For SMEs without the capital to maintain a bricks and mortar presence, pop-ups are a fantastic option. They shun commitments to long-term leases, sky-high overheads, full-time employee wages and other major costs associated with tangible stores.
That said, they’re definitely not a cash-free venture. Pop-ups go hand in hand with their own set of expenses, which means SMEs should continually be looking at ways to minimise costs.
So how can you launch a high impact pop-up, while still keeping costs in check? Read on for our insider tips on how to pop-up, on a budget.
Collaborate with Other Retailers
Enrich the customer experience, share the costs of renting retail space and split the responsibility of store hours by collaborating with other merchants. Hone in on retailers that complement your business, and build mutually beneficial relationships that heighten your message, and amplify your ability to reach a responsive audience. Got your sights set on Dubai or London? Check out our curated line-up of shared pop-up retail spaces in central locations across the two cities.
Rather than splash out on a visual merchandiser and interior designer to pimp your pop-up, try your hand at creating your own unique look. Use your space to tell a brand story, with a balance off merchandised inventory, and strategic lifestyle elements that create atmosphere, flow and engagement.
Be a Guerrilla Marketer
Get social media savvy and use platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to shout out about your pop-up. It’s pretty much free PR, and can get visitor numbers soaring. You can also try reaching out to local bloggers, contacting regional newspapers and co-marketing with other stores. As your pop-up store does business, actively track ROI by using intelligent foot traffic analysis tools. Facebook’s latest in-store API function is a game-changing way for retailers to gain invaluable insight into the relationship between online advertising, and offline customer behaviour.
Monitor Peak Hours
Actively track traffic within your pop-up store and use your findings to tailor staff schedules accordingly. During quiet times, there’s no need for multiple customer service assistants. However, when traffic peaks it could be worth your while to pay an extra employee. Your wage budget will be higher, but they’ll likely boost sales and soon pay for themselves.
Be Mindful of the 7% Rule
Wondering whether or not you can afford to launch a pop-up? As a general rule of thumb, calculate 7% of your gross monthly revenue, and decide whether this is enough to cover the costs of venue hire, merchandising, advertising, staff and so on.
Does the sheer thought of launching a pop-up store overwhelm you? When you’re first starting off, the key is to start small, and build your pop-up presence as you gain experience. Yes, some branded pop-ups are extravagant and expensive. But they don’t have to be. Everything can be done on a budget, so don’t be disheartened just because you don’t have a big bottom line to back your venture.
Got a tight budget to stick to? No problem. With a little planning and a lot of motivation, you can throw open the doors of a pop-up store, without sending your SME broke.