Where to start:
If you want to capitalize on the surge in demand the holiday shopping brings, now’s the time to start. Here are some useful tips to get you up and running.
Find the right location: In order to host a holiday pop-up, you need a space. Without physical space, you can’t do much. Start by familiarizing yourself with the spaces available to you, such as a kiosk at the mall, a local farmer’s market, a mobile truck, or working on a partnership with another local business that has a brick and mortar so you can act on a pop-up opportunity as soon as it comes available. Also, don’t forget about unconventional spaces — like an empty room of an old factory building — and be open to the potential of an otherwise hidden gem just waiting to be filled with your brand fans. Once a space becomes available whether doing it on your own or partnering with another business – book it because every other decision you need to make about your pop-up will be informed by the space from the location to the size, capacity, and even the price.
Decide how you want to market your pop-up: Once you decide on your location, it’s time to start thinking about how you want to market to existing and prospective customers. Some ideas to help get you started are: spreading the word on social media, teaming up with other local brands by collaborating on discounts and promotions to cross-pollinate each other’s audiences, partnering with local news outlets, put up a catchy sidewalk sign, ask brand loyalists or local influencers to get involved to help build trust with your brand and send a newsletter or SMS to customers you have emails and phone numbers for.
Focus on a small inventory to sell and how to lay it out/design: The PopUp Republic found that 61% of shoppers visit pop-up shops in the mall for seasonal items during the holidays. Even if you don’t sell common items like wreaths, cookies, or other themed goods, you can still join in on the seasonal rush of sales and implement a limited selection of holiday-themed items customers will want to buy. Consider bundling the products that best represent your brand into baskets or packages making it easy for shoppers to imagine themselves giving them as a gift. For instance, if you sell nostalgia gifts and you notice your puzzles are flying off the shelves and your stuffed animals are still sitting there, pair them together as a set at a lower price. Through these bundles, you can sell every day, as well as out-of-season items, that might not sell as well individually.
Another thing to consider when deciding what inventory to sell at your pop-up shop is the cost associated with the products. If you’re eager to reach the most customers and spread awareness about your brand—and clear out your seasonal inventory—choose products to sell at affordable price points that spark impulse buying. For instance, if you are selling wreaths, you want to tap into the urgency that the holiday shopping season brings and convert browsers into buyers by giving them a reason to pick your wreath over one they can buy from a big-box retailer like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. One avenue to consider is to incorporate a buy-one-get-one (BOGO) promotion where you throw in a lower-priced item as a gift with a purchase to make a higher-priced product a little more attractive.
Set a budget and stick with it: If you have a business that is already operational, this might be the easiest task yet to get started. Planning your budget for a holiday pop-up shop is no different than any financial decisions you make for the sake of your company. Some things you need to consider include:
- Cost of renting a space, utilities, furniture, lighting, and product displays
- Merchandising, such as tablecloths and signage
- Cost of inventory
- Marketing and promotions
- Checkout, including point of sales and credit card fees
- Insurance, depending on the size of your pop-up shop and how long it’s running
Set the experience: According to Bazaarvoice, Inc., 42% of consumers choose to shop at stores that have festive environments so take this as your opportunity to get shoppers into the holiday spirit by creating a fun-filled experience at your holiday pop-up. Fun decorating ideas for your store might include:
- Setting up holiday-related decorations: Choose a corner of your pop-up to display a Christmas or Kwanzaa cherry tree, presents, kinara, or menorah. You can even put your own products under the tree to show customers how they will look as gifts!
- Hanging lights and snowflakes: No matter where your store is located, create a winter wonderland that immerses customers in the holiday season.
- Covering the ground and shelves in fake snow: If you only want to add a light touch to your store, white stuffing and glitter can help set the mood.
- Make sure you aren’t just representing Christmas, but all holidays with your decorations.
Once your decorations are in place, choose a festive playlist to inspire shoppers. Research shows that music can affect shopping behaviors, specifically how long guests stay at your store and how much they spend. If you want to make more sales, don’t play your music too loud and choose stores that have a slower tempo. Chanel is a great example of someone who has set a customer experience and then some. Every year from December 12-15, they create a stylish, festive winter wonderland within New York City’s Standard Hotel, dubbing its pop-up shop, “Chanel No.5 in the Snow.” Open to the public, anyone who visits the pop-up shop can enjoy ice skating, hot cocoa, delicious food, and the chance to fully immerse themselves in a beautiful setting fit for their latest social media post.
Remember, this is a temporary store. So, to alleviate the headache of having to find storage space once you close up your holiday pop-up shop, rent any furniture and displays you might need instead of buying them outright. Also, be cognizant of space and keep things simple. For instance, if you do not have much room to work with you don’t want to overcrowd the space with large displays or tons of products which might just overwhelm your customers or only allow a few in the store at a set time. Try to use items that can serve two purposes, such as bookshelves that are aesthetically pleasing and can hold small items for sale.
For more tips on setting the experience for your holiday pop-up shop check out this visual merchandising guide to encourage your customers to interact with your products and maximize sales.