The key to a successful pop-up store is the same as a regular store - understanding your customers
The shift in retail behaviour – from browsing in physical stores to adding items to an online shopping cart – has resulted in an increasing number of ecommerce retailers turning to the pop-up market to meet their customers face to face. With investments in pop-up stores on the rise, it is becoming more crucial to be able to rely on real data to make the right business decisions.
Numerous ecommerce retail businesses are only present online, which is why they’re often looking for a space where they can get to know their customers and better understand their needs. As store leases are usually long and rents expensive, it can be difficult finding a space that ticks all boxes. This is where pop-up stores come into play.
There are currently about 5000 vacant stores in Sweden, which is the equivalent of 10% of all existing retail space in the country. Jonathan Haralambakis is CEO and founder of xNomad – the “AirBnB for pop-up stores” – which connects brands and entrepreneurs with short-term leases to create a pop-up experience.
“Pop-ups have become a new concept for retailers looking for a way to become more customer-facing,” says Jonathan.
The pop-up market comes with its own set of challenges. How do you find a lucrative location for your pop-up and understand foot traffic in and outside your store – without any prior experience of what works for your business?
“Using Telia Crowd Insights, the retailers get a deeper understanding of e.g. conversion and visit duration,” says Madeleine Körling, Business Developer, New Products & Strategy, Telia.
“Traditionally, a physical store looks at receipts and items sold during a day to get a picture of how business is going. But they don’t know how many people entered the shop, so even if it might have been a good day for sales on a Tuesday, perhaps it could have been even better when looking at the number of visitors to the shop.”
With Crowd Insights, the retailer can see where there are opportunities for potential upsell based on conversion. Using the statistics as a foundation, the store can list actions to boost sales. The data gained from Crowd Insights can also help to improve customer experience by mapping out the people flow in the store. Based on this information, the retailer can make well-informed decisions of where to place the tills or how to better display their stock.
xNomad has a partnership with Telia, which provides relevant data to measure the success of their pop-ups by understanding the foot traffic to the stores.
“Crowd Insights offers some really interesting and useful data of foot traffic; like visitor profiling based on gender, age group and purchasing power,” says Jonathan.
“It helps brands to choose their location by understanding exactly where their customer base lie. For landlords, the data serves as a solid foundation for deciding what brands will work best in their space. This way, they can create new communities and areas by mapping out what brands bring these new demographics.”
He adds: “Telia has been fantastic with providing the opportunity to understand customers as well as bridging the gap between landlords and brands.”
Moving away from assumptions
One of xNomad’s customers is Klättermusen, a maker of refined mountaineering equipment. In 2019, the retailer decided to move their annual archive sale from their own offices to an external pop-up location in central Stockholm. To measure and analyse the success of the pop-up event, Klättermusen used Crowd Insights to track foot traffic.
“As it was our first external pop-up, the data we were provided with – like store visits and the passersby traffic outside the store – really helped us track our conversion,” says Tricia DiNapoli Dahlborg, Head of Ecommerce at Klättermusen.
“Paired with our own, transactional data we could easily see what our sales conversion rate was. We were able to break this down on an hour-by-hour and day-by-day analysis which helped us to build a better strategy around our future events; including location, timing and how many days we should be open.
“It allowed us to move away from assumptions and focus on the reality of it.”
Telia Crowd Insights for Retail
Telia Crowd Insights for Retail, the solution from Telia which accommodates the needs of xNomad and their customers, is a combination of insights based on two independent data sources; anonymized mobile network data and anonymized WiFi probe data. The mobile network data provides a macro perspective with insights on where crowds are coming from and going to at different times, as well as crowd size and dwelling times. WiFi probe data is used to zoom in, measure foot traffic and its dwelling times in a certain retail space.