Pop up shops - or temporary retail as it used to be known - originated in the 1990s. Located in high footfall areas of major cities, pop up stores sell almost any type of merchandise you can think of, from a temporary retail space.

In recent years, creativity and engagement have become central to the pop up proliferation. So much so that brands like Spotify have invested in a 10-room experience in New York for Ariana Grande’s latest album launch.

We’ve looked at the potential benefits for brands of opening pop up stores,  and found that they can play a key role in influencing audience behaviour too.

1. Make a connection:

The pop up format brings brands closer to customers and encourages a two-way dialogue that is simply impossible with online only brands or big box retailers.

2. Awareness:

There’s a natural excitement created by the opening of a pop store that arouses our emotions – we call this a ‘hot state’ decision. In this state we find ourselves seduced by what is around us and make short-term decisions without considering the long-term effects.

3. It’s cheaper:

Apparently renting a short term space for a pop up store is as much as 80% cheaper than a traditional store. This is why many brands choose to pass lower overheads to their customers through discounts and limited time offers – ie for the period the pop up is open for. A great example of the scarcity bias, because people place place greater value on items if they feel they might miss out on them.

4. Sales growth:

With offline sales making up 95% of all transactions, having a bricks and mortar presence means is hugely important, especially for small independent brands with ambitions to grow.

5. New markets:

It’s common to use pop ups as a way to introduce a new product to a loyal audience or to enter a completely new market with a bang.

Finally, here are some great examples...

The Fragrance Shop

The Manchester based brand has created Sniff Bars (great name). A simple in store experience where shoppers sniff a wide selection of scents, get expert advice and then order either in person or online  for home delivery.


Not one to anything in half measures, Amazon Fashion’s pop up is a 3000 sq ft store on Baker Street, London. Open for a week on October, the store changed its ranges every two days.  Shoppers could purchase in store store in the traditional way, scan codes and pay using the Amazon app, or use shop online for home delivery using tablets.

As a behavioral marketing company, influencing behaviours is core to what we do and applying Behavioural Economics to marketing communications is a natural progression. If you are interested in understanding more about how we do this get in touch now.

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By James Ballinger

Senior Account Director