Today, the word pop-up causes almost as much of a buzz as the words free beer. But what can it do for your business?
There’s no doubt about it, the twenty teens is the era of the pop-up store. The phenomena, which involves a business setting up a temporary customer-facing space or event, is in its zenith. Even multi-national companies like Gap are getting in on the act – establishing pop-up stores in places like London’s Shoreditch, despite having more than 3,000 permanent stores around the world.
The term pop-up shop has been used for decades. Back in the eighties, there were pop-up Christmas stores on most high streets, selling cheap toys for one month only. However, the use of the word pop-up in the way we know it today only started to gain traction in the early naughties. In 2004, the future-forecasting research site TrendWatching listed the term as an official new trend, alongside ‘nowism’, which referred to the growing trend for consumers to want instant gratification from services and products, both online and off.
This year, retail rental space providers Storefront estimated that the pop-up industry would generate $80 billion worldwide. And Dan Calladine, creator of the pop-up news website London Pop-Ups, believes the phenomenon is only going to grow from here.
“I think pop-up culture will get bigger,” says Dan. “There’s now an industry to facilitate it, but many won’t be described as pop-ups – it’s a bit a ‘Marmite’ word”
So what are the business benefits of getting a pop-up space for your business?
First there are the low overheads. Some pop-up spaces, like A Space In Cambridge, can be hired out for as little as £1 per day.
Then there’s the benefits a pop-up shop offers in offering online to offline interaction. A recent study by Accenture discovered that 78 percent of shoppers liked to ‘webroom’, which means browsing online before purchasing in store.
Pop-up shops can also give you a decent return on income, compared to other methods of selling. Part of this is down to the psychological effect a pop-up shop has on a customer. In 1984, psychologist Robert Cialdini carried out some research to discover what principles influenced buying behaviour in consumers. He called his findings the Six Weapons of Influence. He called the first five weapons reciprocity, consistency and commitment, social proof, liking and authority. The sixth weapon he identified was scarcity – people were more persuaded to buy something if they thought it was in limited supply. This is exactly the effect that a pop-up shop has on a customer – pop-up shops induce a ‘get it before it’s gone’ mentality.
Finally, pop-up shops are a great outlet for experimentation. Many big businesses now use them to test out new products with as little risk as possible.
If you’re thinking about getting a pop-up for your business, think about getting a hyper-branded website to go along with it. UK2.net are currently selling web addresses that end in everything from .guru to .photography. Visit the UK2 website to find your perfect pop-up website address.