Adulthood is a routine.
When you ask people about the perceived duration of their lifetimes, they will tell you it seems like time is passing faster the older they get. One of the possible explanations for this phenomenon is that the more experiences we can associate with a period of life, that longer that period feels like.
The younger we are, there is a higher possibility that a certain experience is new and therefore more rememberable. But when childhood ends and we start working, days start to blend into one another and we are able to do a lot of things relying just on habits and reflexes. One of the most obvious and popular ways of breaking this routine is traveling. Even though the areas we travel to might not be as beautiful/comfortable/developed as the places we live in, all these objective metrics fall into the water when confronted with the fact that the area we travel to is new.
The novelty is what makes it exciting and very well worth it.

Thankfully, retailers realize that the excitement of "egg hunting" for new items inside the store can make shopping an exciting adventure. That is also part of the reason why for every season, brands design new lines and are forced to sell old collections on a margin.

The same benefit new items bring to a store, new pop-up shops can bring in our everyday lives.

Pop-up shops are a fairly new concept, started in 1997 in Los Angeles, where an event called Ritual Expos invited underground clothing brands to set-up temporary shops 1. The event received high praises and marked the beginning of what is today a $50 billion industry 2.

Pop-up shops advantages

  1. A break from the ordinary
    Imagine a person who, every day, walks the same route to his home after having finished work in the office.
    After a few first months of repeating this walking routine, the person becomes so accustomed to his surroundings that he barely notices any of them. The walking path which was once unexplored and exciting is now familiar and easily ignored.
    What will happen if new pop-up store appears in this walking path? Will the person walking there every day be interested?
    You can bet he will!
    If the store product is remotely connected to the person from our story he will feel excitement and adventure for exploring this new occurrence in his everyday life.
    Novelty is very strong magnet attracting shoppers, significantly more than a store that shoppers have been accustomed to.

  2. Short and sweet
    Pop-up shops usually have a short duration of a few weeks or months.
    The human mind is naturally inclined to try and "not miss opportunities" because of the fear of missing out on an experience or good deal.
    This sense of urgency nudges people to gift time to retailers which would usually not be given if the store was a regular one.

  3. Themed experiences
    Because of their short duration, smaller size and novelty factor, pop-up shops have the opportunity to be a completely new experience of the brand or a line of products which we want to emphasize.
    It is not unusual to see brands displaying only one product in the whole pop-up store. This is often done before the official start of sales for the new product line.
    On the other hand, it is also possible to have a pop-up store with no items to sell. In this scenario, the store serves as a big experience center to raise total brand awareness.
    Creating a different atmosphere it is really possible to create something unique which will gain new brand shoppers.

Measuring pop-up shops effectiveness

Many retailers understand the benefits of executing pop-up stores and have a clear goal defined at the start of the project, but when asked how they will measure their effectiveness they stop and ask: "How do you mean, measure?".
The sad reality is that brands spend money on pop-up stores without knowing how and what to track in order to measure the success of a project.

In the online world, marketing campaigns undergo very serious and exact cost per click measures. Having metrics like this it is possible to learn from the past and improve.
However, in retail pop-up stores, especially the ones which do not have items which can be sold, the situation is more chaotic. In some cases, not even the KPIs of the pop-up store are available after it ends.
This leaves the decision makers in complete darkness, forcing them to make decisions based on intuition, or maybe, even worse, leftover budget.

Leading retailers realize this problem and have started to use tools to track the number of shoppers, time spent inside the store, shopping paths, bounce rates, demographic and age profiles.
These metrics are then combined with other in-store KPIs, or used as individual data-points which prove the return on investment (ROI) of opening such a store.
For instance, in a pop-up store which doesn't sell any items, the main purpose is to raise awareness of the brand and publicize a new line.
If the retailer has installed a system to measure the number of shoppers entering the store, he can measure the cost of displaying this real-life ad to a person (the price of executing the pop-up shop is known).

StoreDNA's platform and expertise obtained from years of working with pop-up stores help retailers who want to prove the effectiveness of their projects. Contact us at and start optimizing your pop-up stores today.