5 Things to Know Before You Plan Your First Pop-Up Shop

5 Things to Know Before You Plan Your First Pop-Up Shop

1) Pick an End Goal

Nail the big picture first, and then you can start to think about the details.

Generally, there are three major end goals of a pop-up shop, we recommend you pick one as the primary goal. The three most common goals are:

Brand Awareness: 
A pop-up is an amazing tool to provide new audiences with an unforgettable experience, turning them into lifelong brand ambassadors. Never underestimate the magic physical retail experiences can provide for a customer. 

Engage with Existing Customers: 
Online brands can have difficulty building personal relationships with customers. Creating a physical space to interact with your customers is a great way to re-engage on the human level and develop personal relationships with your customers.

Drive Revenue:
If you are an e-commerce business, experimenting with physical locations can be a low-cost mechanism to test new revenue streams and markets. If executed well, it could also be a way to increase profit. If you already have a retail store a pop-up shop is a great way to test out a new location, new product, or customer market before actually opening a permanent space or launching the product or collection fully. It gives the brand the chance to make some money, get feedback and build excitement.

2) Foot Traffic is Everything

Foot traffic and accessibility to parking or public transportation is important to think about when picking a location. The busier the foot traffic at the location, the more opportunities to sell and drive revenue. Luckily, there are multiple types of pop-ups that can give you a varied source of foot traffic, consider the following pop-up locations: Shop in Shop, airstreams, existing vacant retail spaces, and shopping malls. Each location comes with its pros and cons, determining the overarching goal of your pop-up will help determine which location best suits your brands’ needs.

3) Brand Clarity

Find brand specific words that each employee can use when communicating the brand story. A good strategy to start is to find the core words that will describe the feeling you want customers to feel as they enter your pop-up. Consistency in word choice will help make the message clear when the customer interacts with multiple employees. Take the friction out of the customer's life when they describe your brand to their friends, give them the verbal tools to become a strong brand advocate. 

4) An Instagrammable Store Layout

Think about your merchandising and store layout from a digital perspective. Brands must think about designing their store in this way to grab attention from online audiences. Brands that are able to jump out on an Instagram feed will have a better chance of converting eyes online to feet in their store.

Consider small, low lift things your brand can do to achieve this - an excellent example is Everlane, who uses their dressing rooms to uplift their customers with small phrases and sayings. You will be surprised to find how many people are willing to share your story with others without you having to ask.

5) Create a Clear Sales Plan

Creating clear monthly, weekly, and daily sales goals for your pop-up will be crucial in evaluating success. A sales plan will help you track if you are breaking even (covering you daily operating expenses), or making a profit.

Once you have created a sales plan, make sure it is visible to your team. By providing your team with clear sales goals there won't be confusion as to what each person needs to do to help make those sales goals a reality.


While it takes a bit work, working through these 5 things will allow you to take your pop-up to the next level. There you have it, the 5 things to know before you plan your first pop-up shop to set your store up for success.