Pop-ups are popping up everywhere! It’s time you get on the popup bandwagon…
Pop-ups are a hot trend these days, popular with both buyers and sellers. And for entrepreneurs, they are a great space to showcase their products and reach out to new audiences that can translate into a new customer base. They are temporary shops that will help your business promote its product.
Fairs and exhibitions are held regularly in Indian cities these days. As a total aficionado of exhibitions, I can vouch for the fact that these attract throngs of people looking for bargains or for new products or just out of sheer curiosity. And it’s a rare sight to see someone leave empty-handed from an exhibition!
So here are some reasons why you as an entrepreneur should participate in these exhibitions with a pop-up store of your own:
1) You create awareness: If you are a startup, chances are that you have a Facebook or Insta page and a dedicated band of followers who are regular customers. But we all want more business, don’t we? With a pop-up, the floating population at the exhibition is bound to visit your store. Even if they don’t buy, they may collect your brochures or ask you questions about your products or sample your products. This could translate into future purchase.
2) Customers can sample your products: If you are relatively unknown, customers don’t know who you are and the quality of what you offer. Let’s say you’re selling block-print saris. How do customers know the quality of the fabric? Or how rich the colors are. They can touch and see the saris and make a decision. Or let’s say you’re selling breads. How good are they? Are they fresh? Are they soft? Are they tasty? A customer can get to know all this by sampling your product at your pop-up and make an informed purchase. Even in the digital age, many people want to try out or see a product and feel it before they buy it.
3) You can interact directly with customers: There is a huge difference between interacting with customers on email versus interacting with them personally. You can chat with them, find out a bit about them and if your sales skills are good, persuade them to buy your product. Face-to-face service helps entrepreneurs to bond with their customers.
4) You get direct feedback: Since you are interacting physically with customers, you can gauge their reactions to your products. Do they find them too pricey? Is one particular product very popular? Is there another that has no takers? What do they like about your product? Is there anything you can improve? Or is there a new product you can offer? For example, you maybe selling silver jewelry and have earrings, chains, bangles and rings on offer. If a few customers come up and ask you whether you have nose studs, you realize that there is a market for that too and you may decide to offer those in the future.
5) You can build a database: Irrespective of whether a customer buys something or not, you could have a book where they write their name, email id and phone number. This will hold in good stead at a later stage for your mailing list, or when you have promos or a new product launch.
6) You can test run a business idea: Maybe you are looking at transitioning from online to a brick and mortar shop. You can get a feel of how popular your products are, and also how persuasive you are. Samford University entrepreneurship professor Dr. Franz T. Lohrke says, “Pop-up shops provide a way for entrepreneurs to test-market an idea without investing a lot of money into a business.”
7) Create scarcity: The ‘scarcity concept’ is a psychological principle devised by Dr Robert Cialdini. He discovered that the more difficult it is to buy a certain item is, the more desirable it becomes. If a product or service is perceived as limited, then the chances of buying it increase. A pop-up, thanks to its short lifespan, conveys scarcity, exclusivity and a sense of urgency. If your product is good and your marketing is smart, you can certainly attract sales.
8) Get rid of old inventory: Dead stock is a drain on investment. They are not making money for you and are also occupying space. Pop-ups can be a good vehicle to unload old inventory. You could have special offers like buy-one-get-one-free or discounted products or a 50% off sale. Customers love discounts and freebies, so you are bound to get sales.
Pop-ups are one of the best ways for online businesses to explore the offline world without investing a huge amount on a permanent store. It allows buyers the experience of old-fashioned shopping where they can see/feel/taste/sample/try out the product and ask questions and interact with representatives of the business. As an entrepreneur, plan your pop-up carefully in terms of product offerings, pricing and design, and you are good to go!