Evidence of the disruptive power of pop-up retail is rapidly emerging. Take for instance, the recent announcement by WPP agencies Barrows and VML, who have teamed up with Samsung, to develop what is being described as the next generation of Connected Pop-Up stores.
The Connected Pop-Up initiative aims to simultaneously re-invigorate retail while leveraging a shopping trend consumers have shown themselves ready to embrace. The concept give brands and retailers a way to quickly and affordably activate short-term, temporary retail through a turn-key solution that incorporates digital to deliver personalized brand experiences informed by retail IoT sensing technologies and analytics.
“This is all about the intersection of physical and digital retail,” said Jon Bird, executive director, Global Retail and Shopper Marketing at VML. “That’s where retail is going, and our ability to bring our digital expertise to clients in the retail space excites us. This is a re-invention of how technology can work in a temporary space and our role has been to contribute thinking on the Connected Pop-Up consumer experience.”
Addressing Retail Disruption Head-on
Pop-up retail already is proving a disruptive force, with short-term, spontaneous retail events driving a $50 billion industry in the U.S., according to industry database PopUp Republic.
It comes at a tumultuous time in retail, with long-established brands recently closing hundreds of brick-and-mortar outlets.
At a time when consumers are scurrying from traditional retail while embracing alternative shopping experiences, Connected Pop-Up brings a technological solution to address the disruption. It offers a remedy through connectivity, with ideation, location scouting, logistics, staffing, point-of-sale (POS) fulfillment, real-time customer engagement and content creation all interwoven and interconnected.
An Internet of Things (IoT) dashboard pulls it all together, providing store data, retail analytics and insight into store activity, including visitor demographics and even sentiment, through advanced audience measurement technologies.
While a number of factors are driving the consumer exodus from retail, it’s clear that certain changes could be made in a pop-up context that would address shoppers’ most prevalent concerns. Ultimately, Connected Pop-Ups could help to bring:
- Intelligence by generating new IoT retail analytics and insights, targeted smart signage, POS transactions, and virtual and augmented reality.
- Affordability through disrupting the status quo with a tiered rental model and multiple levels that differ on size of footprint, technology inclusions and extent of the activation.
- On-demand capacity with a modular construction that can be assembled in a variety of ways to suit an individual brand’s requirements.
In the midst of the present retail upheaval underway, a new, tech-driven approach to the sector addresses the increasing intersection of physical and digital retail. Even as brick-and-mortar stores struggle, the sector is moving steadily in the direction of more digitally driven solutions to address the enigma of customer interaction.
The Connected Pop-Up initiative addresses this trend head on, with a tech-driven alternative that is at once smarter and more cost-effective.
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