Pop-up store advertising is all the rage these days, and for good reason, pop-up stores can boost brand awareness while also creating revenue. According to Spire Research, “Unlike conventional retail stores, a pop-up retail store opens for a short duration at unusual, unique locations. The term “pop-up” was first coined as these stores can “pop-up” one day and be gone by the next without warning.”
Pop-up store advertising has been around for a long time. A quick Google search will bring up articles dating back to the early 2000’s. In this article titled “Don’t blink or you’ll miss the latest trend — pop-up stores,” we see a coffee shop that popped up in Australia and there are many other examples. Reebok Pop-Up, Microsoft Pop-up, Bloomingdale’s Pop-up, Amazon Pop-up, and Samsung Pop-up are just a few examples over the past few years.
Many of these examples are retail stores looking to increase revenue around holidays or a new product launch, but how can an established e-commerce brand use pop-up stores to increase online sales? Below is a quick (5:07) studio interview talking about Alibaba’s expansion plans into the US.
The main point Danielle Bailey is making is Alibaba does not have a strong brand presence in the US market or in any market outside of China. After watching the interview, we will discuss how Alibaba could use a pop-up store Advertising strategy to increase brand awareness.
Studio interview: Alibaba’s expansion plans in Europe & U.S.
(Inside China view video here: CCTV)
Alibaba e-commerce pop-up store Advertising Idea
Alibaba currently has all the money! Okay, not all the money but after their record breaking IPO, Alibaba could spend a lot of money on different Advertising strategies. A pop-up store advertising strategy could provide Alibaba with an unique way to break through the noise.
Alibaba could spend a ton of money on traditional advertising (TV, Print, PPC, Banners, etc.) or they could setup pop-up stores that allow shoppers the opportunity to see and feel real products but requires them to purchase online. With the right staff and products, these pop-up stores could boost brand awareness, while helping first time e-commerce shoppers overcome their buying fear.
Many shoppers are not looking for a new e-commerce platform, especially a Chinese based platform. This leaves Alibaba with two options. One, they can spend a ton of money on M&A, like the video suggested. Two, they can attempt to over come shoppers fears by spending a lot of money on advertising. We feel the pop-up store advertising strategy would be the best way to break though the noise and connect with real shoppers.
This strategy would allow Alibaba to position itself has a customer focused e-commerce platform. American shoppers are concerned about cyber-security and the US media continues to point fingers at Chinese backed hacks. This environment, along with general fears of China, creates a difficult challenge for Alibaba. Buying a platform, like e-bay or Amazon, will create a media backlash that would be difficult for any company to overcome, but building from the ground up with pop-up stores could be a great strategy to reach real shoppers and adapt to consumer feedback.
What do you think about Alibaba’s chances of success in the US? Would a pop-up store advertising strategy work for Alibaba? What other concerns do you think Alibaba will face with international expansion? What do you think about Chinese government backed hacks?