The better way to sell online

Why Pop-up shops are cost effective money makers

As Ecommerce traders, we make the decision to sell online for a reason. Selling offline can have high overheads, and the price of running a physical store can be crushing for new businesses. But pop-up Shops – exclusive, short lived events which allow businesses to sell their products physically for a limited time only – have many of the perks of retail selling with minimal costs and no real commitment.

After all, pop-up shops by definition come with an inbuilt expiry date, and they’re becoming increasingly popular. They’re now so effective that they’re expected to generate 80 billion dollars annually. Want to know why? Here are five reasons pop-up shops help businesses boost business.

1. Go and meet your customers.

If you’re creating targeted ads online but you’re still struggling to get your products in front of the right people, pop-up shops can help you – literally – put your products where the people are. They’re a fantastic way to build brand awareness.

If you’re selling practical office tools for business people, consider a pop-up shop in a business district. If you’re selling student phone accessories, try placing yourself near a campus: by intercepting your target customers in their day to day lives you can draw attention to yourself, gain word of mouth traction, and start building relationships with what will hopefully become repeat buyers.

2. Take the mystery out of your product.

Do you sell something unusual? Are you an established business that’s launching something new? Are you offering alternatives to existing trusted products? Customers are more likely to trust what they can see and touch in person than what they can see on a screen, especially if it’s an idea that strikes them as out of the ordinary.

By giving live demos you can demonstrate the value of a product which people might question otherwise: and showing is always better than telling. Pop-Up shops can also help you identify how successful a product will be, if it needs to be altered, or if it has other potential markets you hadn’t yet considered.

3. Create a feeling of urgency.

Knowing that a pop-up shop is temporary can help boost sales, because there’s no real time for customers to make long drawn out decisions. By knowing that the products could be ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ customers are more likely to make spur of the moment decisions and buy.

In addition, the stock at a pop-up shop is limited by necessary. When operating in a small and temporary space there’s no room to keep extra things in the back: what you see is what you get. That scarcity can also push customers to buy for fear they might miss out if they don’t.

This is a tactic you can also use to move old stock: If you’ve stopped selling a certain product online but still have left over units, you can sell them as pop-up shop exclusive. Customers will know they can’t find them elsewhere, and the exclusivity can help prompt them to splash out.

4. Engage with your customers offline.

For those shopping online, not being able to identify the true quality of a product before purchasing can be a major deterrent, and 88% of shoppers who browse online still buy in store.

Pop-up shops can help combat this issue: they’re less expensive than shipping samples, and give customers the chance to engage with your products before they buy. This can raise trust, allow customers to raise concerns in person, and give you a chance to better direct their buying decision.

Customers who have tested your products but not bought them can still be a major asset to your business: if they have friends or family who are considering a purchase, they will be able to reassure them of your quality.

Knowing that a pop-up shop is temporary can boost sales, as there’s no time for customers to make drawn out decisions. By knowing that the products could be gone tomorrow, customers are more likely to make spur of the moment decisions and buy.

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5. Engage with holidays, seasons and special events.

61% of shoppers who buy at pop-up shops do so due to seasonal products. When the competition heightens around major shopping periods, stand out by getting in front of the crowd.

Holiday themed pop-up shops can be an effective way to boost the sales of certain products, capitalize on impulse buying behaviour, increase brand awareness and move surplus inventory – all while keeping costs minimal.


Less expensive than conventional retail shops, temporary and intimate, pop-up shops can be a fantastic way to get your products in front of customers, spread awareness, and make extra sales.

Lena Klein

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