Pop-Up Power is Real: Pop-Up Shop Ideas and Marketing Strategies for Retail Success

Learn how to design a successful pop-up store that creates buzz

Did you hear about the ReOcean Sustainable Fashion Treehouse? This series of eco-friendly, elevated treehouses is located in urban parks and green spaces in major cities.

The treehouses are made of recycled materials and blend seamlessly into their surroundings. Each treehouse showcases a unique aspect of sustainability for the ReOcean Apparel brand.

These treehouses are pop-up shops in disguise.

The New York Sustainable Fashion Treehouse highlights energy-efficient production. The Dublin Sustainable Fashion Treehouse features no-waste packaging. The Vancouver Sustainable Fashion Treehouse focuses on marine conservation.

At each treehouse, visitors take part in workshops on sustainable fashion and have the chance to purchase limited-edition eco-conscious ReOcean clothing.

These pop-ups elevated ReOcean from a small brand to a major fashion player. People are lining up to get in and sharing every single detail about the pop-ups on social media. Foot traffic in ReOcean’s brick-and-mortar store is at an all-time high, online sales are booming, and the press coverage of ReOcean is unprecedented.

ReOcean Apparel does not exist. But if it did – it’s guaranteed brands would be lining up to copy this pop-up shop idea.

It’s got it all – innovative, experiential, unique, localized, shareable, educational, timely, and playful.

How does your pop-up shop measure up?

Hint: we really hope you have some pop-up plans…

What is a Pop-Up Shop?

A pop-up shop is a temporary installation that lets you engage and connect with your customers.

If you can imagine it – it can be a pop-up shop. The key is in creating something that allows you to get in front of new customers while strengthening relationships with existing customers.

For example, the Nike pop-up shops at NBA All Star Games, the NFL Superbowl, and The Olympics offer one-of-a-kind personalized experiences and exclusive products unique to each pop-up location. This helps Nike reinforce existing relationships and showcase products to people curious or new to the brand. The pop-ups are also a destination point at major sporting events.

Pop-Up Shops as a Retail Marketing Strategy

Pop-up shops are a natural fit for every single brand across all demographics. And no, this is not an exaggeration.

Your pop-up shop can be whatever you want and it can be wherever you want. The key is in ensuring your pop-up store fits in with the demographic you’re targeting.

Want to test out a new product, branding strategy, or service? Set up a pop-up shop in malls where you already have a brick-and-mortar presence. Encourage people who visit your store to stop by your pop-up shop to give feedback, get early access to new products, etc. Follow the lead of Warby Parker, a DTC eyewear brand who used pop-up shops to test out brick-and-mortar retail with pop-ups featuring eye-catching graphic installations and custom branding.

Want to reach out and engage with a new demographic? Install pop-up shops where these people are – think of this as a push marketing strategy. Use your pop-up installation to push your brand out. Make sure you know what this demographic likes/dislikes and incorporate this into your pop-up.

Want to showcase how people can use your products? Create pop-ups with an educational feature. For example, use workshops and demonstrations to make it easy for people to get hands-on with your products. Install these in high-traffic areas or in locations that align with your brand mission and ethos.

As you brainstorm your pop-up shop ideas, remember these statistics about pop-ups, retail branding and marketing, and consumers:

  • 55% of surveyed consumers shop at pop-up shops to find unique products and because pop-ups offer different experiences
  • People choose pop-ups stores for: seasonal products (61%), localized options (36%), price (34%), convenience (33%), and fun and engaging experiences (30%)
  • 29% of surveyed consumers like the personalized shopping experience of pop-ups
  • 27% of consumers appreciate the chance to engage with new brands and products at pop-up shops
  • 80% of surveyed global retail brands say their pop-ups were successful, with 58% saying they will likely use pop-ups again
  • 66% of surveyed brands say pop-ups are an ideal way to create brand buzz
  • 46% of brands use pop-ups to launch and showcase new products
  • 81% of Gen Z consumers prefer to discover new product in retail stores

(Statistics sources: Statista Shopping Behavior, Storefront, 53 Data-Backed Retail Statistics for 2022 and Beyond, 50 Omnichannel Statistics for Retailers: New for 2022

Types of Pop-Up Shops

The types of pop-up shops we create and support for Dynamic clients include:

