virtual pop up shop

Mastering the Virtual Frontier: 8 Remarkable Examples of Successful Pop-Up Shops


Pop-up shops are intended to reach and engage customers through a creative experience.

Building a pop-up shop is far less expensive than opening a long-term physical store. It’s often used to test a new concept, create excitement around a holiday, raise brand recognition, or as a part of the digital transformation of your retail store.

A virtual pop-up shop (or virtual pop-up store) may be the perfect answer for an online retailer looking to develop a tangible connection with their consumers, a traditional store looking to test an online presence, or emerging brands looking to generate buzz.

In this post, we’ll look at some successful pop-up shops and see how you can get your business into this emerging pop-up concept.

What Is a Pop-up Shop?

Pop-up shops are retail establishments that are only open for a short period. After a few days, weeks, or months, they vanish (although some are so successful that they become permanent physical stores.)

While most people associate pop-up shops with actual businesses, virtual pop-up shops are becoming increasingly popular.

Physical pop-up shops

Physical pop-up shops are a great way for e-commerce businesses to try a physical site before committing to a permanent presence. They can get an idea of the kind of foot traffic they can bring and if they can sell products to match or exceed their online sales.

Pop-up stores are a one-time commitment that allows companies to be flexible and focus on providing a one-of-a-kind experience.

For example, to attract customers during the holiday season, a successful e-commerce business may open a physical pop-up shop from October to December instead of having a permanent physical store.

Virtual pop-up shops

With the rise of the digital age, pop-up shop venues are no longer restricted to shopping malls, farmers’ markets, or physical spaces.

Although virtual pop-up shops aren’t as well-known as their physical counterparts, they’re still a fantastic opportunity. These pop-up shops can take the shape of a website or even a live-streamed event on social media.

A virtual pop-up shop may help traditional brick-and-mortar businesses get their feet wet in e-commerce, but they’re also beneficial for current e-commerce firms.

Unlike your main website, which serves as a catch-all for various individuals with a diverse selection of items, your virtual pop-up shop can be more targeted.

This narrow emphasis allows you to appeal to a certain target audience and provide a more limited, and thus exclusive, selection of items. For example, a retail store with a well-known purse brand may offer a virtual pop-up shop dedicated just to purses.

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8 Examples of Virtual Pop-up Shops

Pop-up stores are a great idea for today’s fast-moving world. For you to get a better idea about pop-up shops, here are a few examples that will help you get a better idea. 

1. Lancôme

One particular thing the digital age has done for society is to make everything and anything accessible at all times. It has also changed a lot of our consumer habits which the cosmetics brand Lancôme took advantage of in 2021.

From their collaboration with ByondXR they created 3D models of their in-store layouts to provide customers with a 360-degree shopping experience for Australian, German, Japanese, and Korean customers.

This immersive virtual pop-up shop experience allowed customers to not only shop online but also interact with skin care professionals.

2. BarkShop Live

BarkShop Live is a pop-up shop from, an online subscription box, and a pet gift store.

Visiting dogs wore tech-enabled vests that recorded their movements, and an app offered information on each pet’s preferred toys as well as instructions on how consumers could buy and mail goods straight to their homes.

By using the pop-up shop as a testing ground, BarkShop was able to gather a lot of information about its items. Using the experiential marketing trend, the event also functioned as research for potential growth into brick-and-mortar retail.

3. Dunkin’ Donuts

Did you know that you could buy Dunkin’ Donuts merchandise?

In 2019, arguably the most famous donuts store opened its first online pop-up shop during the holiday season to sell all kinds of branded merchandise.

Holiday shoppers could buy Dunkin’ onesies, Dunkin’ peppermint scented wrapping paper, and even Dunkin’ electrical guitars.

The ‘what was supposed to be a temporary online store’ did so well, that the virtual pop-up shop still exists today.

4. WeBC

Why not create a virtual pop-up shop with a purpose?

WeBC is a non-profit organization that invests in women entrepreneurs in British Columbia, Canada. During the holiday season 2021, they opened up a temporary pop-up shop to showcase products from over 550 women-owned businesses in the BC province for one and a half months.

These small businesses (with some not having any online presence) had the chance to sell beyond their permanent location and drive sales.

5. Storefront

Similarly to Lancôme, Storefront created a 3D, 360-degree virtual pop-up shop to offer customers a fully digital and immersive shopping experience.

The leasing company collaborated with Obsess, the virtual reality shopping platform, to offer online shopping space to physical stores looking to start online stores.


Like many other businesses that decide to launch a pop-up shop, HOOVER developed an online store for the holiday season to offer exclusive deals and promotions.

The company’s idea to launch an online pop-up shop during this time came from the fact that most consumers no longer have the time to make their way to shopping malls or permanent stores anymore.

hoover pop up store

The company catered its products to modern consumer habits of shopping online rather than in person.

7. WBEZ91.5

It’s common for NPR stations to give out free merchandising on their shows, but WBEZ 91.5 in Chicago launched their virtual pop-up shop as a temporary retail space for online shoppers.

They sold branded clothing and water bottles along with other seasonal gifts.

8. UGA

Who said universities can’t have a pop-up launch?

The University of Georgia offers coursework to its business students to set up biannual mobile retail carts and an online pop-up shop.

Students work with small local businesses to showcase their products online on top of their usual physical stores.

For example, Couture a la Cart is a student-led online pop-up shop that gives readers insight into when the mobile retail store will stop in their town.

How to Create a Virtual Pop-up Shop

Perhaps you could announce it on Instagram or send an email invitation to your followers. After you’ve notified your audience about the event, you may build up some enthusiasm by sending out reminders every few days.

You must publicize the event, select the day and time, and generate excitement.

Unlike a traditional pop-up shop, you’ll need to consider how to showcase your items electronically effectively. Setting up a background and establishing a setup with the items behind you is encouraged. This way, you can simply contact them to discuss particular goods in further depth.

Take into account the audience’s journey. Consider the intro (virtual pop-ups are unusual, so let your audience know how they’ll operate) and how you’ll draw them in. After then, it’s time for the main event!

Give your brand some personality and allow your audience to get to know you. Be entertaining, but let the audience know how they may participate, such as when to participate and sit back and observe. Demonstrate your knowledge and sell those items!

Finally, will there be a Q&A session after your sign-off, and how will you guide them to the items afterward?

Because you’re hosting this event in conjunction with your online store and creating a temporary phygital experience, it’s critical that the items from the pop-up remain accessible and for sale afterward.

A separate Pop-Up page on your website or in your Linktree is a good idea. This way, instead of trawling through your entire website, your audience may go right to a product they’ve been eyeing.

Ready to Start Your Own Virtual Pop-up Shop?

Pop-up stores aren’t a fleeting fad. They’re a tried-and-true retail concept that can boost brand exposure, customer connections, and sales.

However, to reap all of these benefits, you’ll need a strong strategy and the ability to put it into action in a way that genuinely “pops.”

Begin by creating a compelling vision for your shop, allocating the required resources, and finding a location that supports your goal. And, to make your efforts a success, advertise your shop to new and existing customers, and devise creative methods to make their visit worthwhile.


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