Pop Art in Retail

At a glance

  • Focus, strategic timing, trained staff and well-executed layouts are 4 key principles on the path to great pop-ups
  • Attention must be paid toward complying with social distancing measures
  • Necessary store analytics help achieve both post Covid-19 lockdowns

Are you wanting to get into the growing pop-up scene, but aren’t sure how? 


We applaud your decision to include this important retail channel into your sales and marketing mix!


Pop-up stores are great places for testing concepts and products, getting feedback from new markets without the upfront rollout costs (Research says pop-up stores cost 80% less to launch than a full-time store), and can also draw attention and drive hype around your brand.


But we also want to help make sure your pop-up makes your brand really…erm…pop.


And since these limited editions grace square ft. everywhere from Fifth Avenue to Berlin, we collected a few key learnings to peruse through right here.

1. Focus on a clear purpose

Why are you planning a pop-up?


It’s tempting to answer this with the triumvirate- Advertising, Engagement and Sales. However, those are the secret socks while your customer cares about the shoe. No one wants to see the practical measures you’ve taken to appear effortlessly casual. 


This is about asking: What can this medium amplify? How can it be used to introduce more about your brand, a new concept, a new product? And if you’re smart, you’ll ask how a pop-up can help you get to know your customers better.  


Peach & Lily are a Korean beauty company known for developing their business according to how customers respond to their products online.

It’s no surprise then that they have opted to make the most of the direct customer access that popups provide, so they can get quick feedback.


“The part of our business that we love exploring is how beauty is both functional and emotional, but the emotional elements of a product that speak to customers are challenging to [determine] online. For example, the feeling of silkiness or the scent of a spice could stir up drastically different emotions to different customers”, said founder Alicia Yoon.


Peach & Lily, therefore, use the pop-ups to gather customer-data in order to ensure they are getting the right product-market fit. They also tweak their offerings in response to the needs and preferences of their customers.

2. Be timely

Periods such as Fall/Winter, Spring/Summer and Back To School are perfect times to promote new products and attract new customers with themed pop-ups.


Just remember to check your timing against recent Covid-related developments.

Are your target market seen in the area in the changing environment?


Before Covid, pop-up real estate agents required 6 months lead up in order to secure coveted spaces. Bear in mind, their time frames will be changing and require research. 

3. Equip staff as sales soldiers

This is not about rounding up students to hand out pamphlets.


Though the pop-up runs for only a temporary time, your brand presence is playing the long game- so everyone on the floor should be trained and know the score. 


Whether you use staff from flagships to tend the pop-up, or train new associates who can be moved elsewhere afterward, they need to be well informed.


Pop-ups offer customers a new type of personal experience, so staff should be trained properly to live out this message and story, depending on the pop-up concept and purpose.


This Storefront article by Alexandra Sheehan will help you do that. 

4. Don’t forget the art

The shape of a building, floorspace or location should relate to, and even play with, extend or emphasize, the intended function or purpose.


First, analyze the space to understand how to best lead your visitors through it (while ensuring that social distancing remains possible!)


What focal points are needed to draw attention to certain displays or products? Where would the best spots be to enable your visitors to explore and interact with your brand? 


Identify any friction points or problems that could be used to your advantage and then get cracking on your strategic and visual design.


How can you visually represent your brand and achieve your strategic goals? These two must reinforce each other if you want them to deliver on your aesthetically immersive pop-up promise.


The 6 Dimensions of Retail Experiences model shows that every effort must be made to make a retail space appealing and captivating- get creative with opportunities for people to enjoy the space. 

Inspirational Case Study

As told to InsiderTrends, Bikini Berlin mall faced challenges around positioning, attendance, footfall and architecture – concerns that everyone who considers a pop-up store has.


Bikini Berlin was repositioned by Dan Pearlman, a multi-disciplinary team who specialises in the integrated process of design thinking and analysis in retail.


It now houses beautifully curated pop-ups and events complete with seating, swings, Wi-Fi and the biggest free co-working space in Berlin. Progress is ongoing, with analytical technologies helping Bikini Berlin to evolve as customer behaviours change. 


A reliable analytics system provides the bones for wonderful aesthetics and experiences. Now, in an era of social distancing, analytics will also help you identify social distancing risk areas.

It helps safeguard your brand and achieve your business goals.


Are you ready? Let us help measure more than just your pop-up sales.