One of the most difficult things about running a physical retail business is getting people into your shop.
It's much the same as an online business, you must drive traffic to your website, then convert sales using images, reviews, testimonial videos etc
As a shop owner you have the advantage of people touching and feeling your products but then you have more costs.
For those of you making the decision about setting up a retail shop or online shop there are many factors to consider and too many for this blog post but have you considered a pop up shop to test your idea?
Enter the pop up shop
Now I don't want this blog post to be about running a retail shop but I do want you to think a little differently about retail space and how it can be used.
My wife and her business partner run their own online shop selling children's clothing and gifts. It's been running for a few years now and we are constantly testing new traffic and marketing strategies to grow it.
Some of their best months in business are when they run pop ups shops here in Brighton. They have no risk about owning a retail space and laying down thousands of £££££'s to lease a shop.
They simple pay rates, rent the space for an agreed period and they are in!
Depending on the location, season and time they "pop up" it can really boost their revenue.
Thanks to the internet there are now companies like www.appearhere.co.uk that allow you to search for retail shop spaces in different cities like London, Paris, New York, Manchester, Glasgow and even Brighton.
These spaces are empty shops that Appear Here let out to small startups who want to "pop up" and spread the word about their products.
Think Outside the Pop Up
This is where it gets interesting. These spaces don't have to be used just for businesses that sell products. They can be used for anything!
Enter lightbulb moment :)
My wife recently had a 3 day pop up shop here in Brighton. Watch this video to see my tour of shop and give you some ideas how yo can use a pop up shop to "not pop up".
So has that got you thinking?
These spaces are perfect for non-physical product businesses to reach more people.
Here's some extra ideas for pop up spaces:
Web Design Company - Pop up and reach more local business showcasing your work and services.
Book Keeper/Accountant - Open a pop up and attempt to make booking more fun. Basically show your services, meet the team etc.
Raw Food Startup - Open a shop selling your cakes and raw food bars.
Clothing Company - Print t-shirts on site showing people how they are designed and printed.
Workshops - Any kind of learning workshop or craft workshop where people make things and participate.
Business Networking - Run a networking event for like minded people to meet up.
Digital Product Launch - Invite your follower to your new digital product launch.
Book Launch - Invite friends and press to a book launch party. Nothing new here but finding an unusual space can add some personality to your event.
Wine Tasting - In some cases in the UK you wont need a drink license if it's a private event and you are not selling alcohol on site.
Kids Party Planners - Create a pop up for kids to play games and watch entertainers. Sell your services to the parents.
Physio Clinic - Pop up in space offering free physio and sports related information to build awareness for you brand.
You get the idea. Do something different and take advantage of some amazing locations around the world.
You don't need to have a physical product to sell.
Create a buzz around your service or online business, contact local press, meet customers, offer support and build awareness for your brand.
Most importantly have fun!