There’s a growing trend in retail, which is no secret to many Brands experimenting with new ways to drive revenue. 2022 and 2023 brought on the Pop-Up stores mostly to get in locations for exposure to their brand, but also experiment with new technologies and ideas within these spaces. While the buzzword Pop-Up is somewhat new, the idea is not. Retailers have experimented with events in temporary stores and venues for years to showcase their Brand and/or new line of merchandise. But with the changes to the market and shopping behaviors this has become more of a necessity for retailers. As Pop-up stores increased in popularity, there seemed to be a green light on creativity and the use of technology.
A few reasons why Pop-Ups are continuing an upward trend.
- The investment to open a temporary store over a traditional long-term lease of a brick & mortar is far less
- Launching of a new brand or product
- Testing a new market
- Pop-up stores are disruptive and can show up at any time in a new area, creating buzz, interest, and excitement.
Technologies invested in these pop-ups are just as important as the Pop-Up itself. Virtual Reality is now being tested alongside augmented technology which allows computer-generated graphics to manipulate the environment around us. Brands are testing these technologies to allow customers to virtually see themselves wearing apparel and jewelry, and digital mannequins or avatars showing off the latest clothing trends. These are just a few examples of the many that are being tested with VR and AR.
Before getting too ahead of ourselves, it is not just AR and VR technology that are being tested and used in these spaces. You will find many immersive technologies considered in Pop-ups that already have been tested in traditional brick-and-mortar stores with great results. As many of these technologies are moving into the maturity stages of their lifecycle, pricing is drastically reducing while the quality is improving 10-fold. Here are a few to consider for Pop-Ups.
LED Walls & Floors: with LED becoming more robust and easier to install, pop-ups are investing in Fine Pitch LED to bring that "WOW" back when someone walks in. With Fine Pitch LED, it's as crisp as a High Def TV but also capable to scale to much larger sizes. Not just the walls getting LED, but the floors for an immersive experience. Guests can find themselves standing over digital content that can interact and change within the space. This technology is no secret to the Retail industry. In 2023 Retail spending on LED video panels hit $281 Million. 2024 expects the Retail market to increase LED spending to hit $363 million.
Sound Systems: sound systems are typical, right? But the experience is not. We are now seeing many companies looking to make a Pop- Ups more of an event space with DJ setup and bass that may shake the merchandise off the walls. It is no longer the predictable experience with background sound, a few TVs and some wall art. It’s a whole new experience for customers and Brands alike.
Analytics: why invest in Pop-Ups if you can’t show the data? Now with sensors, Retail companies can measure foot traffic, dwell time, repeat visitors, in-store purchasing, and much more. With Data being real-time, it allows technologies to integrate with the data to trigger an event. For example, if the intent is to get X # of foot traffic to another area, let the data track then tell the digital signage to change content, music, lighting etc for a new “scene” and if that may have an impact on the customer's decisions on where to go within the space. Data sensors allow the company to measure and adjust by integrating with digital signage, which brings us to the signage section.
Digital Signage: it seems these days the word "digital signage" sounds dated, especially after reading about AR, AI, VR, and everything that has an acronym. There is no doubt that Digital Signage is here to stay and evolve with AI and AR but let's just stick with traditional Digital Signage for now. Digital signage is only as powerful as the content developed for it. Before you invest in the 30’ LED wall or 50 Displays for your stores you might want to speak with someone about the content, what you trying to accomplish, your return on investment, or return on objective. The great thing about digital signage is that it is flexible. You can schedule specific times to push content, ads, or social but change on the fly if ever needed. It can also be automated. Remember analytics? Yes, you don’t need a button pusher in some dark room to change things anymore, now let the data collect and you set the rules.
Projection: integrators are specifying this into Pop-Up projects simply because it's less costly than installing a large video wall. With that said, you can get creative with the projection but that does come with cost. By stacking projection or projection blending, images can have super high brightness on very large images with High Def quality. You can simply shoot on walls, floors or merchandise which is where projection mapping could be considered. We mentioned AR earlier about manipulating images over the real environment, well Projection can also be considered for that.
3D Holograms and Avatars: this is relatively new and really powerful to get customer engagement, but like Digital signage, content is king. If thought out properly, it has a huge impact on customers.
What is exciting about this technology is how it can be scalable. For example, start out with one 30” 3D image fo for your store, test the waters, and get data /feedback if it had any impact on your investment. It did? Now scale that one 30” into a 4x6 wall 3D image or 20’ wall after. The technology now allows for growth and with LED, can withstand the length of time which nowadays 3-5 years max before the next new technology is out for customers.
Pop-up concept will continue for Brands needing to stand out, but as more and more Pop-ups roll out, they need to be unique and exciting, otherwise, it's simply just another temporary store. Technology and creativity will be the key to a brand's success of their Pop-ups and possibly a trendsetter for future brick-and-mortar stores if proven successful.
If you would like to know more about Technology ideas in your Pop-Ups or for your traditional brick-and-mortar reach out for additional information. Contact us.