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Pop Up Shop Ideas to Help Get Your Business Popping

Lauren Valensky
4 Dec 2021

Are you a business trying to branch out but don’t have the means to do it? Or an online brand, hesitant to commit to the high street? A pop up shop could be your answer.

Picturing a pop up shop as a consumer, it’s often ‘light fun and freebies’ which immediately spring to mind. For business owners, however, the purpose of these temporary retail spaces is far from light and fun. It’s serious business[1]. Pop up shops are a cost-effective way for high street and online businesses to promote and experiment with every element of their company. 

As well as providing increased exposure, they bring a fresh sense of excitement, which the stagnancy of brick and mortar stores can sometimes impede. While the name might make these ventures sound trivial, these shops require a considerable amount of careful planning to be effective. So to help start you off, we’ve compiled a list of tips for launching a pop up shop that’ll shoot your business to success.


The first step towards creating a successful pop up shop for your establishment … is establishment. Before you launch a pop up shop, it’s essential to define the purpose of your store and identify exactly what you want to achieve, whether that’s testing a new location, capturing a different client base, or promoting an exclusive line of products. That way, you can tailor your shop to create a unique shopping experience to attract new customers while keeping your regular customers engaged and excited about your business. 

Build a buzz:

There’s no point in having a pop up store if nobody knows about it! You need to build a buzz around its opening, especially if you’re a small business. Now deemed a necessity for successful marketing, social media should be your go-to, with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok providing an affordable means of promoting your pop up in a creative and captivating way[2]

Posting countdowns to your launch, exclusive competitions, and pictures/videos featuring your set up and/or products, constantly reminds your followers about your pop up shop and provides an insight into what good things are in store (literally). In these posts, emphasizing your shop’s ‘temporary’ status will also motivate customers to visit, essentially converting your organic web traffic into foot traffic[3].

If you’re not social media savvy, don’t stress. There’s also a wide range of online tools such as Facebook Business Suite, which can automatically create, organize, and even post your content across your social media platforms, taking all the stress out of posting.

Oh goody!:

As you’ve probably guessed by now, your shop will be disappearing after a time, so it’s imperative the impression you leave on your customers doesn’t do the same. 

Especially if you’re installing your pop up shop for a shorter period (1 day to a week), you need a specific retail strategy to stay relevant in your customer’s minds long after their visit. Although methods vary between companies, a practice that works regardless of your business sector (beauty products, food, etc.) is handing out freebies. 

While these can take many forms, goody bags are an effective way to make a strong first impression, while allowing customers to engage with your product without feeling pressured to do so. This not only makes the customer feel comfortable and more inclined to buy but allows them to go away with a physical reminder of your store after their visit. 

Ensuring these goody bags are of a high standard helps solidify your brand’s reputation in terms of quality, and encourages your current customers to promote your products to others through word of mouth. This process achieves five times more sales than paid ads and is vital in extending your business’s reach past its brick-and-mortar location[4]

Conditional online and in-store raffles are also a good way to keep customers involved throughout your pop up shop campaign. These encourage customers to continue sharing your products/services and to stick around for future draws. Displaying QR codes around your pop up shop, with links to these competitions through your website, allows you to drive digital traffic in-store while adding an interactive element for your customers.

In addition, staggering these freebies (e.g. giving the first 15 people through the door each day an extra discount or including higher value/limited edition items in the first 15 goody bags) can also create a sense of urgency, and incentivizes customers to come in even if they weren’t intending to buy. Providing links to subscribe to loyalty programs, or having loyalty cards available at your pop up, also prompts customers to remember your business and purchase again.

All this talk of ‘freebies’ and ‘goody bags’ might make you worry about your profit margins. Since pop up shops command much cheaper costs than a permanent location, you have the room to provide these promotional offers for a limited time, helping boost your future profits and causing little or no detriment to your current ones.

Make the connection:

While pop up shops definitely help you connect with your customers on a more personal level, it’s important to make the connection in all areas of your store.  

Having reliable, fast WiFi at your pop up creates a better in-store experience for the customer. It also allows them to easily share the details of your shop across their own social media in real-time, increasing brand awareness. 

Since the majority of your digital traffic comes from phones, having a strong internet connection enables you to capture all potential web traffic from walk-in customers, while letting them know that your brand is current and up to date. Although your pop up shop won’t be a permanent fixture, and may not require an expansive POS system, it’s always beneficial to implement payment processing.

Devices like Epos Now’s Portable V400m card machine which works on both WiFi and 4G, provide customers with a more efficient retail experience, whilst giving you the freedom and extra time to continue engaging with other visitors. Since cash payments saw a 35% reduction in 2020, after a large number of UK shoppers made the switch to contactless, card payments are now considered the ‘preferred’ method[5]

Since fewer customers are inclined to be carrying cash, being able to quickly accept digital payments and having the WiFi connection to do so, minimizes the risk of inconveniencing your customers. Having visitors leave to withdraw cash, for example, often causes them to quickly lose interest and spend less time engaging with your store.

Looks aren’t everything:

In this case, looks are very much everything. While word of mouth and social media are great ways to extend your company’s reach, the appearance of your store plays a big role in attracting new specific client bases, especially if those living and working in/around the location of your pop up are unfamiliar with your brand.

Including bold storefront colours, unusual or eye-catching shapes, and having organized displays helps freshen your business’s image and draws customers in before they even know what you’re offering.

Location, location, location:

While your name might not be Kirsty or Phil, location is crucial to the success of your pop up shop. Even if the purpose of your shop is to specifically test out a new site for your business, it is important to carefully research where your particular products and services would be suited best. Think about it: putting a pulled pork pop up in an area with a largely vegan demographic or a streetwear store in the middle of a retirement village wouldn’t get you the best results. 

While these are extreme examples, probing your pop up’s proposed location is always necessary to ensure the venue's compatibility with your brand. Looking at existing shops in the area, determining the average age of the area’s population, and identifying what trends are popular in that particular place will all help optimize your pop up shop. 

Customer care:

While giving out a load of ‘free stuff’ might attract passers-by, it doesn’t retain a loyal customer base. Especially if your permanent location is large, or if you are an online-only store, pop up shops provide a more intimate location for you to directly connect with the customer and really drive your personality forward.  

As well as talking to your patrons, ensure your branding reflects that personal element (e.g. putting handwritten notes in goody bags), so customers are encouraged to invest in you as well as your products and services. Going the extra mile to make customers feel a connection to your brand definitely pays since 73% of companies with above-average customer service perform better financially than their competitors[6].

Follow these tips to set up your perfect pop up shop, and watch your brand pop off in more ways than one.

Down to business:

If you’re a business owner seeking to expand or establish your company, Epos Now offers award-winning POS systems that cater specifically to retail businesses. The Retail POS System has a range of advanced features that take care of your retail worries:

  • Multi-site and omnichannel store management, to effortlessly manage your online and in-store locations 
  • Specific sales analytics, which highlights top-performing products 
  • Stock counts and drops that update in real-time 
  • Integrate with a fully loaded e-commerce platform that syncs with your Epos Now till
  • Flexible to - option to modify suite of business automation apps, from marketing to bookkeeping, to payroll


Still keen to find out more about growing your business? Here are some more articles you might be interested in:

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