E-retail grabs Eyeballs with Pop Up Stores

Pop up stores are step ahead of reaching customers all out, especially who don’t shop online, along with giving a sense of connect to the existing members.
We have all heard about consumers shopping online, but the question lies that have e-retailers tapped an ample number there? A prompt answer to this would be no. The number of online buyers India has is only mere 10 per cent of the total internet users in the country followed by people who don’t use internet at all.
Its time to tap a ocean of consumers waiting to be served at convenience.

A Strategy Well Written
40 year old Namita Bhardwaj, a housewife, knows how to operate a computer but hardly gets time to sit and browse through. She finds it easier to take out time out of schedule and go out with friends or family to shop and yes she is a shopaholic. There are many more ‘Namitas’ in the country which still need to be tapped and transformed into online shoppers.
In times, when making your presence felt across verticals has become vital, e-retailers are vouching on the brick n mortar format to educate audience and also to create a stronger member base for themselves. But then what hurts them are the costs involved.
The answer to this they have found in pop-up stores which have low cost involvement, can be easily moved when not required and also create a quick curiosity among consumers vis a vis brick n mortar store.
“Pop up store is a part of strategy executed to give a chance to customers to get ‘touch and feel’ of the product. Pop-up stores have a tendency to pop up unannounced, quickly draw in the crowds – so the whole concept gives customers something that can be perceived as exclusive –  and ‘get it while it lasts’,” Chaitanya Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Juvalia & You India.FREECULTR 2
“The POP-OUT store served several key needs of the business including gaining valuable customer feedback on products, brand, experience, and more; raising awareness of the brand with new consumers who have not experienced FREECULTR previously and also allowing consumers to FEEL. TRY. BUY,” says Sujal Shah, CEO & Co-Founder of FREECULTR.
FREECULTR recently did a pilot of POP OUT stores, as they call it.
“The idea of an offline extension of our online store arose from the need to provide a forum for prospective customers to experience the brand in the real world. The lounges also encourage customers to shop online. At the store, customers are given comprehensive information about the solitaire that they are wishing to purchase and experts at the store handhold them through the entire transaction process,” Calvin John, VP Marketing, CaratLane.
Caratlane operates lounges which are a small permanent retail space that serve as an offline extension of online store. In other words, guiding customers’ offline to help them shop online.

Right Location gets Right Customers
Selecting a strategic location for the pop-up stores is vital. For any e-retailer to gain maximum eyeballs malls and high streets are the best option. Here one could find a lot of their existing customers as well as new customers.
“Malls are the best location to set up pop up store, more importantly; it needs to be strategically placed in a mall. For us, a fashion jewellery and accessory e-retailer, we look at space where there are a lot of apparel stores or stores which women walk into most, that is when we can get their eyeballs as they pass by,” says Aggarwal.
The focus remains on those places which get heavy footfalls of the target audience, like malls and high streets – right time is another important factor- that could be during festivals, special launches and weekends.
In terms of audience, the first set of audience that e-retailers look at via this concept is the new set of people who still haven’t visited their site, have spending power and are regular shoppers. The second set is their existing members who need to be pushed to make purchases.
“The target audience for the POP-OUT store will vary from location to location.  In our first execution, it was a large cross section, and our demographic results also showed this to be true.  Where we were able to convert men and women from ages of 16 to 40 and above,” informs Shah.

Serve them well
The pop-up stores need to have all possible media and conviction in terms of service that a consumer gets swayed away and turns into a shopper online.
Along with being a marketing tool, pop-up stores gives consumers a luxury to look, touch, feel and customise. These pop up stores are technologically well equipped to let customers place order there and then and at times buy them.
“At the lounge, each customer is guided by an expert who not only gives them a crash course on diamonds but also introduces them to shopping for high value items (like solitaires) online. The customer can touch and feel a product at the lounge before ordering it online. Their order would be processed like any other online transaction and the product would be home delivered to them,” says John.
Juvalia & You also runs combo offers, lucky draw offers and different promotion offers.

The Design Element
The pop up store needs to be a one stop solution for an e-retailer to offer the best of services to the customers who walk in. The store needs to be well equipped in terms of space, lighting, technology, information media, signages and others.
“We were very clear that we wanted this to be a brand experience store that provided consumers the greatest flexibility to experience our products and brand in the limited time/space the POP-OUT store allows.  We focused on the “digital” aspect of the store experience by embedding video screens in key locations around the installation that rotated brand campaign and product videos/stills.  We also incorporated trial rooms.  We managed to construct 4 trial rooms in the small space.   From a VM perspective, we were clear that we wanted to offer differentiated space for men and women – which we accomplished using the two halves of the “C”.  We also used multi-level and tiered shelving to encapsulate product sets,” informs Shah.

iGrow Facts:

  • Best Location: Malls
  • Costs Involved: Rs 2- 3 lacs depending on rentals
  • Average store size: 150 sq ft – 400 sq ft
  • Average number of days: 4-7 days
  • Service offered: Product display and trial, Website sign up, placing orders
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