Disclaimer: As a native of New England I enjoy sharing my region’s slang with the world. “Wicked” is a general intensifier. It’s ultimately the better substitution for “really” or “very”; therefore this article is going to be very quick .
I caught up with Barry Goldware, CEO of Popupshops.io, an ultimate “match.com” for brands and real estate. Goldware and his team are offering retailers and brands a marketplace to find spaces for their popup shops. And offering a hassle-free way for landlords to find retailers and brands to lease their space. They’re the original marketplace for brands and real estate to connect without booking fees.
Goldware explains the criteria needed before venturing into the popup shop space, why it’s more than just about location and the current challenges brands face with popup shops today.
What is Popupshops.io all about?
Popupshops.io is basically, for lack of a better term, a “Match.com” for emerging brands that want to popup or do a popup shop with spaces specifically available for popup shops. So it’s a marketplace [where] they can find each other. We have various aspects, such as filters that each party fills out; and then we have a recommendation engine. So we can basically introduced them via our website.
Our whole goal is just to be an intermediary, we just want to introduce qualified brands, with qualified spaces, and then we just step away, and then we let them negotiate their deal with the landlord. We do not take a commission, our monetization is that we charge a very minor listing fee — for both the landlord and the retailer.
[So for] retailers venturing into popups, what’s the criteria brands or retailers should have set before they make this move?
Well, there’s a number of criteria. The first thing that a retailer should do is to determine an objective. One of the things we find is that we all know ecommerce is ecommerce, but there’s something missing. And what’s missing in ecommerce is the physical interaction, [the] eyeball-to-eyeball with the consumer.
A retail environment is a way to absolutely accomplish that, the fifth dimension, if you will, that you cannot find online. And so [for] many online retailers to expand their brand, [or] extend their brand, [or] elevate their brand, are using popups to add to that flavor.
But there are other ingredients [and] ecommerce retailers should sit back and say “what are my objectives?”
Is it that they want to interact with their customer on a physical playing field?
Is it that they want to enjoy pre-sales?
Is it that they have decided to look at [potential permanent] physical retail locations?
And rather than just sign a [long-term] lease, they’d like to test various locations with various landlords. So there are a myriad of objectives for why an ecommerce retailer or emerging retailer would like to do a popup.
What’s the biggest challenge or challenges that brands and retailers face when making this venture into pop ups?
The first one is location! It’s very important to find the right location. And it’s a challenge because most online retailers, or digitally native retailers are experts at the digital marketplace.
But they don’t have much experience in the real estate, physical marketplace. And so therefore, it’s really important that they have some help and assistance to find the right location.
There’s an old adage, “location, location, location.” If you want to be successful, you need to have a great location. The biggest thing a retailer needs to do, like I mentioned earlier is to determine their objectives.
Online retailers have some of the same challenges that brick-and-mortar retailers do such as inventory. [And in some cases] you have to move your inventory. And so a popup shop is another vehicle by which an online retailers can sell older inventory. And so again, if this is what they want to do, then like I say, they have to find the right location, they have to determine what the popup shop is going to look like and then of course, they need to be able to market it. [Lastly] they need to be able to advertise and let the world know that they’re there for that period of time.