How to 5x Your Return on Your First Fashion Pop-Up Shop


Hey, guys. I’m Syama Meagher, CEO of Scaling Retail and today we’re going to talk about how to 5x the return on investment (ROI) for your first fashion pop-up shop. Now, we all know fashion retail is really making a storm by having these pop-up shops. And you might be wondering to yourself, “How on earth do I execute one and really how do I make a return on investment let alone at 5x return on investment?” So, we’re gonna walk through a couple of different strategies to help you do so. Number one, we’re going to talk about how to plan your budget. Number two, we’re gonna talk about how to know the different ROIs you should be tracking. Number three, how to price to sell, what exactly are people looking for within your pop-ups? Number four, how to go for organic high traffic and then number five, we’ll kind of unpack the customer sales process and really how to do that aftercare of sales to really boost and get better returns on investment.

Number one, guys. We’ve got to talk about the budget. When it comes to setting up a budget, you need to be able to prioritize so that you know exactly what it is you’re going to be investing in. Now, guys, you’ve got to set up your budget. When it comes to setting up the budget, this is what allows you to figure out exactly what it is you’re going to be spending both in time and in money. If you have access to a space for free, obviously this helps the budget. If you are going in with someone else on a pop-up shop, making it co-branded or even multi-brand, that is also going to help you with your budget.

But the very first step to getting an ROI, is knowing how much money you are expensing. Let’s say for example, your whole pop-up shop costs you $100 and you made $500, right? That’s an easy 5x ROI on the investment. But without really outlying what the investment is and the budget, you’re not gonna be able to know how much money you actually need to be making to be able to get that 5x ROI. So, my suggestion is make a budget, start to figure out what different areas that you can get copped for free. Maybe it’s the space, maybe you’re going in with someone on shopping bags because they’re just brown paper bags. Think about the different ways in which you can use shared resources and free resources to be able to make the pop-up cost for you as low as possible while still driving and giving a lot of value to that customer who’s walking in through your doors.

The next step is to start to understand what those ROIs really mean. Now, I’m a huge fan of starting to think about ROIs from three different factors. We have your brand awareness factor, we also have your sales factor and then we have your social media factor. Now, going into a pop-up shop, you wanna make sure that you’re actually building a platform that can maximize for brand awareness, sales and social viability. Now, when it comes to brand awareness, a lot of this has to do in how your advertising your pop-up from the get-go. What are the different ways in which you’re starting to get people to see your brand? A pop-up shop is not just an event in and of itself, but it’s actually all the marketing activities that lead to the pop-up shop. Maybe you’re doing some YouTube live, maybe you’re getting on Instagram, maybe you’re doing some advertising and some special marketing in order to get the word out.

So, brand awareness comes into the days leading up to the event and then also in you’re forecasting of how you’re going to be projecting the day maybe you’re gonna tell people, “Hey, we’re looking forward to a really great day in store. We have all these special guests, we have people arriving. We’re gonna be releasing new products,” really creating a lot of hype in the days coming up. And then also in how you broadcast after the fact. What was the pop-up shop like, where were the people coming from, did you get any interviews, any photographs? Make sure that you’re looking at this from an entire 360 degree capacity to be able to really get the messaging. Again, it’s not just getting people there on the day of, it is all of the noise that you make before, at the event and then after.

Now, the second thing is sales. Obviously guys, we know we want to make as many sales as possible. Please, do have a sales number in mind that you wanna hit. This will help you when it comes to getting product in people’s hands, it will help you when you’re merchandising the store because you’re then gonna be looking at your price points and we’ll get into that next, in relation to those sales goals. You’ve got to have sales goals and then we have to think about price points in relation to those sales goals.

All right, guys, the last thing really has to do with building your social proof when it comes to this pop-up event. This means having things around the store that say, “#mybusiness.” If I had a pop-up, I’d have signage that read, “Tag yourself, tag Scaling Retail, #scalingretail pop-up. And when you do sell, you’ll be entered in to win this contest. If you tag three friends, we’ll enter you to get this, you know, discount et cetera.” So, think about building all of your online presence including especially your Instagram platform when you actually have this pop-up event.

