Exploring the Benefits of Pop-Up Shops for Digitally Native Vertical Brands

What is a pop-up shop? Everything you need to know to try short-term retail > How to set up a pop-up shop in 6 stages. Set yourself up for success with this handy checklist > How to Choose The Best Destination For Your Next Pop-Up Store? > How to use pop-up shops to nurture existing customer relationships? > How do you attract your online customers to shop offline using pop-up stores? > Exploring the Benefits of Pop-Up Shops for Digitally Native Vertical Brands

If you are an entrepreneur, you might be selling your products online—e-commerce is increasingly popular these days. That said, it could be difficult to expand your reach, particularly if you don’t have an enormous audience on the web.

Additionally, there are some customers who simply prefer not to shop online, but renting a space every month and creating a brick-and-mortar store can be incredibly expensive. Fortunately, there is a happy medium: pop-up shops.

Brick-and-mortar stores present unique opportunities for digitally native vertical brands to reach new customers and make deeper connections with their existing customer journey. By leveraging pop-up shops, these consumer brands can make a physical connection with customers and have a more tangible presence in local communities.

Pop-up shops can be an effective way for brands to test out new markets and products, as well as engage with customers in a different way than an online store. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of pop-up shops for digitally native vertical brands and how they can be used to increase brand awareness and customer lifetime loyalty.

What Are Pop-Up Shops?

Pop-Up Shop in Busy TST Mall

Pop-up shops, also known as pop-up stores or pop-ups, are temporary retail spaces that have become popular in recent years. They are often used as marketing strategy and tools for brands that are looking for a creative way to engage with their customers and showcase their products.

Pop-up shops can be found in many places, from malls and shopping districts to festivals and other public events. While the term “pop-up shop” has been around since the early 2000s, the concept of this type of retail space has become increasingly popular over the last decade.

Pop-up shops are a great way for businesses to connect with their customers in a unique and engaging way. They allow businesses to showcase their products in a dynamic and interactive environment, which provides customers with an enjoyable shopping and user experience. Additionally, pop-up shops are a cost-effective way for brands to reach new potential customers and build brand awareness.

Pop-up shops are temporary physical storefronts that business owners can test out with minimal investment to attract more potential customers, widen their reach, and boost their online sales. If their venture is successful, they can then choose to invest that money into a brick-and-mortar store.

What Is The Cost Of Running A Pop-Up Shop?

It’s certainly worth considering your budget before opening a pop-up shop. That said, the cost will largely depend on your location and preferences when it comes to the nature of the shopping experience you are providing. 

Generally speaking, a pop-up shop will cost at least $1500 per month. If this is within your budget, it’s likely a good idea to give it a try, especially if you are considering a complete transition to a brick-and-mortar store. 

What Are Digitally Native Vertical Brands?

Digitally native vertical brands are simply brands that were born online and control their entire consumer experience from company to customer: “Digitally native” references businesses that started on the internet. “Vertical” refers to a company that controls every part of the consumer experience.

“A vertically integrated brand, on the other hand, controls the product and experience of what they sell from the factory all the way to the consumer. This allows for customization, much better quality control, better service and support, and allows the business model to collect valuable information from the customer that can help to improve the experience and communicate with them in a more personalized way.”

Chris Newton (Klaviyo’s former inbound marketing manager, MBA)

In short, DNVBs are businesses that were born online and may or may not still operate solely on the internet. All of them are in full control of the customer experience though.

Why DNVBs Are Exploring Pop-Up Shops?

DNVBs often are exploring pop-up shops for plenty of reasons: Namely, doing so can expand their reach, especially if they primarily operate online.

Opening a pop-up shop can:

  • Attract a greater number of customers
  • Boost revenue
  • Be a different way to advertise your products to a wider audience
  • Help you consider whether you should open up a permanent shop if you currently operate completely online with minimal investment.

These pop-up shops can be immensely helpful in a myriad of ways: While every penny counts—especially for the self-employed—it can be a lot more affordable to open a pop-up shop for a short while and experiment to see if it makes a significant positive impact before transitioning to a full-on brick and mortar store.

Sometimes, this will be desirable, other times it won’t. In either case, a pop-up shop offers a middle-ground between operating fully online or fully in-person. You can try it out for a bit and see if it suits your business model.

