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The Ultimate Guide to Pop-Up Shops

How to Evaluate Your Success

Holding a pop-up shop can be akin to running an event. There’s a great deal of pressure that builds up during the planning and marketing phase towards the actual day of the event, then the event happens, and though it’s easy enough to intuitively guess whether it was a success or not based on the number of people that showed up, there’s a lot more you want to pay attention to. Evaluating your pop-up’s success will enable you to learn what you can do differently next time around and whether selling offline is an effective sales channel for you. 

To help you do just that, we’ve put together some sales metrics that you can do a deep dive in to derive some invaluable insights when it comes to your financial performance as well as five tools you can use to gauge the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts. 
Sales Metrics

There's certainly more to measuring your pop-up store's success than just looking at sales metrics alone. In fact, when you sit down after the final tear down and start digging into the thick of things, you'll undoubtedly encounter the following metrics being just as important as knowing how much money you made at the end of it all.

  • Sales by Date: Depending on how short or long your pop-up shop is, this can be a vital metric in helping you determining dates and timing for next time around. Not only will you know which date or even hours were particularly busy, but you can use that information to plan things like special promotions and giveaways or knowing when you need to add more staff.
  • Sales by Customer: This refers to the the total cart size per customer, which breaks down on average how many total items customers bought and the total amount they spent on average at your pop-up shop. The beauty of it is that you can then use this quantifiable data to create a much more refined customer profiles that will go further than just looking at qualitative insights like gender, age, and income, but will come to also include things like price sensitivity, purchasing habits, and product preferences.
  • Sales by Product: Now it's time to evaluate your products and the decisions you made around them, for which you're going to want to zoom in on things like sale by SKU, variants like color, size, along with tracking sales by vendor. This is invaluable information you can use to know which product lines to invest in and which to consider scraping. Not to mention the fact that your best-sellers will also actively inform your decisions when putting together merchandising or window displays.  
  • Sales by Employees: Lastly, even if you're not necessarily running a traditional commission-based compensation structure for your employees, knowing who's generating the most sales can provide you a unique opportunity. To make the most of it, you'll want to take time to do a deep dive and really understand what's working and what's not based on your own gut feel and the new data you'll be analyzing. 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. The great thing about this is that 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

RebelMouse can be used to gauge both instinctively and through the site's analytics functionality the conversation that took place around you and your brand by pooling 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.

2. Tagboard

Tagboard lets you create a single "tag" board to better understand the complete conversation that took place around your pop-up shop hashtag. Another great use for this tool is to take advantage of it as an in-store TV display that pulls all the activity around your brand for visitors to see and engage with. 

3. Talkwalker

TalkWalker lets you 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, while providing similar functionality as the tools mentioned above.

4. Iconosquare

Iconosquare quenches your thirst to know the answer to questions like how many times people liked, commented on, or uploaded a photo with your hashtag on Instagram. 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 along with more engagement oriented metrics like comments and likes.

Lastly, Metrics You Can't Measure

However, perhaps the most meaningful metric for retailers getting into the pop-up shop game is what they can take away from the in-store customer interaction. It can be an eye-opening experience, especially if you've only sold online before, to have the ability to see customer's react in real time to your products. Not only that, but being able to talk to them and get their feedback on everything from your branding, displays, products, and your layout can be vital for getting the necessary feedback to thrive in a retail environment.

Keeping that above point in mind, continue to stay vigilant, make sure to keep close tabs on your key sales metrics, as well as your social media engagement, along with those human-to-human customer conversations in order to learn as much as possible and reevaluating your strategy constantly. You can then use those insights to take your future pop-ups to the next level, or once you get good enough and like the idea of retail, maybe you'll even take the leap and open up your own boutique retail store. 

In the next chapter, we’ll discuss why pop-ups are here to stay and how brands big and small are using them as an effective medium to build their customer base and build brand recognition. 

Next Chapter

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