We Asked 3 S’pore Bizs Why They Prefer Selling At Pop-Up Spaces
The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that accompany it have significantly affected the retail sector in Singapore.
This has forced retailers, especially those with a heavy brick and mortar focus, to step up their online presence or seek alternative avenues to reach customers. Retailers who fail to pivot fast enough risk losing.
As a testament to this, Singapore saw various brands leave its shores early last year and choose to go online instead.
While the pandemic is damaging traditional retailers, it has served as a catalyst for the rise of e-commerce, especially the rise of home-based businesses.
However, e-commerce and physical stores rarely exist in silos.
According to retail industry expert and former CBRE director Chan Yee Yin, “Customers still appreciate the elements of a traditional retail experience, such as the physical touch and feel of the product.”
How then, are the nascent e-commerce and home-based businesses meeting the needs of their customers?
This is where pop-up stores like Invade’s Makers’ Market come in, providing a sustainable alternative for online merchants who also want to physically sell their products.
Give a human touch to online brands
Pop-up stores are a viable option for businesses large and small who want an alternate channel to connect with their customers and sell their products.
Yee Yin told Vulcan Post that pop-up retail has the ability to make an established brand “feel more modern and expose it to different market segments.” This makes it an attractive option for large, established brands that have yet to start dealing offline.
When it comes to small businesses, pop-up stores provide a valuable opportunity to interact with customers without having to pay rent for a permanent store space.
In an interview with Vulcan Post, Jean Kuah, the founder of Mochibuddies, said that she started selling in pop-up stores at the end of 2018. Since then, she rents a pop-up store every month to sell her doorways. acrylic keys and brooches.
The full-time graphic designer shared that operating pop-up stores was a good way for her to interact with existing and new customers.
“I always find it nice to be able to meet my supporters. It’s also great to be able to hear their feedback (in person) so that I can further improve my art, ”said the 27-year-old.
Likewise, Elaine, the founder of August By E, regularly searches for pop-up stores by Invade to bring her products to more customers beyond the online community.
She started frequenting pop-up stores in December 2019, just months after officially launching the business in August of that year.
Elaine shared that meeting her clients physically allowed her to better understand their preferences and needs, allowing them to personalize their jewelry as well.
She added that she also took a keen interest in her products after physically selling them, which motivated her to continue sourcing from pop-up stores.
In addition to connecting with existing customers, pop-up stores are also a good way for business owners to generate new leads.
After each Makers’ Market event, Jean said she sees “significant growth” in Mochibuddies social media.
Reduced costs and minimized risks
In addition to being a platform for reaching customers and expanding sales channels, pop-up stores also reduce the risks and costs associated with starting a physical store.
It is common knowledge that rental costs continue to be one of the key factors that lead to the destruction of brands with physical presence.
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a record vacancy rate of 8.0-9.6% as tenants pull out of major shopping malls.
Observers have pointed out that the brawl between landlords and tenants is not specific to the Covid-19 economy. In fact, asymmetric power dynamics have been going on for a long time.
By nature, landlords tend to hold more power over tenants, as practices like Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) cause landlords to focus on rental extraction rather than the well-being of tenants.
Additionally, it has been reported that retailers pay exorbitant amounts of money under popular gross rent models, which extract a percentage of in-store sales.
Pop-up stores offer the opportunity to provide fine service in many different markets without the risk of unsold inventory or the expense of the cost of permanent store space.
“Because pop-ups create their own spaces and return those spaces to their original shape when they leave, there is very little maintenance required, which lowers the costs of owning vacant real estate,” said said Yee Yin.
In other words, pop-up stores are a nimble plug-and-play concept, and it can be set up with minimal fuss and manpower.
For new business owners, pop-up stores can be a low-stakes stepping stone to fine-tune everything from product offerings to store protocols. This allows retailers to test the viability of long term rentals and gain a better understanding of what works well and what does not.
Additionally, pop-up stores are a particularly viable approach for retailers when used where traditional retailers do business, such as in malls.
Integrated infrastructure and perks such as parking lots and increased footfall help improve retailers’ chances of success.
Pop-up retailers shared that Makers’ Market is often hosted in strategic locations that receive high levels of human traffic. These locations include * SCAPE, an iconic venue for Singaporean millennials, the Esplanade Mall and Changi Airport.
Strengthen your business with the manufacturers market
As the pandemic is gradually brought under control and more of the population is vaccinated, more and more consumers are eager to eat out and shop at retail.
It might also be a good time for home businesses to try and get into the physical shopping arena.
Makers’ Market is a worthy consideration to begin with. It’s an organized market concept that brings together crafts and design items from across the region, with a focus on supporting startups, brands and designers.
Additionally, merchants such as Jean and Elaine who peddle their wares at various pop-up Makers’ Market events have reported significant sales growth.
In addition, the Makers’ Market also provides marketing support to traders.
According to Averia Chung, founder of Glamourousme83, the Makers’ Market team often takes photos of their products and shares them on their social media pages before and after the event.
This marketing support has helped her successfully reach more customers at various events and venues.
Jean also pointed out that Makers’ Market staff easily take feedback from retailers, which makes the whole onboarding process smooth and seamless.
As brands and retailers try to figure out how consumer behavior is changing as a result of the pandemic, selling in pop-up stores can serve as a way to gather feedback and build a customer base.
To start selling at Makers’ Market, you can browse the available spaces and make a reservation here.
This article was written in collaboration with Invade Makers’ Market.
Featured Image Credit: Invade Makers’ Market
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