The Benefits Of Pop-Up Shops For DNVBs

There are many benefits that come with pop-up shops:

  • Affordability: Pop-up shops are usually smaller in size than regular retail stores, and the time commitment is significantly shorter, offering you as a business owner greater flexibility and less stress when the rent is due.
  • It generates buzz: As most of the successful people in this world will tell you, it’s very important for as many individuals as possible to know your name if you want to reach new heights as a business. Opening a pop-up shop is a new, unique way to advertise, so it will likely generate a bit of buzz about town, which is exactly what you want.
  • You can test out new products: If you’re a clothing brand and have a new jacket in your lineup, for instance, you can test it out at the pop-up location and discover just how many consumers are interested—This will likely delight your current customers because most people love new products, and it will help you gauge what individuals are most likely to spend their hard-earned money on.
  • It encourages impulse buys. The truth of the matter is that people will often have a much easier time resisting an item if it is online—The atmosphere is just different because there’s not a human there hoping upon hope that they’ll buy the product, smiling at them, or explaining the many benefits they could enjoy after paying for a particular item. Pop-up shops can certainly lead to more spontaneous purchases, which is exactly what you want as a business owner.
  • Brand extension: If your brand exists solely online, pop-up shops are especially useful: They provide your customers with a different experience. They also give you the opportunity to market to your clientele creatively and expand your reach.

In short, you can’t go wrong by getting yourself and your business out there as much as possible, and opening a pop-up shop is yet another creative way to market that could honestly make a world of difference.

How DNVBs Can Enhance The Shopping Experience With Pop-Up Shops

There are a myriad of ways to enhance the shopping experience for your consumers, but this will largely be dependent on your specific brand vision: Some people choose creative structures for their pop-up shops while others might simply rent out a smaller retail space.

Of course, your options will also vary based on how much you are willing to spend. Generally speaking, though, your customers will likely be delighted by:

  • A welcoming ambiance with a creative touch that gels with your company’s vibe
  • Beautifully displayed items
  • New products
  • Excellent customer service
  • Art on the walls that fits the space
  • A creative structure—if applicable
  • Carefully calculated discounts, memberships, sales, etcetera.

Aside from that, you can let your creativity go wild when it comes to the appearance of your store, whether you choose a small retail space or a lovely tent in a prime location where you can sell your wares.

Examples Of Successful Pop-Up Shop Initiatives By Digital Native Vertical Brands

There are so many incredible businesses that have opened up pop-up shops that one could likely pen an entire book and still not feature them all, but these three are prime examples.

Barkshop Live

Source: https://whatever.co/work/barkshop-live/

BarkShop is a subscription box and pet gift store: They give your dogs awesome toys and treats. They opened up a popup shop by the name of BookShop Live in the Soho neighborhood of New York City.

To make the experience extra special for pet owners and their furry friends, each dog was outfitted with a tech-equipped vest to track their movements, and “parents” could purchase toys for their furry “children” through an app that would then be delivered straight to their doorstep.

This was an enormous success.



Birchbox opened a pop-up shop and went on a tour across the United States. They curated a wonderful experience: Customers could create their own makeup boxes and were not only treated to manicures, but also astrology readings.

In fact, this pop-up shop was so successful that Birchbox actually decided to open a permanent brick-and-mortar retail location in the Soho neighborhood of New York City.


Source: https://www.buildhollywood.co.uk/work/penguin-random-house-pop-up-beach/

Penguin Random House is an immensely popular publishing press, beloved by readers and authors alike.

Penguin Living—a subdivision of the establishment—created a pop-up bookshop in London on International Women’s Day.

It had a beautiful theme: Empowering females by displaying and selling titles written by women.

“Honoring the way women contribute, often under the radar, to every facet of society,” was its motto.

The experience was carefully curated to be as immersive as possible: Customers attended workshops and author experiences. Penguin also donated its proceeds from ticket sales to Solace Women’s Aid: a charity that provides much-needed aid to survivors of domestic abuse.

In short, creating a deeply immersive experience with a central theme will likely lead to great success. Additionally, consumers are generally quite keen to support businesses that back a cause these days, so it is a good time to donate a portion of your sales to an environmental or human rights organization if doing so makes fits into your budget.

The Future Of DNVBs And Pop-Up Shops

The pandemic was a tragedy, but it led many people to become quite resourceful when it came to conducting successful businesses online. This meant that there was an enormous increase in remote work and e-commerce store companies, so it is likely that the trend of digitally native vertical brands will continue moving into next year: DNVBs are predicted to grow by no less than 40% in 2023.

Popups are also becoming increasingly popular and are already enormously profitable: They bring in approximately $10 billion annually. If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to increase your advertising power, a pop-up shop might be just what you need to bring your business to the next level.

Rohan Singh
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