Four Things You Need to Know About the World of Pop-Ups

Four Things You Need to Know About the World of Pop-Ups


Using a pop-up strategy works, but here’s the thing: it doesn’t just work for retailers! It works for serve businesses, online brands, community engagement—it even works if you’re going out of business.

For over 35 years, I have been busting the myths about pop-ups and have seen businesses start, grow, and transform using a pop-up format.

Clients have used the format for fast-track growth. I have worked with a number of retailers who adopted a pop-up format and transformed their business within a few weeks.

There are many benefits to pop-ups

There are many industries where a pop-up format can have a real positive impact.

Looking for a new location? Opening a pop-up is a great way to find out if a location is right for your business.

Have a new product? A pop-up is a great way to connect with your customers.

Need to expand while keeping costs down? A pop-up strategy is the perfect vehicle for expansion.

If you’re a service business, like lawn care, solar energy, or home improvements, using a pop-up customer acquisition strategy is perfect for finding your perfect customer.

Pop-ups can have many formats

Pop-up formats come in many shapes and sizes. In-store locations, retail merchandise units, kiosks, promotional space, and even parking lots can all be utilized. I’ve even used empty offices, hospitals, and university campuses to great effect.

The most popular—and possibly the most impactful—are those within shopping malls or retail centers. These can not only bring you a ready-made audience, but can also sometimes include marketing support, security, retail fixtures, customer parking, and more.

There are also variances in time formats—pop-ups open for a couple hours to a single day, weekends, or several months.

Busting the cost myth

I’ve been busting this myth for years and years. The reality is opening a pop-up is not nearly as expensive as people thing it is.

It’s true to say prices vary from location to location and format to format.

A recent survey showed that, on average, a pop-up shop costs around $5,000 in total. There are seasonal variations and you can expect to pay more during the holiday season.

That said, with micro-activations you may be able to find extremely low hourly rates (but these may be location-dependent).

Another fantastic way of keeping costs down is a joint venture with other brands that are a good fit when merchandised with your product line. By sharing the cost across multiple brands, a pop-up can be much more affordable.

Marketing is one of the keys to pop-up success

There are many businesses competing for your customer’s disposable income. Marketing is one of the key components to the success of your pop-up activity.

Using social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to creating a marketing impact.

Pre-promoting your product and your pop-up is a must. Sharing the new location and operating hours, behind-the-scenes preparation, and featuring your team are all high-engagement content options to build excitement around your activation.

Most malls will place you on their own websites and often feature you on their social channels.

Don’t stop at opening—keep the online momentum going by posting relevant content as often as you can, and by encouraging your customers to do the same.

If you’ve got an email list of past customers, be sure to let them know about your pop-up as well. Most customers love to get their hands on products and will buy more.


There are many myths around pop-ups, but they’re a great way to get some buzz (and revenue) for your business without a lot of commitment.

Ready to open your own pop-up? We’re here to support you along the way. Sign up for Popable today.

Author

  • For over 35 years Stephen Brooks has been immersed in all things retail. His career has taken him to 57 different countries, working with retailers, landlords, e-commerce and retail affiliated businesses big and small. Stephen is an author, speaker and TV commentator for the TD Ameritrade Network and co host of The Popable Podcast. Stephen is passionate about the future of retail and works with his clients to navigate through the complex issues that they face in an ever changing consumer driven world. Stephen’s has worked with a variety of start up’s & well known established brands, these include Virgin Media, Tmobile, Arabian Oud, Mastercard and Ikea.

Author

  • For over 35 years Stephen Brooks has been immersed in all things retail. His career has taken him to 57 different countries, working with retailers, landlords, e-commerce and retail affiliated businesses big and small. Stephen is an author, speaker and TV commentator for the TD Ameritrade Network and co host of The Popable Podcast. Stephen is passionate about the future of retail and works with his clients to navigate through the complex issues that they face in an ever changing consumer driven world. Stephen’s has worked with a variety of start up’s & well known established brands, these include Virgin Media, Tmobile, Arabian Oud, Mastercard and Ikea.