Uncovering the Right Metrics to Evaluate Your Pop Up

When pop up activations first burst on the scene, they were viewed as whimsical and fun but, ultimately, a minor aspect in a brand’s engagement strategy. That is no longer the case. Today, many retailers include pop ups as a significant portion of their brand’s marketing. 

The reason for this shift is clear: pop ups engage visitors and drive sales. A recent Business Insider survey of global retail companies that currently utilize pop ups found that these retail professionals achieved:

The survey also found that pop ups are relatively cost-effective, with 44 percent of the respondents stating they spend $5,000 or less on an activation.

So, pop ups are a low-cost solution to boosting brand awareness and increasing sales. Still, to be sure that your pop up is as effective as possible, it is necessary to measure the results of your efforts.

Finding the right metrics to determine the ROI of your pop up is certainly not the most exciting part of organizing and running an activation. However, it is essential not only for determining success but also propagating that success in future activations. You cannot make thoughtful, effective choices about your pop ups without knowing what has worked in the past and what has not.

When deciding how to judge success, there are a variety of objective measures and non-objective measures. Many retailers default to exclusively using objective measures because they are data-driven and easy to quantify. However, non-objective measures that examine the consumer’s experience are equally important to judging the effectiveness of a pop up. Ultimately, you will need to decide what makes the most sense for your specific brand and consumer.

Determining Goals

Before you can go hunting through your data, before you can survey visitors, before you even open the doors of your pop up, you must settle on the goals for your activation. Knowing your goals will help you uncover the best method of measuring them.

Is your intent to earn revenue? Then you will want to review some objective measures like total sales and sales per day.

Would you like to increase your brand awareness? Then you will need to analyze mentions of your brand on social media and review any uptick in your website traffic.

Are you interested in earning brand loyalty and new customers? Again, social media can be a good indicator, and you will want to determine your net promoter score. 

Objective Measures

Objective measures are data-driven, quantifiable performance indicators. The shortcut to determining if a metric is an objective measurement is math and money. If there is a clear, data-driven formula with dollar signs involved (or pounds, yen, euros, etc.) to determine the result, it’s an objective measure.

The most popular objective measurement is return on investment (ROI). There is a relatively straightforward formula that can help you determine ROI.

Start by adding up your total expenses, including venue costs, employee salaries, utilities, breakage, marketing, etc. The next step is to calculate the net profits earned from all sales, tickets, products, services, etc. Finally, to determine the overall percentage of your ROI, subtract these profits from your total costs and divide that number by the total costs.

For example, if you spent $10,000 on a pop up, and you sold $15,000:

15,000 – 10,000 = 5,000

5,000 ÷ 10,000 = .5

You generated a 50 percent ROI from your pop-up activation.

Other helpful objective measures include:

  • Daily sales – determine which days were most successful so you can better anticipate staffing and inventory needs; it can also help predict the best dates for future activations

  • Visitor sales – by measuring both total dollars spent and average total items, you will better understand your customers and their purchasing habits

  • Product sales – to see which products sold and which gathered dust; this metric can also help guide your store design since you will better understand which items to display prominently

  • Sales per square foot – this can help you anticipate whether your next activation needs a bigger, smaller, or similar size venue

  • Foot traffic – an evaluation of how many people were in the store at any given time

  • Employee sales – to measure the productivity of your sales personnel, the more successful employees can also guide future training practices

Non-Objective Measures

The problem with many of the math-and-money-based objectives is that they lack nuance. Sure, an ROI calculation tells you exactly how money was earned from a pop up, but do you understand how many of those visitors are likely to generate repeat business for your brand?

Non-objective measurements help you understand the relationship that consumers have with your brand. Some examples include:

Customer Satisfaction – Through responses to customer surveys, you can get a gauge on how customers feel about a wide range of a pop up’s experiences, such as customer service, product quality, ease of navigating the venue, ease of locating the venue, brand impressions, and more. By tallying the total survey scores and dividing that number by the total, you will determine a sum for each feature.

Customer Journey – This metric helps you better understand your brand from a customer’s point of view. How are customers learning about your brand? Where are the significant touchpoints on the path to purchase? Where are the likeliest roadblocks, and how can these be better navigated? To fully comprehend the customer journey, you and some employees should personally audit the journey. Customer surveys will also help to shine a light on this process.

Brand Advocacy – Converting customers into brand advocates is the gold medal of retail. Not only are these customers committed to future purchases, but they also encourage others to buy from you, as well. You can understand how many brand advocates you have (and how many detractors, too) by determining your net promoter score.

To start, ask your pop up visitors a question that can be answered on a scale from 0 to 10, such as, “How likely are you to recommend (your brand’s products, services, or pop up experience) to a friend?” An answer of:

  • 9-10 = Promoter, someone who supports your brand and encourages others to do so, too

  • 7-8 = Passive, someone who is content but unenthusiastic

  • 0-6 = Detractor, someone who is likely to damage your brand through negative word of mouth.

Next, subtract the percentage of 9 and 10 responses from the percentage of 0 through 6 answers. The passive 7 and 8 responses are ignored.

For example, you received 100 responses, and 65 were promoters, 10 were passive, and 15 were detractors. Subtract 65 percent from 15 percent, which would give you a net promoter score of 50.  

65 percent – 15 percent = 50 NPS

That score shows that you have 50 percent more promoters than detractors.

If those results were reversed, you would subtract 15 percent from 65 percent, resulting in a net promoter score of -50, which means you have more detractors than promoters.

Any score higher than zero is positive because it shows that you have more promoters than detractors. A Net Promoter Score of 50 or more suggests your pop up performed extremely well, and a score of 70 or more is considered to be exceptional.

Pop ups engage consumers and can be an essential component of any brand’s marketing strategy. Finding the best measurements for your brand will help ensure these activations return superior results – for you and your visitors.