Pop-up shops and markets are increasingly springing up across the UK, giving small, independent designers and businesses a platform for their products, while bringing something fresh and new to the shopping landscape.
Pop-up shops offer flexibility so they can be a great way to test a new location or product, or to dip your toe into taking an online business to the High Street. Meeting customers face-to-face will also enable you to get feedback on your products and let buyers experience your wares first-hand.
Pop-up shop themes have ranged from vintage havens to quirky tea shops and the sense of novelty and urgency tends to get these ventures noticed.
Here are five areas to think about if you want to start your own pop-up shop.
1. Find a venue
It’s worth contacting your local council to see if they run any pop-up schemes. If they don’t already have anything in place, maybe volunteer to be the first test case! Other pop-up shop businesses have negotiated directly with the landlord, agent or shopping centre.
You could also look at initiatives such as PopUp Britain, created to give new British brands a rare opportunity to get their products onto the British High Street.
2. Talk to others who have done it
The best way to learn how to run a pop-up shop is to speak to someone who has already launched one.
The Empty Shops Network is a goldmine of information on everything pop-up-shop-related, including advice, concepts and contacts. The site is also packed with case studies, so you can have a browse for some inspiration.
3. Get noticed
The key to making your pop-up shop stand out, is to find something unique or interesting to draw people in. Business Insider rounded up some of the most creative pop-up stores, but your idea doesn’t need to be elaborate as long as it grabs attention.
4. Promote it
When it comes to promotion, social media is your friend. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Vine can be used to give people hints at what can be expected and create a sense of urgency about your pop-up business. Local papers and magazines could also be interested in giving you coverage.
There are dedicated blogs for pop-up shops, like London Pop-Ups, so you might want to contact them too.
5. Get paid
Having the option of accepting mobile payments as well as cash payment makes it easier for your customers to pay, encourages more purchases and makes finishing up at the end of the day easier too. Have a look at the Intuit Pay system for a quick and simple way to take card payments at your pop-up shop.
Have you thought about setting up a pop-up shop? What do you want to know? Or do you have experience in this area which you can share?