Online marketplace Etsy has launched its first Australian pop-up shop in Sydney, running from November 28 to December 12.
Etsy is also running a variety of events through its new store including DIY workshops, haircuts and styling days, tea appreciation sessions and ornament-making.
The founder of Instant Retail and Pop Up Shops Melbourne, Scott Williams, said that pop-up shops give online retailers the chance to also have a physical presence, without committing to a permanent store.
“Online retailers usually have a huge database of customers and one advantage they have is they can broadcast their pop-up store to a huge number of people,” he says.
“A lot of fans will come along to experience the brand first-hand, something you can’t do online, and taking advantage of seasonal events like Christmas or Mother’s Day is the perfect time to set up a pop-up store.”
The pop-up store will also feature a collection of Etsy pieces being showcased in store, curated by Jason Grant, Stephanie Somebody, Mandi Gunsberger and Amy Ross.
Williams says latching onto special days can be a good way to boost sales.
“Depending on what product or genre of retail the business is in, tapping into seasonal events can mean it’s a peak sales time,” he says.
“They could be doing really well online at this time of year anyway, but a pop-up store actually enhances their exposure. However, an online brand can pop up at any time of year and get benefit from it.”
Williams says pop-up stores offer a new dimension to an online business’s marketing, and he anticipates these types of stores will become a lot more common.
However, he says bricks-and-mortar retailers have been hesitant to embrace pop-up shops.
“A lot of the permanent bricks-and-mortar retailers are still a bit suspicious about pop-up shops, as some still see them as a challenge to their own business,” he says.
“But I believe the permanent retailers could actually benefit from it. The business might be in competition, but if it brings more people to the precinct, then some of those people are sure to have a look at the other shops, benefitting the whole community.”
Williams says it’s short-sighted to think pop-up retailers will “come in and take the cream and then go”.
“Permanent retailers can also use pop-up stores. Some retailers at peak season set up a pop-up shop in different regions because there are opportunities to have further sales,” he says.
“They can use it as additional sales opportunities or to research a new location or launch a new product without having to disrupt their regular store.”
But while there are many advantages to having a pop-up store, it can be difficult to find a location.
“It’s always been hard, although it’s getting a little bit easier as some agents are coming around to the concept. Often it involves a lot of leg work,” Williams says.
To help make Etsy’s pop-up shop a success, it’s enlisted the help of other local businesses to run the in-store activities.
The Barber Shop will be giving customers haircuts, Hair Romance will be styling people’s hair and The Workshop and T Totaler will be running the tea drinking sessions.
The shop, located at 74 Castlereagh St, opens each day at 8 a.m. during the week, with free coffee and pastries for an hour provided by Sydney businesses Black Star Pastry, The Little Marionette and La Renaissance.
This article first appeared in Smart Company.