional help with cleanup. It will be your responsibility to leave the property in the condition you found it.
- Staff salaries – Experienced staff is critical to handle unexpected situations and get the event launched on time, but it’s helpful to also have a few interns or volunteers for a low-budget solution to help fill the gaps and insure everyone gets a break.
Variable expenses determined by your budget:
Really think through how much of your budget you need to allocate to inventory, packaging, and marketing. While it’s tempting to skimp on marketing, if you don’t have a strong marketing plan, your event could be a total bust.
- Inventory – lower cost items sell the best at a pop up boutique, so make sure you’re bringing enough of your most popular items to keep cash flowing throughout the event.
- Packaging – Order eye-catching branded shopping bags so your new customers can promote your brand for you as they walk around the event. If you will be shipping your product directly to customers, make sure you’re including the cost of packaging and shipping into the product price.
- Marketing – Create a marketing plan that will bring out current customers and attract new one. You should plan for a digital marketing campaign that runs at least a week, email marketing to your current customers in the city of your event, and don’t forget to promote it on your website!
4 Ways to Create a Unique Pop Up Shop Experience
- Go mobile – Mobile pop up boutiques are all the rage. And in a COVID-19 environment, it would be easy to manage a crowd and keep your space clean. Wrap an old food truck or van to create a moving billboard for your products. A custom-designed event cart that you can easily fit in small spaces will give you flexibility to pop up anywhere, anytime!
- Use giveaways – Everybody loves free stuff, so offer free samples or merchandise. Make sure this tactic fits into your budget. To make it more cost effective, promote early attendance by giving to the first 20-40 people who stop by your booth. Be sure your away is a good representation of your brand and high quality. Cheap, mass-produced promotional products will only cost you money and end up in the trash.
- Be exclusive – Host an invite-only pop up for influencers, bloggers, and media to create more buzz around your event. You only have to do it for the first day, but then everyone will have FOMO and show up to see what is so exclusive about your brand.
- Create a scene – Hire a team to shoot a look book or put on a mini fashion show. Having models and photographers creating a scene will attract people to your booth and give you amazing content for social media.
New Ideas for Implementing a Pop Up Shop Concept into Your Business
Our Fashion Mingle Mastermind Group started exploring new ways to host events and offer services since the first moments the COVID-19 pandemic began. During our webinar, we brainstormed concepts and strategies that could help the fashion industry transition and create unique pop up experiences within our new social distancing reality.
Model casting: Dale Noelle of NYC’s TRUE Model Management suggested using a pop up style event to promote a modeling agency while also casting models. Scheduling models to arrive at a specific time will allow for easier social distancing. Partnering with a modeling agency while shooting your brand’s collection at the same time could create a PR win-win situation.
Explore New Cities: Catherine Schuller is a New York City event and fashion show producer who would like to take a multi-designer fashion show and pop up boutiques on the road to multiple cities. Ana agrees that this idea would help brands expand their reach, however, she warns against hosting a pop up shop in major cities like New York City and Los Angeles because the higher out-of-pocket expenses will severely cut into your profit. Go to cities like Chicago or Portland where there is a high disposable income, but will also stretch your budget.
Promote Your Products: Claire Perez of New York Makeup Academy offers an array of makeup courses online as well as in her Manhattan location, but she also has a line of branded beauty products that could give the brand wider exposure by showing at a pop up shop. Ana says that using a pop up boutique to sell beauty products is a great idea because it allows customers to get a feel for the products and the brand and create a loyal fan base.
Prepare Yourself Legally: NYC fashion business attorney, Shirin Movahed has experience working with brands who’ve hosted pop up shops. She recommends writing everything out that you’re trying to accomplish with your pop up. “Expectations are key.” She also emphasizes that having a contract in place with the full scope of work is important to make sure everyone involved is aware of their role. Other legal documents you could need depending on your event are:
- A lease agreement.
- A contract for vendors or subcontractors
There will always be changes to plans along the way, so make sure that all contracts are revised and signed before the day of the event.
Fashion Mingle CEO, Melissa Shea urges every brand who is new to pop ups boutiques to consult with their own lawyer well before planning begins. “You don’t know, what you don’t know”. If you need legal advice about your fashion business, find an attorney that specializes in fashion or beauty in our fashion directory or connect with Shirin for businesses in New York and Florida.
Ana gives this last piece of advice about creating an innovative pop up shop: “If the public is going to give their time to an experience, it has to be something worth experiencing.” So put a lot of thought and creativity in making your pop shop something truly unique that will build buzz and get more social media engagement for your brand.
Join us every Friday at 1pm EST for a new Mingle Mastermind session. Register here