Why does opening a luggage brick-and-mortar store sound so 1987 to me? Well, for Away, the online DTC premium luggage designer and manufacturer, it sounds more like 2017…and it’s all good!

They thought that opening a brick-and-mortar store would drive better brand awareness (but not necessarily revenue) and they were wrong. According to the company, online sales in cities with physical store locations has increased 40 percent – which is “meaningfully greater” growth than cities without stores.

This really isn’t anything new. DTC (direct-to-consumer) brands that were built online have started to venture off into the brick-and-mortar space for a while now. Warby Parker, Nest Bedding, Cuyuna and Eloquii all have stores – Casper is set to open another 200 stores this year alone.

Something about diversifying marketing channels so that they don’t solely rely on driving customers to a digital storefront…

On the Origin of…

This seems like the typical evolution for any DTC Ecommerce company. But what if you don’t have the capital to start your own physical store?

One way is to reach out to professionals in your niche who can sell your products at their locations. For example, if you’re selling skincare, reach out to estheticians that can recommend your products and start a referral program that way.

Or contact your local boutique retail stores that have a connection with your product and ask to “rent” out a space – shelves, tables, windows etc. Offer them a nice commission on any items sold and you should be able to find someone to bite.

Shopify and other companies like Bulletin are also creating spaces… “WeWork for Retail” where you can rent out a space or a showroom to sell your products. It’s like a launching in a department store without all the hassle.

Creating Something POPular

Pop-Up Shops are a “here today, gone tomorrow” sort of marketing/sales play that allows Ecommerce stores the chance to sell more products and increase brand awareness.

So how do you get started?

  • Design your experience – is it going to be something simple like a booth or are you going to bring in a DJ?
  • Find a location – one of the best things about Pop-Ups is that you can test different locations every week.
  • Logistics – you’re going to need to accept payments, bring inventory to the store etc…
  • Promotionfigure out how you’re going to get people into the store. Here’s how The Profit’s Marcus Lemonis does it…

Shopify created an educational series with nine videos that explain everything you need to know about creating your Pop-Up Shop. Storefront is an online directory that helps entrepreneurs secure Pop-Up locations. Go out there and get it!

7 Case Studies on how Experiential Retail is the Future

People – especially Millennials and GenZ – don’t just want to walk into a store and buy stuff – they want an experience. Check out how these retail “stores” created experiences to differentiate themselves from the rest.

Sh*t You Need to Know

Twitter brings back chronological timelines

Shopify now lets users create amazing AR experiences

Amazon is now the 3rd largest digital ad seller behind Facebook and Google