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Let's face it, running a pop-up shop is hard work. There are a lot of moving pieces that have to come together for a limited time experience that requires a lot of time, money, and sweat investment to make it happen. 

So, how do you make it worth your while? 

The answer to this question lies in coming up with a list of goals you'd like to accomplish through the pop-up shop and coming up with a way to track and measure your key performance metrics, along with getting feedback based on the data you collect and the people you interact with both digitally and in-person. 

Luckily, when you use Shopify POS for your pop-up shop, you get access to a robust reporting back-end that provides key insights into metrics that matter for your business. There's also a handful of social media tracking tools that let you understand the impact of the buzz your pop-up shop was able to build online.

Measuring return-on-investment (ROI) is an important facet to making pop-up shops work for your business, this post will help you explore what you need to pay attention to in order to determine just how big of a success your pop-up really was.

Let's get started. 

Sales Metrics

Once you've done the tear-down and finally get time to sit back to evaluate your pop-up success, it's time to look at the metrics that will help you determine whether the investment was worth it. The most obvious metric that you'll immediately want to hone in on is sales. But let's get a little more specific, you'll want to drill a little deeper than the total figure, instead you'll want to look at:

  • Sales by Date: Though you'll have a good intuitive sense of this just based on customer interactions, knowing which days were particularly good for your pop-up can help you better plan for next time around, not to mention, help you understand which days might be better to offer special give-aways or to run promotions on. 

  • Sales by Customer: This metric will show you the total cart size per customer, meaning how many total items customers bought and the total amount they spent on average at your pop-up shop. You can use this quantifiable data to build more refined and targeted customer profiles that will now not only include qualitative insights like gender, age, and income, but price sensitivity, purchasing habits, and product preferences.
  • Sales by Product: When it comes to figuring out what sells and what doesn't, you're going to want to look at sale by SKU, variants like color, size, and if you're curating from other brands, sales by vendor. This is invaluable information you can use to know which product lines to invest in and which to consider scraping. Additionally, your best-sellers will also inform your decisions when putting together merchandising or window displays.  

  • Sales by Employees: Even if you're not running a commission-based compensation structure for your employees, knowing who's generating the most sales can provide you an opportunity to understand what's working through observation. Because you'll have intimate knowledge of your sales staff, you'll know their personality traits, sales experience, and personality style and be able to come up with a complete profile of successful sales associates. You can then incorporate these insights into your process for hiring and training your future employees.

Measuring Social Media Success

Once you've finished dissecting your sales data left, right, and center to derive all the necessary insights you need to assess your pop-up shop's success, it's important to remember that sales are one side of the coin, the other is recognizing the marketing metrics your pop-up shop helped generate for your brand. Or in other words, how many conversations your promotional hashtag inspired and how customers engaged around it through the creation of user-generated content. 

This isn't just something you look at when it's all said and done, it's something you should actively monitor before, during, and after your promotional campaign finishes. Especially, if you created a specific hashtag, an important facet of being able to track and measure branded impressions or conversations, and if you ran a contest or specific giveaway. 

To help you get to the bottom of the ripple effect of all your social media activity, I've put together a list of 5 tools you can use to get a clear picture of just how much traction the pop-up shop brought to your brand. 

1. RebelMouse

  • This handy tool pools all the activity around your pop-up shop's promotional hashtag and will bring all the activity from your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr accounts into one visual website. You can then use RebelMouse to gauge both instinctively and through the site's analytics functionality to understand the conversation that took place around you and your brand for the duration of your pop-up.

2. Tagboard

  • Similar to RebelMouse, Tagboard allows you the ability to create a single board to understand the full conversation that happened and took place around your pop-up shop hashtag. This is also a great tool to take advantage of with an in-store TV display that pulls all the activity around your brand for visitors to see and engage with. 

3. Talkwalker

  • This tool not only lets you track hashtags, but by using TalkWalker you can really dive into the data being generated by the audience engaging with your hashtag and provides insights on things like sentiment analysis, gender distribution, and more.

4. Iconosquare

  • Want to know how many times people liked, commented on, or uploaded a photo with your hashtag on Instagram? Then, Iconosquare is a great tool to help you do just that. With Instagram becoming more and more important to retailers, knowing how many followers resulted as a direct outcome to your pop-up shop is a great metric to track.

5. Twitter Counter

  • Twitter Counter is great if you want to track your hashtag and branded conversation on Twitter and correlate your activity with how many followers you picked up and how they engaged through actions like retweeting and favouriting your tweets.

Lastly, Metrics You Can't Measure

Perhaps the most meaningful metric though for retailers trying their hand at a pop-up shop, especially if you've been busy running an online store for so long, is the in-store customer interaction. In other words, the ability to see customer's reactions to products, the ability to talk to them and get their feedback on displays, products, and your brand can be just as important as your total sales figures. These are the pop-up shop moments that can help catapult your brand to the next level.

The more you know your customers, the more personable you can make your entire shopping experience, regardless of whether it's exclusively online, offline, or integrated together into a seamless omni-channel strategy. 

With that, stay vigilant, track your sales metrics, social media engagement, and those customer conversations to learn as much as possible. Use those insights to then take your future pop-ups to the next level, or once you get good enough and like the idea of retail, maybe open up your own boutique retail store.

P.S. If you liked this post, you'll love The Insider's Guide to Getting Premium Pop-Up Shop Space for Free and Why All Sale Signs Are Red: The Science of Color in Retail.


About The Author

Humayun Khan is a Retail Content Strategist at Shopify. Get more from him on Twitter and Google+.