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

How do you get five times your return on investment (ROI) for your first fashion pop-up shop? Fashion retail is making a storm occur, through pop-up shops. You might be wondering how you can launch one and make a return on investment, let alone 5x your ROI. Put these strategies into action…

1. Create an ROI-Centered Budget.

To make a budget, you need to be able to prioritize, so that you know exactly what you’re investing in. To set up your budget, you need to know 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-branded, that is also going to help you with your budget.

The first step to getting an ROI is knowing how much money you’re expensing. If your pop-up shop costs $100 and you made $500, that’s an easy 5x ROI on the investment. But without really outlining what the investment is and the budget, you won’t be able to know how much money you actually need to be making to be able to get that 5x ROI. Make a budget and find what things can be had for free. Maybe it’s the space, or maybe you’re collaborating on shopping bags, because they’re just brown paper bags. Think about the different ways in which you can use shared and free resources, to be able to make the pop-up cost as low as possible, while still driving traffic, and giving a lot of value to the customers walking through your doors.

2. Determine Your Pop-Up Shop’s Unique ROI Goals.

You can think about ROIs using three different factors, there is a brand awareness factor, a sales factor, and a social media factor. Be sure your pop-up shop is a platform that can maximize brand awareness, sales and social viability. When it comes to brand awareness, much of this is how you advertise 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 to get the word out….

Brand Awareness ROI

Brand awareness occurs in the days leading up to the event; you’re forecasting how you’re going to be projecting that day. Tell people you’re looking forward to a really great day. Let them know there will be special guests and new products will be released. After the event, broadcast what the pop-up shop was like, where the people came from and any interviews and photographs. Make sure you’re looking at this from a 360-degree perspective, to be able to really get the message out. 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.

Sales ROI

Another factor is sales. You know to make as many sales as possible so have a sales number in mind. This will help you when it comes to getting product in people’s hands, and it will help you when you’re merchandising the store. That’s because you’ll be looking at your price points in relation to those sales goals.

Social Media ROI

You also need to build your social proof when it comes to the pop-up event. This means having things around the store that make it clear it’s your business. If I had a pop-up, I’d have signage that would read “Tag yourself, tag Scaling Retail, and #scalingretail pop-up.” And when you buy, you’ll be entered to win this contest. If you tag three friends, we’ll enter you to get this discount. Think about building your online presence, especially your Instagram platform, when you actually have this pop-up event.

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

3. Price Product Strategically.

Many times people think that they can just take their regular full price merchandise, and put it into a pop-up shop that’s for people who are looking for a bargain. Pop-up shops are different than sample sales. 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. You don’t want to have a sample sale that’s all full price merchandise. That doesn’t work. Your customers will come, they’re not going to buy anything and they’ll be really frustrated.

If it’s just a regular pop-up, you can really choose to curate the merchandise. We have an amazing blog post about how to price your product for inventory planning and management. However, it’s very important that you understand the nature of price points. If it is a regular pop-up, make sure you have easy products that can be purchased right away, especially if your average unit retail is somewhere in the 1200s, maybe over 1,000 or even over 5,000. You want to make sure you’re showcasing every different level.

A great example of that was my recent visit to The RealReal pop-up shop over at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. All the Birkin bags were in the back. You had to walk through the store in order to get to these very high price brands. They had a lot of tables in front that had some easier to consume price points. Not the $20,000 bags, but the $100 bags. The way they merchandised really made you want to walk through the entire store, to be able to get a cohesive experience, by they did their merchandising through colorways and not through price points. Obviously the most expensive products were either in a glass case or they were in the back. Think about how your pricing will then impact your merchandising on the day of the pop-up.

4. Choose High-Traffic Locations.

Opt for places with great organic traffic for foot traffic. You definitely don’t want to be going onto sites like Pure Space, LiquidSpace or Breather, and getting a spot that will be on the 20th floor of a building. I don’t think a lot of people will be able to walk past there, and go inside and shop. Look for areas that have really high organic foot traffic. Spend the weekend camping out, have brunch in the neighborhood, see who’s walking around the neighborhood, and see who’s actually stopping and walking into the stores. You want your marketing to be really backed up by great organic foot traffic, if you’re really focused on getting that 5x ROI.

5. Pay Special Attention to Aftercare Sales.

Aftercare sales are very important. 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. It should be a VIP pop-up e-mail list. It should be your list that you go to when you’re thinking about doing other kinds of in-person events. Maybe not a pop-up, but maybe it’s a trunk show next time, or a sample sale, but these are the people who really turned up for you.

You might want to give them an extra discount or let them shop early the next time you have an event. These are the people who are getting in their car in LA, driving the 20-45 minutes to get there, and spending their time purchasing. These are really your brand loyalists, either new or previous loyalists. Treat them with a lot of care and respect, and make sure you put them through a different marketing funnel.

Get more on this topic from our blog post about three fashion pop-up shops that did it right. Also, be sure to download our checklist for creating the most optimal fashion pop-up shop. Need pop-up planning and execution support? Send us an e-mail to hello@scalingretail.com.

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