Pop-up retail has evolved from fad to enduring trend, temporary stores used to support a launch, event or campaign.  And Facebook is a great venue for pop-up retail – low set-up costs, word-of-mouth powered, and a captive audience.

So early April Chanel pre-launched Rouge Coco Shine on Facebook via a pop-up f-store, giving Chanel’s Facebook fans the exclusive chance to be the first to buy one of the 18 shades of the new hydrating sheer lip-shine for $32 before it made its nationwide debut.  This is smart ‘fan-first marketing‘ that gets products into the right hands (fans) at the right time (first) in order to turn fans into active advocates.  Kudos Chanel.

A second smart aspect of the social commerce campaign was that the Chanel pop-up f-store appeared as both a very slick store app on Chanel’s Facebook page and as a ‘wall-store’ in fans’ news-feeds, allowing fans to buy directly from their wall. