Five tips for selling at a market or pop-up

Five tips for selling at a market or pop-up

Posted: Sun 12th Jun 2022

The opportunities in today's rapidly changing retail world are all about connecting the offline experience with your e-commerce site.

Thousands of big and small brands are using pop-ups to build relationships with customers and other businesses. If you're thinking of getting into trading at a market or pop-up store, here are five tips on how to get it right.

1. The trading space and your product

First impressions count so make sure your space is well designed, thoughtful and reflects your product. Setting up a space doesn't need to be expensive but should have impact and integrity with your product.

Don't try to sell food from a stained tablecloth. Vintage china as a backdrop to sales of cakes and scones looks fabulous and will aid sales, while pallets and 'textures' are a great backdrop for all sorts of artisan and craft displays.

Look around online for great shop-fitting in your sector and pick up a few creative ideas that will transfer well to your stall or shop.

On the subject of selling stock, place whichever item you want to sell most in the centre of your stall at an elevated level. Use different levels, and employ the psychology of colour to add impact.

Remember: the first 40 seconds will create the impetus for whether the customers buys from you or not. Make that short time count!

Once you've made the sale, wrap and pack your product well so your customer is impressed with the full purchase experience and will recommend you and return.

2. Understand the customer

As in any retail business, it's vital to understand who you're selling to. Be very clear about your target market and make sure your set up and communications 'speak to them'.

For your online presence, transfer your 'story' and 'personality' to the website so that there is synergy between the customer's physical experience and online purchasing.

3. Speak!

On the subject of 'speaking', pop-ups and market stalls are no place for shy vendors. If people want 'personality-free service', they will go to supermarkets.

They have come to your pop-up because it has personality. Reflect that personality and chat to your customers. Find out why they would buy and take an interest in their likes and wants.

Pop-ups are very people-oriented. To turn browsers into customers, you need to build rapport – but gently. There's nothing worse than overbearing salespeople. Proceed carefully and with rapport and warmth.

Also talk to other traders, introduce yourself, give/receive traders' discount, discuss business and learn from one another. Remember: it isn't what you do, it's how you do it, and if you do it right you'll get results.

4. Pricing, money and profit

While keeping prices competitive, be sure to reflect profit and time in your pricing. Believe in your product and don't think that discounting will bring more sales. Only 20% of purchase decisions are made on price alone. Who is your target customer?

Millennials are the biggest spenders right now, so does your product appeal to their age group? They carry very little cash and many reports show that cash-only traders are losing 50% of their sales potential.

Make sure you can take card payments, stay up to speed with technology and make the purchase easy for your customers.

Pop-ups often rely on impulse purchases so you need to be able to service those buys. For 'cash customers' though, make sure you have a float.

If you have to run around looking for change, you'll look unprofessional and lose sales. Have a till, cash box or money belt. Look and act with the utmost professionalism to secure your customer's faith and confidence.

5. Promote, publicise and promote some more

If you have what you think the market wants, tell people! Get into town and flyer prolifically, tell the local paper, the local radio station and the local council where you are and what you're selling.

Be lively on social media. Pop-ups provide significant picture and content opportunities to entertain and educate your followers. Make some serious noise!

Finally, enjoy what you do. It will show!

Relevant resources

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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