If somebody wants to get a discount at the point of checking out, make sure that they sign up and show that they’re following the brand. Maybe it’s a great way in order to get more people to become followers the day of the event. This is fantastic, right? But make sure once you do get these new followers that you’re following up with great content, right? What’s the point of getting people’s e-mail addresses, getting them to follow you on Instagram, if you’re actually not gonna take the time to convert them? Meaning regular newsletters, regular posting and doing things that really elicit more engagement, right? You want people to be able to engage with you and purchase and get a better sense of what your brand is.

Next, make sure you price your product for the event. A lot of times people think that they can just take their regular full price merchandise and pop it into a pop-up shop that’s actually gonna be, let’s say, driven towards people who are looking for more of a bargain. Now, pop-up shops are different than sample sales, right? Sample sales implicitly imply that you are going to be selling product at a discount. You can certainly have a sample sale, have the sale merchandise and then offer a selection of new merchandise at a discounted rate, that totally works. However, you don’t want to have a sample sale but really it’s all full price merchandise, right? That doesn’t work. Your customers are gonna show up, they’re not gonna buy anything and they’ll be really frustrated.

Now, if it’s just a regular pop-up, you can really choose to curate the merchandise however you like. We have an amazing blog post all about how to price your product and all about how to get better and to inventory planning and management. And I think that’s going to be an amazing tool for you to understand what kind of inventory you need. So, make sure you head over to our blog for that one. But it’s very important guys that you start to understand the nature of price points. If it is a regular pop-up, make sure that you have easy products that can be purchased right away especially if your average unit retail is somewhere in the 1200s, right? Or over 1,000 or over 5,000, right? You want to make sure that you’re showcasing every different level.

And a great example of that was I recently visited the pop-up shop over at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas where The RealReal had a pop-up shop. Now, what was amazing about that? Well, they could have chosen any amount of product that they wanted to show and the merchandising would have really needed to reflect that. So, what did they do? All the Birkin bags, all the really expensive bags, they had in the back, right. So, you had to walk through the store in order to get to these very high price pointed brands. They had a lot of tables in front that had some easier to consume price points, right? Not the $20,000 bag but the $100 item, right? The $200 dollar item. And the way they merchandised really made you wanna walk through the entire store to be able to get a cohesive experience by how they did their merchandising through colorways and not through price points, right? But obviously the most expensive products were either in a glass case or they were in the back. Really smart strategy for them. So, think about how your pricing will then impact your merchandising on that day of the pop-up.

Number four, opt for places that are going to have great organic traffic for foot traffic. You definitely don’t want to be going on to sites like Pure Space or LiquidSpace or Breather and getting a spot that’s gonna be, I don’t know, on the 20th floor of a building. I don’t think a lot of people are gonna be able to walk past there and go inside and shop. So, look for areas that have really high organic foot traffic, super important. Maybe spend the weekend camping out, have brunch in the neighborhood, see who’s walking around the neighborhood, see who cares, see who’s actually stopping and walking into the stores. You want to make sure that your marketing is going to be really backed up by having great organic foot traffic if you’re really focused on getting that 5x ROI.

Now lastly, aftercare sales are super important. Like I mentioned, you don’t just want to get someone to follow you or get their newsletter or not follow up with great content. Similarly, you don’t want someone who’s going to just purchase a product from you and never hear from you again. Everyone that purchases from you, from that particular event should go on a special e-mail list. And that should be a VIP pop-up e-mail list, that should be your list that you go to when you’re thinking about doing other kinds of in-person events. Maybe it’s not a pop-up, maybe it’s a trunk show next time, maybe it’s a sample sale, but these are the people who really turned up for you.

So, you might want to give them an extra discount or let them shop early the next time you have an event because these are the people who are getting in their car in LA, driving the 20-45 minutes to get there, spending their time and purchasing. These are really your brand loyalists, either new loyalists or loyalists from before. So, treat them with a lot of care and respect and make sure you put them through a different marketing funnel. All right, guys. Get more on this topic at our blog post about three fashion pop-up shops that did it right. Trust me. You’ll want to see some great examples and we’ve got some great examples for you. Link is down below and make sure you guys download your checklist for creating the most optimal fashion pop-up shop, super important. You don’t want to do a pop-up shop without this, I guarantee it. And always, make sure you subscribe, leave a comment below and always shoot us an e-mail to say hi at Thanks guys. Bye.

Don’t plan your first pop-up without our pop-up planning checklist. Download your free copy here today.

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