How to Manage a Pop-Up Store Team

— May 29, 2017

Pop-up stores have become an inseparable part of the modern retail world. They are enabling established brands to do something truly special and get their message in front of certain market demographics that hadn’t paid much attention to those same brands in the past. They are also enabling ecommerce companies to venture into the world of traditional retail and today, we will actually be talking about these pop-up stores.


More precisely, we will be talking about managing a pop-up store team, something that will be a big change from what ecommerce business owners have to deal with most of the time.



Assembling the team


Before anything else, you will need to assemble a team that will be able to handle the requirements and pressures of running a pop-up store.


The vast majority of ecommerce companies do not employ salespeople as such, and the closest thing you will have to these will probably be your customer service people. In fact, some of them might actually have sales experience. The reason why we are mentioning them is that you will want someone from the company besides you to be there, someone who will understand what your business is all about, what your message is and what sets you apart.


It is, however, very likely that you will need to hire people from the outside and this is where things might go wrong, especially if you do not know what you are looking for.


If this was any other kind of a store, we would be advising you to look for people with as much sales experience as you can afford. However, since pop-up stores are not necessarily about sales (they rarely are), you might actually overlook someone’s lack of sales experience in favor of their marketing or branding experience.


Due to the fact that you are looking at a limited-time offer, you might also find it difficult to attract people who you would otherwise hire to work in your store. In other words, you might be hiring interns or people looking for their first job.


The important thing is that your pop-up store team members are willing to learn and work hard and that they are personable people.


You really do not have room for shy people on your pop-up store team.



Training your team


Regardless of who you have on your pop-up store team, they will need some training. Even if you hire the most experienced sales people money can buy, it is highly unlikely many of them will have pop-up store experience and it truly is a whole different sales experience.


First of all, it is essential that your team understands that your pop-up store’s main purpose is not to sell as much as possible. A pop-up store is about brand promotion and about building relationships with new customers. This is something you will have to convey to your team and ensure they truly understand it.


You will also want to provide them with the knowledge they will need to introduce your products to the customers. For instance, if you are selling clothing, you will want them to learn about the fabrics used, where the clothes are manufactured, how it can be worn and so on. If you are selling food products of some kind, your team might learn how to prepare them and say a few things about the products.


There is always plenty to learn about the product and your team needs to know as much about it as possible.


Another thing that your team has to be familiar with is how your website works and what kind of loyalty programs you have. When all is said and done, you are promoting your website and customers will have questions about it.


Are you offering free shipping? How do you handle returns? What payment options does your website feature? Do you have an app? Do you ship abroad?


Your pop-up store team needs to know the answers to all of these questions, and you have to give them the facts before your store opens.



Sticking around


As an owner of an ecommerce business and the pop-up store you recently opened, you will definitely want to be around and ensure everything is going smoothly. This is not suggesting you should spend every waking hour micromanaging every little detail, but you should still keep tabs on what is happening.


This is especially true when we are talking about your team.


For instance, you may find out that some of your people are still convinced they should sell as much as they can and are being too pushy and aggressive towards the visitors. You may, for instance, find out that a member of your team is rude to people who have plenty of questions. You may discover that you have a couple of team members who do absolutely nothing.


One thing you should be particularly careful about is the team dynamics and the way your pop-up store employees are working together. Certain misunderstandings are to be expected, but you need to make sure someone is not slacking off and making others cover for them. If it turns out you have toxic workers, you will need to get rid of them before they destroy the entire team.


Another huge reason why you will want to stick around and oversee your pop-up store team is that they might have new ideas that you haven’t thought of. Perhaps they have noticed that your visitors are asking a lot about a specific product or that they are particularly interested in shipping options and payment methods. One of the reasons why you open a pop-up store is to find out more about your customer and your team will play an invaluable role here.


Closing Word


Without a well-managed team, your pop-up store will not be able to fulfil its full potential. This is a shame, considering how a well-run pop-up store can benefit your ecommerce business for years to come.


Put together a cracking team, train them well and be there to find out how they are doing.

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Author: Dan Radak


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