Join the pop-up shop revolution! A cost effective way to test overseas markets
First conceived in the US around 10 years ago, the pop-up shop is now more popular than ever, the idea being that businesses can test a product or idea for little financial outlay.
With rental agreements ranging from just one day and advertising usually taking place through social media networks or word of mouth, it is easy to keep costs low.
A pop-up Post Office? Yes!
Some well-known names have embraced the idea of the pop-up shop. A few years ago, toy store Hamleys opened three around the UK during the festive season. John Lewis opened a preview pop-up shop in Exeter in 2012 prior to opening a new store. And even the Post Office opened its first pop-up shop in November 2012 to cope with increased Christmas demand.
Popping up all over the world
UK companies are not just experimenting with pop-ups on home turf. Auction house Christie’s opened its first pop-up preview in Singapore in 2012, showcasing artworks for sale at a Hong Kong auction. And fashion retailer Topshop opened a pop-up in LA last year, a taster for the opening of a main store during 2013. Even UK boy band One Direction had a pop-up shop in New York at the end of 2012, selling nothing but band merchandise.
Opening a pop-up shop in another country is a great way of determining whether a particular market is right for your business.
My top 5 pop-up shop tips
- Major events: Opening a pop-up shop during a major event can be very lucrative. Think along the lines of the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Grand Prix and Tour De France.
- High footfall area: Think carefully about your position. You need to be in a location frequented by your target customers.
- Right products: Consider which products are most suitable for a pop-up shop. Limited edition products or exclusive offers can often be found in pop-up shops, reinforcing the ‘catch it while you can’ concept.
- Social Media promotion: Remember that social media is the favoured way of advertising a new pop-up. Consider running a social media campaign using the most popular social networks in your chosen market. You may wish to think about website localisation and marketing translation to make sure you get the right message across to your overseas customers.
- Speak your customers’ language: Your overseas pop-up shop is more likely to prove popular with native customers if it communicates to them in their own language.
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