Far from just a marketing gimmick, pop-up stores are an inexpensive and reliable method of undertaking market research on new product and service offerings, according to a prominent fashion business.
While speaking on the My Business Podcast about the limitations of feedback from family and friends, InStitchu co-founder Robin McGowan said that there is no better way to receive valuable real-world feedback that won’t break the bank than the use of a pop-up store.
“Pop-up [was] essentially a way for us to display our fabric range, some samples. It was a way for guys to come and get their measurements done who didn’t want to do it online. And it was a way for us to engage with our target market in the real world and hear about some of their challenges of finding something that fit them well or that garment that they couldn’t find for their wedding that they really wanted,” said Robin.
He emphasised that this is a particularly useful strategy for an online business to provide direct touchpoints for consumers to see, feel and test a product, as well as a cost-effective strategy for start-ups to undertake valuable market research.
“We would have pop-up stores in our office, which was a tiny little office above a café in Sydney, and we would just put a post on Facebook and see who wanted to come along and buy affordable, tailor-made suits. That’s when we started getting real feedback from real customers and orders started to grow,” Robin said.
“We thought, ‘Okay, let's start looking for a more permanent retail space somewhere in the city’.”
Such is the success of these pop-up stores that Institchu has moved to open permanent retail stores, with a number across eastern Australia as well as one in New Zealand and another in New York.
“We’ve now got seven stores or seven permanent retail stores. Retail is changing a lot and the retail landscape is changing. We’re all about the experience of when someone comes in and try to make it different when you’re just popping into a store,” Robin said.
Hear more behind-the-scenes insights from InStitchu on the My Business Podcast below:
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.