How Data-Driven Pop-Ups Provide Retailers with Consumer Insights

(Muji pop-up in Vancouver -- MUJI tested the waters and created buzz prior to opening permanent stores in the market. Photo:  Retail Design Blog ) 

(Muji pop-up in Vancouver -- MUJI tested the waters and created buzz prior to opening permanent stores in the market. Photo: Retail Design Blog

By Linda Farha, Founder and Chief Connector, pop-up go

Pop-ups are among the most compelling initiatives marketers are integrating into their retail strategies. The goal? To deepen consumer relationships through interactivity. 

Most pop-ups incite a healthy dose of word-of-mouth, garner media coverage and boost the brand’s social media presence, not to mention sales. The difficulty lies in finding trackable and tangible metrics that allow you to assess your audience and return-on-investment.

With innovative tech solutions cropping up across the industry, marketers are adding another dimension to what was once the humble pop-up shop. These short-term activations are becoming the perfect way to gain consumer insights and business intelligence.

The most successful pop-ups of the future will be those who can leverage a physical presence and cultivate engagement, but more importantly, can digitize experiences. By integrating technology into the pop-up structure and design, marketers can draw new insights into how consumers are shopping in the physical retail environment. 

(Aesop Pop-up. Photo: NOrdstrom) 

(Aesop Pop-up. Photo: NOrdstrom) 

Tech innovators, like Samsung, can now provide brands with solutions that extend beyond point-of-sale systems or digital signage and delve deeply into movement tracking, heat mapping, and demographic assessment. In combination with the high foot traffic and experimental nature of pop-ups, brands can collect some seriously valuable insights and make adjustments in real-time.

Samsung’s new tech solution, called Connected Spaces, is a turnkey service that simplifies the logistics of digitizing your activation. Created specifically for pop-ups, Samsung provides set service packages comprised of the transactional and engagement technology needed to capture rich consumer data. 

The first of its kind, it addresses the obstacles retailers face during the complicated and costly process of setting up your own integrated digital solutions. With simplicity comes accessibility, and services like these make analytics and reporting more attainable within the quick turnaround time of pop-ups. 

Through this type of data collection, pop-ups can bridge the gap between online and physical retail. E-commerce brands have always had a leading edge because of their ability to track and understand the shopping habits of their consumers. With pop-ups, brands can explore strategies for gleaning the same insights in the physical realm.

The next generation of pop-ups will be data-driven. They have capitalized on the benefits of brick and mortar, now they are taking a page out of the e-commerce book too.


Linda Farha is founder of Toronto-based Zenergy Communications as well pop-up go, an online platform that helps pair retailers with available temporary retail spaces, which also features a curated pop-up match service that provides access to the ever-growing pipeline of pop-up seekers looking for space.


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