Why Your Ecommerce Startup Should Host a Pop-up Event


Ecommerce startups don’t have to deal with many of the stressors that traditional brick and mortar businesses face. Without the significant overhead costs that come with retail, ecommerce businesses have more freedom to build their sales strategies and generate business. However, as a startup company, chances are one of your biggest goals is to build brand awareness and get your company in front of more potential customers. One of the best low-cost ways to achieve this is by having a pop-up event.

In one study, 80% of surveyed global real estate companies found that their pop-up strategies were successful, and you can leverage this statistic in your favor. Be sure to have online payment processing services like T1 Payments to spearhead your credit card processing. While dealing with merchant solutions can be a headache for many businesses, it’s a must for pop-up events. In 2016, cash purchases comprised 18% of transactions in the United States, down from 24% the year prior. As a startup business, you can’t afford to ostracize card carriers. At the same time, it’s important that you price your products or services appropriately, considering merchant fees and what your target market is willing to pay. Here’s exactly why you should strongly consider a pop-up event:

Get to Know Your Customers

One of the biggest pain points for startup founders—and ecommerce startups in particular—is getting to know their customers up front and personal. With no place for a customer to walk into, facetime becomes extremely difficult. However, there are clear benefits of meeting your customers in person.

For starters, it puts a face to your brand and offers an opportunity for real engagement. And secondly, it gives your potential customers the chance to touch and feel the products. This creates a temporary showroom where your goods are available for purchase. After all, customers want to be able to see a product in person before they make a decision because this eliminates the quality concern associated with doing business with foreign brands.

Build Urgency

One area that brick and mortar stores struggle with—especially stores that curate goods from other brands—is that customers will come in and use the store to check out products, only to return home, search for the product online, and purchase from the source with the lowest price. When you have a pop-up store, you’re able to create a sense of urgency, which is a big psychological tactic often leveraged in retail.

With no “online shop” to turn to but your own, there’s a sense of scarcity in pop-up events, particularly if you’re advertising limited deals that can’t be found online. Because they can’t be just “come back later” too easily, your odds of a “here and now” purchase are stronger than ever.

Educate As Needed

If your startup deals with technology or enters into new product territory, educating your market can be troublesome. A pop-up store creates a platform for you to educate those potential consumers in the most meaningful way possible, by fostering genuine connections. For example, you’ll be able to demonstrate how the product works and present use cases. While you can certainly educate with online videos, many consumers are aware of the powerful editing capabilities brands possess; seeing it in person will go a long way.

Reach Your Demographic

Brick and mortar retailers are pinned to a specific location and can’t just pack up their stock and take it to a new location. With a pop-up shop, you have the rare opportunity to really do your research on your target market and go where they are. You aren’t restricted by retail availability and can quite literally set up shop anywhere—with the appropriate permits, of course. For example, if you have a product geared towards college students, you might do your research to see which campuses you’re more likely to gain traction at.

Test Brick and Mortar Potential

It’s natural for digital businesses to consider the potential of one day opening a retail location. But as described, opening a brick and mortar location takes plenty of time and effort. Naturally, you’ll want to test your market before you invest too much money and energy. A pop-up shop offers the opportunity to see if there’s a viable market for your product in the brick and mortar space. You can avoid costly mistakes by testing this revenue stream.