Omni-Channel Special: Pop-Up Retail Paves Way for Clicks-to-Bricks
Pop-up retail is really poppin' these days—generating, by one indication, anywhere from $45-50 billion in annual revenue.
Shoppers are often attracted to pop-up stores—i.e., temporary, here-today-gone-tomorrow sales spaces—for their geographical proximity, special pricing (sometimes), and unique, often localized product assortments. Of course, they’re also fun, offering shoppers a novel way to purchase everything from hot cuisine to trendy fashions.
Clicks-to-Bricks…By Way of Pop-Up
Omni-channel is currently all the rage, as retailers strive to provide a seamless, integrated shopping experience across all channels, especially in-store, online, and mobile.
In this pursuit, many traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are beefing up their online and mobile presences (i.e., bricks-to-clicks), even as some online retailers experiment with physical operations (i.e., clicks-to-bricks). We recently showcased one prime example of a clicks-to-bricks strategy, when we mystery shopped the new Seattle-based Amazon Books, which you can still read about.
For some online retailers, pop-ups are proving an important way station on the road to a more permanent brick-and-mortar existence.
Consider Amazon. Despite all the attention on Amazon Books right now, the company’s first brick-and-mortar storefront, it was the pop up concept that offered Amazon its first true taste of traditional merchandising. As the video below depicts, yesterday we sent Agents to Amazon’s Westfield San Francisco Centre pop-up store—so you'd be able to see it for yourself.
Pop-up stores let online retailers ease into the hot waters of brick-and-mortar commerce. They’re less risky, offering etailers a physical presence without the high costs and long leases associated with traditional retailing. Pop-ups are, thus, often ideal for testing the potential of clicks-to-bricks strategies.
This was precisely the approach taken by Warby Parker, the online eyeware purveyor. Pop-up shops, like the one our Agents captured on video yesterday, present Warby Parker an enticing, low-risk entry point into the world of brick-and-mortar.
Traditional Companies Pop In
Traditional retailers and brands are also surfing this wave of pop-up retail. For some brick-and-mortars, pop-ups offer a chance to be in-the-moment with key events and selling seasons.
For instance, in conjunction with Charleston, South Carolina’s Fashion Week, Belk launched a pop-up store to showcase its Crown & Ivy brand. We also sent Agents inside this store:
Brands, too, are in the pop-up game. With this year’s Air Max Day set for March 26, and the Air Max Con currently taking place in New York City, Nike opened an Air Max pop-up store in a busy section of Los Angeles. Our Agents were there as well:
On Location with New Retail Developments
Field Agent crowdsources hundreds of thousands of smartphones across the country to offer instant visibility into stores and many other locations. Our nimble and efficient technology enable us to gather data even in unconventional places like curbside pickup stations and, yes, pop-up stores.
Download the free report, “Your Omni-Channel Solution to Omni-Channel Operations,” to see inside innovative operations like Walmart Pickup and the new Amazon Books, and to learn how Field Agent helps brands and retailers compete in an age of rapid change.