Whether you're hosting one as a business owner or shopping the racks as a customer, everyone loves pop-ups! Cities across the United States like Austin, Charlotte, Kansas City, and Boston have taken to the pop-ups trend like wildfire since it began in the early 2000s in Los Angeles. But what makes these little shops so fun and unique? What are the benefits for shoppers and business owners alike? Let's find out!
Wait. What's a Pop-Up?
You may be asking yourself, "What are they even talking about?" For those of you who aren't familiar, pop-ups are temporary stores that sell a product or collection of products. Pop-ups are an excellent way for businesses to do a test run of their products or ideas, increase their brand awareness before a big launch, and test out the brick and mortar lifestyle before making the big leap. For customers, it's a chance to connect with brands you love in a fun and inventive way, all while scoring some of your favorite products. It’s also a great opportunity for customers to get up close and personal with items they may have seen online but wanted to see and feel in person before making a commitment to buy.
Gotta Have It
One of the most exciting things about store pop-ups is the atmosphere they create with their unique design. Many consumers thrive on the idea of one-of-a-kind experiences or items — think the mania around Kylie's lip kits or Taylor Swift concert tickets. Pop-ups create a similar excitement because they're trendy and temporary, giving customers the idea that if they don't act quickly, they'll miss out.
For small and large businesses alike, creating a viral buzz around the fear of missing out is a brilliant way to increase visibility. When customers know they're getting something special, they're excited by the opportunity to enjoy something few others can.
Put it on the 'Gram
Positive publicity is the best, and it's even better when it's free. Pop-ups in trendy locations — like these at District Hall in Boston — give customers ample opportunity to post VSCO and Instagram-worthy images about their experiences. By creating spaces that encourage customers to snap fun photos to share with their friends, brands can create additional buzz around their company and products.
The Cost of a Pop-Up
Another reason we love pop-ups? They're more affordable to put on than investing in a permanent retail space. In cities like New York City and Boston, landlords looking to fill empty retail locations welcomed pop-ups during the recession. However, as the economy rebounded, the trend remained steady. Small boutiques and local artists looking for a way to connect with their customers face to face can find solace in the low-commitment nature of pop up markets. It's also become common to see several brands join forces to operate a single space. In Charlotte, more than a dozen brands came together to create Charlotte Collective. The pop-up market is similar to The Current in Boston and has gained a cult following — both on social media and every time it opens its doors.
The Best Part of Pop-Ups
There are so many reasons to fall in love with pop-ups across the country. With options from make-up and art to modern furniture and rustic accents, pop-ups have something for everyone. Whether you're looking to open a market yourself or you're continually searching for the next trendy pop up boutique to visit, don't worry. We have a feeling this trend will be around for a long time!