  • Mobile: to connect with people in multiple locations, use a van, bus, boat, or other type of vehicle to host your pop-up. For example, as a swimwear brand, host your pop-up on boats that travel to different beaches.
  • Seasonal: create special pop-ups for Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween, etc. Give consumers something they can’t typically get in your store such as seasonal gift wrapping, cards, or locally made products.
  • Store-in-Store: partner with brands that have cross-over appeal, installing a pop-up in their stores. For example, a shoe brand could install a pop-up in a sporting goods store to highlight a new line of basketball shoes.
  • Event Based: go where your customers are and use pop-ups to showcase products that appeal to these specific customers. For example, at the Women’s World Hockey Championships, hockey brands could highlight their lines of women-specific hockey equipment.
  • Permanent: this is a good way to create a brick-and-mortar presence without taking on the price tag of an entire store space. For example, a niche jewellery brand can use a permanent pop-up in a mall to attract people while keeping their costs down.
  • Marketing: test new products, collect consumer feedback, interact with a new demographic, rebranding, company announcements – there is no limit on how to use marketing pop-ups. Consider giving people freebies, discounts, or exclusive access in exchange for the feedback and engagement.
  • Experiential: do something you wouldn’t normally do – a virtual fitting room, interactive design center, workshops, use augmented reality, etc. For example, create virtual fitting room pop-ups during back-to-school season in movie theaters or sports centers.

Retail Design for Successful Pop-Up Shops

While pop-ups do allow you to test out new approaches and design strategies, it’s important to remember the keys to retail design success.

Remember these retail design strategies for pop-ups:

  1. Decompression zone: create an inviting entrance to your pop-up that makes it easy for people to see and understand their options and your products. Consider using retail fixtures and millwork that align with your brick-and-mortar store design to create a familiar atmosphere.
  2. Graphic installations: use graphics, signage, and displays to draw people to your pop-up and to get people engaging with your products and employees. Think about using custom pop-up graphics to highlight workshops, product demonstrations, exclusive products, etc.
  3. Lighting: customize your lighting to suit your pop-up location and vibe. Lighting can change your pop-up into a nightclub, spa, workshop, or napping zone.
  4. Space: because your pop-up doesn’t have a large footprint, how you use space is critical. Think about how people will move and engage in your pop-up. You may even want to design your pop-up to create a line-up that attracts attention and makes people curious.
  5. Visual merchandising: less is typically more when it comes to merchandising in your pop-up. You cannot replicate your brick-and-mortar store – narrow down what you want to do with your pop-up and build your visual merchandising strategy around this.

If you want to host a workshop – make sure you have the space, retail fixtures, and lighting to make this enjoyable.

If you’re rolling out new clothing consider using augmented reality to create virtual fitting rooms without cluttering your pop-up footprint.

How to Brainstorm Pop-Up Shop Ideas

Think beyond the limits of four walls and have some fun with your pop-up shop ideas. As you brainstorm your ideas, you need to remember the 5 Ws and 1 H:

  • Why are you planning a pop-up shop?
  • Who do you want to visit your pop-up?
  • Where are the people you want to attract to your pop-up store?
  • What do you want to highlight, feature, and communicate with your pop-up shop?
  • When is the best time to host your pop-up – should it be seasonal, event-based, permanent?
  • How are you marketing your pop-up and how will people find you?

Okay, now for the fun part – here are some pop-up ideas from the Dynamic team that we would like to see happen in real life:

  • The Fashion Farm is a pop-up at a community garden for a vegan clothing brand. Offer natural dyeing technique workshops and partner with community gardeners to highlight native plants and sustainable gardening.
  • Scavenger Hunt Pop-Up is designed across your city to encourage people to find mini pop-ups in pockets of urban nature and to showcase outdoor adventure products. Get people out exploring the city and offer prizes for participation.
  • The Sound Lounge is an upscale listening lounge with high-end seating areas, top-quality audio equipment, and a wide range of popular and hard-to-find vinyl. This pop-up is all about bringing vinyl to new people and letting them experience the superior sound quality of vinyl.

We want to hear from you. What are your dream pop-up shop ideas? Contact us and let us know.

At Dynamic, our unique combination of IN-HOUSE offerings makes us your single source provider for all of your pop-up store and special event experiences. No one understands retail design and installation better than we do.

Contact us to learn how we handle any aspect of your business – from an individual installation to a global roll-out.