I have been meaning to write something like this for some time. Ever since I started doing pop-ups and markets there are seven tips I have picked up along the way that may be of help to some. I have had sales at every pop-up/market for Lush kingdom, over time, this is what I have figured out and eventually repeated for even better results.
Don’t go it alone.
You may think that it’s just a matter of manning your space, but it helps to have a partner with you during the day. Things may get busy and you might need an extra eye/hand to keep an eye on your goods or just to engage other customers. Also, it may not be initially on your mind, but another person there while you get food, use the restroom, or even take a break and walk around (more on this later) goes a long way.
This one bugs me a bit because I often see vendors blaming market organisers for the lack of people coming to the event or their lack of sales but when you check to see how much promotion they themselves did leading up to the event it is usually poor or non-existent. Yes, the Pop-Up organisers do need to push and promote the event, but I never relied on that alone. I always promote the event and even encourage people to see other vendors there. If everyone going did the same, it would make for a healthier crowd and even create more sale opportunities. To make it short, promote your goods, talk to your customers, use your channels (social media, email, word of mouth).
Presentation is key
I remember one event, I had a terrible set up (well more than one tbh) and I believed it hurt my sales. I was not drawing as many people as I should to my space. When I observed other vendors who had put in the work to make a good presentation they were engaging more customers and doing very well for themselves. I noticed an increase in sales when I spent time on better presentation and layout of my booth. A good presentation does not have to be expensive or elaborate, just organise your goods, Have great labels, decrease clutter and keep your space clean and easy to browse.
Work the room
Personally, it takes a lot of effort for me to talk to people, I tend to be very shy, but it bodes well at the very least to make friends with your booth neighbours. It creates a great sense of community for the time you are there, and they can be great allies when it comes to engaging customers. Be genuinely interested in their products (you may buy from one of your neighbours or they from you). Having someone to talk to when things get quiet may turn into great networking or collaborating opportunities. Once again encourage your own visitors to check out others at the show, in one instance it shows confidence in your own product but also, it is just a nice thing to do if everyone does well it feels better at the end of the day, makes for a richer experience and encourages growth.
Keep records, collect data, have conversations
A three in one but this comes down to the business itself. Even if you make no sales or very little sales, these events are fantastic opportunities to know your customer, learn where you are lacking or areas that you are doing well. Have proper receipts, stamps to be able to track and record how much money you made during the day and to stay on top of your accounts.
Be ready to collect emails or some form of contact info from visitors to your space and encourage everyone to visit your website/social media by giving out call cards. It does not matter if they did not purchase talk to anyone who shows interest they may just not be ready to buy from you that day or may not have had to opportunity to discover your awesome work.
While we are here, talk to people, use it as an opportunity to discover what your customers are thinking. Use it as an opportunity to get feedback and impressions about your work or brand that could go a long way for your market research, this is vital.
Know your timing
You do not need to be in every market. Some markets may not be the best fit for your brand or your products. You could encourage customer fatigue, your die-hards love you but they may not be in a position to buy from you every weekend and even though you may want to discover new customers, understanding buying cycles will help. For example, I think about introducing new products every quarter based on what I learned from my previous customers’ buying habits. You need to figure that out and work to suit.
Say thanks keep the interest going
At the end of the day, after packing up and getting everything back home/office/workspace fight the exhaustion, say thanks and let everyone know where you will be next. Have a plan in place for where people can find you later whether it be at your stockists or other market dates. Keep it positive and start planning your next venture!