This past month I’ve had the opportunity to host two small pop up shops for my brand Run and Follow Shop. One was a “customization” themed pop up shop at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the second one was at a local high school for a fundraiser where 20% of the proceeds went to the Amnesty International where they were raising money to raise awareness for domestic human trafficking.
Being someone who does a majority of my sales online, I learned a lot in these two experiences and hope to book more pop ups in the future! Here are the top three tips I have
- Customization options will generate loyal customers. When you offer customization in your business (in my case, hand painted denim jackets), it can improve your customer retention. You build a one on one relationship with the customer where they feel special. People like the idea of having something that no one else will have. I came up with a booklet of examples, with various price brackets (painted quotes, embroidery, or full design) and a template where I sketched their ideas out. This can be time consuming so having an assistant with you to handle other customers while you customize is a must. whatever your business is, I recommend you develop a customization strategy to drive in person sales.
- Business Cards. If you have done any marketing events, meetings, or pop up shop, you need something to give aspiring customers (aka customers who aren’t purchasing but are interested in your product). Getting your name out there and having them check out your online presence might convince them to purchase in the future. A sub tip (consider it a 2B.) would be to put together a pop up shop to go kit. This “kit” should include business cards, a few pens, start up cash (I keep $100 in various bills to make change), a table cloth, and whatever other marketing materiel/ set up tools you require! Make sure you communicate with the event hosts if you should bring your own table in advance
- Motivate Customers. Sometimes you need to offer an incentive to have a customer go through with the sale. One way to do that is to offer a “Pop-Up Exclusive” sale! For instance, I offered $5 off of my products during the pop up, and mentioned how a percentage went towards the fundraiser as well. Although $5 may not seem like a lot, we come from a society that thrives on instant gratification and a love affair with sales.
Now that I have given you three tips, there are two other points to make, but I don’t quite have a solution for these two. First, have multiple ways for people to check out (cash, credit, debit, check) I have all these options but my in person credit card/ debit card check out is not entirely optimized. I know there is the “square” for iPads and phones to let people swipe but I haven’t investigated this idea yet. Instead, people at my booths use primarily cash or manually enter their card info like they would for an online purchase from home.
The second hurdle I am working around, keeping stock. I basically make/ order the pieces a customer orders as they are ordered and do not keep a lot of stock. Other than my graphic tees, most of my pieces are one of a kind. Once they are bought, I would have to make something similar or never produce it again. This is great for my customers but when you’re hosting a booth for multiple hours this means that I need to have more to shop from. The solution to this problem would be to make more stock obviously, but that is definitely easier said than done.
Let me know what you think of this post below.