What if you joined forces with another online store – one with similar design-style aesthetics in children and baby collections – to do a pop-up shop to engage with your customers in a more personal level?
Well, that’s exactly what happened to us.
We’d like to share our experience and the ‘tricks’ we learned along the way with the hope that it can help other small online business that may be thinking of doing a Pop Up Shop.
In our case, it all started by finding a great partner or group of partners with similar interests but this information also applies if you decide to go solo.
We are two moms (I am also a grandmother) that met through a social event for mompreneurs organized by the lovely ladies at the Social Common, Cat and Nat.
Ada, from Minimodel Gallery and I met about a year prior to opening the Pop Up and yes, it requires that much time to create a successful event. We detailed our visions and expectations. We decided to divide and conquer so each of us had specific tasks for our next meeting.
The hardest part was to find a location.
TIP 1: Find a partner with similar interests
TIP 2: Look for storefront locations with demographics related to your products
I’m sure we approached about 20 different places before we found our perfect location. There are beautiful spaces for Pop Ups but finding one that matches your daily budget can be tricky. You don’t want to spend your entire budget on location alone.
TIP 3: Think outside the box
Select your fave neighbourhoods and check if the Community Association has any programs with local businesses to rent empty spaces for a short period of time.
Another option is sharing the space with a complimentary existing store. Note that I said complimentary as I don’t think your competition would be interested in sharing the space with you.
TIP 4: Keep everything in writing
Keep a written log of all and any arrangement and agreements for rent. You can share those e-mails or correspondence with your partner for clarity.
Start planning your promotion & advertising. This is going to take longer than what you think and it is a must if you’d like to have a successful Pop Up.
Catchy colours, cute fonts and lots of creativity. We’ve purchased an inexpensive package with fonts and fun logos from Creative Market that we used throughout our advertising campaign. Consult with family and friends to see if someone can help you with the design if you, like me, can’t do these artsy things by yourself.
Tip 5: You are the best Advertising Agency and Public Relation Person that your company has. Networking with family and friends is key.
Tip 6: Timing is everything
Think about a launch day that will work with your brands. We chose a couple of weeks before school started to maximize the time that parents with children have for going shopping and enjoying a nice summer stroll on a busy street.
It the Pop Up Shop is on a storefront (preferably) you wouldn’t like to have your event in the middle of a possible snowstorm or when everybody is out of town for the long weekend.
Once you have the place, the date and the art start promoting your Pop Up Shop to EVERYBODY and EVERYWHERE.
Tip 7- Use the free advertising tools available online
As a small business you probably don’t have a big budget for Advertising and PR so DIY and have fun doing it. Talk with people you know, post an event on Facebook and invite all your friends and ask them to share the event and invite their friends. Make a list of influences, bloggers, Community Associations, Social Media groups and your customers and send them an evite.
We created a Press Release that we sent to all the media outlets related to our businesses.
Create a banner for your Facebook page and small ads for Instagram and Twitter. Post one every couple of days on your Social Media outlets. We created printed posters that we distributed to stores in the neighbourhood. We basically went door-to-door and asked the owners to post our poster on their storefront window. We had a great reception from the stores on the neighbourhood.
We also attended a Farmers Market a couple of days prior and we distributed postcards to all the families attending the community event. We chatted with each of them explaining what we were doing and how fun it would be for the whole family.
Tip 8: Be creative and resourceful on your advertising strategy
Adding some fun to your Pop Up will attract more people to your shop. We had free face painting and balloon twisting for the kids and a photoshoot session with a photographer. We also added a gift with purchase for the first 10 customers and a giveaway raffle.
Tip 9: Provide your customers with incentives that will attract them to visit your shop
Give yourself enough time for the set up on the day of and be sure to bring little things that you might need (scissors, tape, packing material, extra hangers, snacks for you, chargers). Make a list those items and go through the list before leaving.
We partnered with Square for payment processing with credit cards and it was a breeze. Customers were really happy that they had the choice to pay with credit card or cash.
Tip 10: Make a list of the little support items that you need to bring
We hope that this information will help you when you are ready to do your own Pop Up Shop. I know it would have been useful to us when we were planning ours.
Susana is the owner of Bonjour Baby Baskets an online boutique that specializes in Luxury Baby Gift Baskets and unique baby gifts.