B2B Articles - February 07, 2015

5 Tips for Using Shopify for Pop-Up Stores

Pop-up stores are temporary retail events, when an online retailer establishes a short-term, physical storefront for the purpose of driving sales, reaching new audiences, and generating buzz.

Pop-ups are the retail trend of the moment – and for good reason.

They’re significantly less expensive and risky than traditional retail, yet they feel more exclusive to customers. Thanks to their temporary nature, they foster a sense of urgency and a “get it while it lasts” mentality.

And, when executed correctly, they’re a brilliant way for online retailers to reach new audiences and generate brand awareness during crucial times.

In short, pop-ups are good for business when executed well.

But beyond finding a short-term rental space and garnering press coverage, how do you actually run a pop-up store when you’re only experienced in ecommerce.

The answer is Shopify.

Although Shopify is primarily thought of as a way to power e-commerce sites, Shopify POS (point of sale for retail stores) also has everything you need to sell in store.

Here are the five things brands must do to ensure a successful pop-up, and how Shopify can help:

  1. Sync your pop-up’s activity to your e-commerce site. To most effectively manage your store(s), you’ll want all of your sales, data, inventory, and customer information in one place. Shopify POS automatically syncs with your Shopify-powered online store, so you can track sales, manage online and offline customers, and avoid accepting orders for sold-out merchandise.
  1. Set up iPad registers. Hands down, the iPad is the best way to accept payments at your pop-up, because it’s affordable and allows you to get up and running quickly.

At the very minimum, your register needs an iPad to run the Shopify POS app, a Wi-Fi internet connection, and a credit card reader. If you want to build out your register a bit, you could also get an iPad register stand, cash drawer, receipt printer, and barcode scanner – all of which can be ordered through Shopify.

  1. Manage your pop-up store remotely. It may not be possible for you to be present at the pop-up 24/7. Shopify makes it easy to oversee your store’s activity while you manage the e-commerce site from a different location.

While your employees are selling products in the physical retail space, you can track orders, sales, and refunds from your phone or laptop. You can also create employee accounts and pin codes to track individual staff activity.

  1. Capture customer information and stay in touch. You’re going to reach a new audience through your pop-up store: make sure you can keep in touch by capturing their contact information. Shopify POS makes this easy by automatically creating a customer profile with each new sale.

Fill these profiles with customer contact information and demographics, and send targeted follow-up communications. For example, let’s say you sold 1500 mountain bikes at your pop-up event. Email that specific group of people about additional gear, and let them know about hidden bike trails in their city. They’ll appreciate the personal follow-up, and before you know it, they’ll be lifelong customers.

  1. Measure your pop-up’s success. As you’re using your pop-up to drive growth, measuring its success needs to be a priority. The Shopify dashboard provides a sales overview, as well as a breakdown of which products are selling and which ones aren’t.

It also contains performance evaluations, providing insight into which employees, store locations, and time periods are most effective. For example, let’s say you notice that young professionals on their lunch break were responsible for a large number of sales. When you set up the next pop-up, you’d be well served to do it in an area where young professionals work, eat, and socialize.

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