Pop-Up Stores and “store within a store” formats are increasingly popular tools, both as testbeds for banner or brand merchandising efforts and as a durable means of differentiating product and brand identities within a larger retail context.
We provide objective insight and facilitate optimized execution that respects design architects’ concepts and marketers’ goals for the space. Our testing capabilities extend to all elements of a space in order to improve a store’s design elements as well as the marketing and merchandising materials contained within it. We precisely and holistically define the successes and failures of each element to help refine and perfect the selling space and allow the whole to take best advantage of each of its parts.
Merchant Mechanics can empirically determine the effect of each design, merchandising and marketing element on each step of the consumer’s in-store path-to-purchase, and help optimize their contribution to the achievement of the retailer or brand marketer’s goals.
A global pharmaceutical firm developing a national product launch campaign for a new over-the-counter weight loss drug deployed a pop-up store in Union Square, NYC. The product was to be promoted as part of a weight-loss program incorporating a healthy lifestyle and balanced nutrition. The client’s goal was to determine the most effective way to educate potential users about the drug’s benefits and risks, and to engage customers in the complete program, ensuring both the product’s and customers’ long-term success. Following the NYC installation, the pop-up store and promotional materials would be redesigned around their most effective elements. This refined campaign would then be launched with a pop-up store tour through the largest malls in the United States, with further testing aimed at optimizing merchandising and communications for the official product launch and national campaign.
Merchant Mechanics was engaged to perform a comprehensive, iterative study of both the prototype pop-up store as well as three second-phase designs used for the national mall road-show. We first evaluated the Union Square store design and merchandising communications for effectiveness in terms of attracting and retaining the attention of target consumers. In particular, visitor interaction with certain interactive elements was found to facilitate engagement with the product as well as the healthy lifestyle being promoted as part of the overall weight-loss strategy on offer. By assessing visitors’ behaviors and attitudes toward the product and the environment, and by closely studying the client’s marketing concepts and goals, we were able to guide architects and designers to a more effective and efficient pop-up experience that would most effectively increase consumer notice, awareness and recall of product utility and features, while increasing engagement rates with interactive store elements. Additional learnings from our study of the road show implementations were then incorporated to optimize the final design of the client’s merchandising and communications. Our partnership in this iterative design process beginning with empirical evaluation of the first pop-up store and following through the national road show allowed the client to conclusively identify and retain the most effective elements among competing design concepts, ensuring a highly successful and significantly more profitable national product launch.
- Selected and validated most engaging and effective pop-up store elements and content for national road show
- Optimized number of staff required to effectively run phase-two pop-up installations
- Increased dwell times and display/literature interaction rates
- Increased incidence and duration of consumer-staff interactions in pop-up space
Success metrics attained:
- Tens of thousands of dollars saved in the design and transport costs of phase-two pop-up installations, while significantly improving performance
- Improved customer attitudes, expectations, and engagement in response to marketing materials
- Increased brand awareness and improved brand attitudes and receptivity from first-impression on
- Increased effectiveness of promotional elements designed to prompt awareness of healthy lifestyle components of overall weight loss plan
- Improved performance of final national marketing communications and product launch