Going offline: How, and why, to try pop-up retail
If your online store is thriving, you can find yourself at the very exciting (but slightly daunting) stage of considering whether to expand into offline retail with a physical store.
This decision shouldn’t be rushed. While the running of businesses always involves some element of risk, opening a store brings with it the added factors of rent, bills, stock storage space, security and more. Renting a shop is a big undertaking, but you don’t have to dive straight in with a long-term lease: start small and test the waters first.
It’s essential to be as informed and prepared as possible before taking your business to the high-street.
One of the most effective ways to prepare is to do a test run. Opening a short-term pop-up shop will allow you to see how your online business translates into offline retail, without the pressure of being tied into long-term rent and bills.
Why move into offline retail?
Offline retail holds a particular appeal for so many reasons. Not least, for the human-to-human relationships built between customers and sellers with in-person purchases.
While you can build good connections with consumers online through social media and blogs, this does not quite compare to the joy of having a proper natter with customers, getting to know them as they return time and again to your shop.
With its customer-facing nature, offline retail is such a social industry. Particularly for those of us who love a good chat while we work, meeting new people and catching up with returning customers makes the working day fly by.
As well as the social element of offline retail, there’s also the added benefit of allowing customers to physically see, hold and test your products before buying them. Not only can this reduce the number of products which are returned, but it can also improve customer satisfaction by making the shopping experience more personal and enjoyable.
Better yet, your store could prompt more impulse buys from people who didn’t even know they needed your products until they walked past and spotted your dazzling storefront.
The benefits of pop-up stores
Often, making the decision to try to expand your online shop with a physical store is the easy bit. The difficult choices come in when you need to decide where you will launch the store, how big it will be and, most importantly, whether it can make enough money.
Having a temporary, pop-up store can help you decide all of these things. By getting a short-term or pop-up lease on a shop space, you can test out if consumers in your area are interested in your products. Also, you may be surprised as to whether the size of space you originally thought would be best is actually far too big or small to effectively sell your products.
The greatest lesson to learn from opening a pop-up store is whether your physical shop would be profitable. If your pop-up shop is really popular, with a great volume of customers and an even better number of sales, this bodes very well for your shop’s offline potential.
But, the benefits go a lot further than simply helping you to prepare for a long-term lease on a shop.
With temporary stores, you can impress a sense of urgency on consumers. If you are only in a certain location for a period of weeks, you’re giving them a limited time to catch you before the pop-up closes. You can offer unique deals which only apply in the pop-up, encouraging people to visit – and soon.
How to launch a pop-up store
That’s where we come in. At Buy-From Britain, we work hard to help retailers who are making the step into pop-up retail.
We have an ongoing project with Shrewsbury Shopping Centres to help wonderful local business set up temporary shops. In these shopping centres, we enable short-term and pop-up leases for retailers, working hard to make their short stays a success.
As well as helping retailers, these pop-up and short-term leases also benefit the community by using mall spaces and vacant spaces to introduce fresh new stores and a buzz of excitement into the shopping centres.
We’ve been thrilled by the feedback on our work with pop-up shops so far. Here’s the response from Anna Sadler from Marches Growth Hub following her successful pop-up shop in Pride Hill Shopping Centre, Shrewsbury:
“The Marches Growth Hub Shropshire approached Buy-From to work in collaboration on a pilot initiative which offered new and existing small independent businesses the opportunity to showcase their products at a FREE retail event in Shrewsbury town centre. The result was that feedback from participants highlighted that the support received from Buy-From during the course of the pilot initiative was excellent. Buy-From’s expertise in digital marketing, pricing, point of sale, and setting up artisan food and craft expos was invaluable in the delivery of this initiative. Our experience of working with Buy-From was extremely positive. I would not hesitate in recommending them to you to support the delivery of your project".
Hoping to try pop-up retail? Find out more about how Buy-From Britain can help you by getting in touch today.