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4 Common Challenges When Selecting A Retail Pop Up And How To Overcome Them

Have you been considering a retail pop up for your next product launch or seasonal campaign but are having a tough time getting started? The allure of a retail pop up to compliment your holistic marketing strategy is undeniable, offering a unique opportunity to engage with customers on a personal level in a hyper-focused environment. However, the retail landscape of a pop up bricks-and-mortar store can be daunting, with a myriad of challenges awaiting even the most seasoned marketers and brand managers.

From selecting the perfect location to ensure brand consistency across all touchpoints through to enhancing the customer experience with data integration, managing timeframes and securing necessary permits and licenses, there is a lot to consider.

But we’ve got you covered. We’ll take a look at these challenges and how you can turn them into opportunities for growth and success for your next retail pop up or brand activation.

1. Strategic Location Selection

Choosing the right physical location for your retail venture is the first step that will significantly influence the success of your pop up campaign. When assessing potential pop-up locations and precincts, we recommend several key factors to consider in your decision-making process:


Firstly, you need to understand the demographics of the area, including the age, income, and buyer preferences. Your preferred Centre should have a geographical location profile as well as the physical pop up space profile for you to determine if your products or services align with the needs of your target demographic. Do your research and ask lots of questions to be sure your location is in the right place to engage your audience.

Three women looking at products at Displaywise Prada retail stand

Foot Traffic

Be sure to analyse the volume and nature of foot traffic in the vicinity of both the Centre and your physical pop up location too. High foot traffic areas such as near a centre court or major retailer can expose your brand to a broader audience, increasing the chances of customer engagement as well as exposing you to secondary audiences that you may not have seriously considered until now with your product line up.


Consider the accessibility of the location, including proximity to entrance/exits, public transport, parking facilities and ease of navigation within the preferred Centre. Strategic placement near major stores enhances the visibility of your brand, especially near popular anchor stores like a supermarket or major department stores. Shoppers are more likely to encounter and engage with your pop up and will often visit anchor stores as part of their shopping routine so a spontaneous visit or impulse purchase at your pop up is heightened with this considered approach.

Competitor Presence

Assess the presence of competitors in the shopper vicinity of your preferred space. While healthy competition can be beneficial, oversaturation might pose buyer friction so it’s crucial to evaluate how well your brand can stand out without being overshadowed. Analyse the unique selling propositions (USPs) of your competitors and identify opportunities for differentiation. Examine their pricing strategies and assess whether there’s room for your brand to offer competitive pricing, premium value or a special discount to attract attention. Striking the right balance is vital to attracting and retaining customers during as well as after the pop up period.

2. Consistency in Brand Messaging

Maintaining a consistent brand message is another important challenge. To navigate this, we recommend utilising some of these tactics:

Detailed Brand Style Guides

Develop a robust set of brand guidelines that cover both the digital and physical aspect of your retail strategy which include everything from visual elements, logo usage, colour palette and typography through to tone of voice and overall brand personality. This will act as your foundation for consistency across all channels as well as guide your team and external suppliers on how to maintain brand integrity from online to a physical space. Check out our latest work with Bastion for Mugler on how we applied consistency in brand messaging for the relaunch of entire Angel range including the brand’s new Elixir fragrance.

Implement Visual Consistency

From signage and graphics through to packaging and product presentation, consistency in visual elements is paramount. Ensure that your pop up space reflects the same aesthetic appeal and design principles as your online presence and digital campaigns. This not only reinforces brand recognition but also fosters a sense of familiarity and trust amongst customers that will become a key consideration in the customer journey when deciding between Brand A (you) and Brand B (competitors) along the path to purchase.

Bridge the Gap Between Online and Offline

An omnichannel approach is the best end-to-end experience that considers all your touchpoints. Leverage digital technologies to bridge the gap between your online and offline channels to create a stronger brand impact. Incorporate interactive displays or QR codes, that direct customers to your website or social media platforms for additional information or exclusive offers. This not only enhances the customer experience but also creates a seamless customer journey. Read more in our latest article on How Digital Transformation if Driving the Customer Experience.

Displaywise Mugler retail stand display, with products and tunnel

Train Your Staff

Your retail staff play a pivotal role in delivering a consistent brand experience too. Be sure to provide comprehensive training to ensure they are familiar with your brand story, values, products and key messages.  At DisplayWise, our Industrial Design team can work with you to ensure that your retail presence becomes an authentic extension of your brand identity, from selecting materials that resonate with your ethos through to guiding the customer seamlessly along the path to purchase. We even offer a free test assemble of your retail display prior to installation and dispatch and encourage brands to invite their staff along for training sessions, workshop briefing or product demonstrations ahead of store opening. This service is available at either our Sydney or Melbourne production facility, talk to our team about this offering and when you can include this in your project plan.

3. Enhancing the Customer Experience with Data Integration

The seamless integration of online and offline customer data remains a complex challenge. At DisplayWise, we will work with you to design your custom retail and POS space that strategically guides customers through a predefined journey with QR code integration or collaborate with our digital partners to offer sensor technology and interactive kiosks for valuable data capture. These metrics could include everything from dwell time and customer engagement through to product interaction and preferences. These simple tactics can ensure a continuous flow of information between the physical presence and online database to seamlessly connect your omnichannel retail strategy.

Check out our work with agency partner Bastion and how we collaborated to deliver a captivating activation for Polo Red which aligned with the Formula 1 Grand Prix. The build required a virtual reality (VR) experience, product samples and a testing station that promoted the new modern design and refillable bottles that would reinvigorate the brand and strongly resonate with the target audience.

Displaywise Polo stand at the f1 with products a screen and an F1 car

3. Limited Timeframe to Maximise your ROI

Pop up activations require clever planning to extract maximum impact within a fleeting window of opportunity due to seasonality, trends and limited time you have booked your rental space.  Creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity not only stimulates immediate customer action but also delivers a heightened perception of value. You’ve got a short window and small space to maximise impact, so you need to ensure you maximise every square metre you have within your pop-up tenancy.

Whether it’s a discount for the first 50 customers, a special gift with purchase, or a flash sale on selected items, creating a sense of urgency encourages immediate action from shoppers. Why not host scheduled product demonstrations or giveaways to get instant cut through in the cluttered retail environment. These types of activities create hype and buzz around your brand and also provide valuable opportunities for interaction and brand engagement that are sure to leave a lasting impression on shoppers.

Ultimately, complimenting your digital strategy with an in-store pop up experience presents a unique set of challenges, from strategic location selection to maintaining brand consistency, enhancing the customer experience and navigating the limitations of a limited timeframe. However, armed with the right tactics and strategies, these challenges can be transformed into opportunities for success and at DisplayWise, we’re dedicated to empowering our clients with the right tools and bespoke design outcomes tailored to your needs. Contact our team today to leverage our expertise in custom retail display solutions that will elevate your pop-up experience and take the stress away from your next retail campaign.

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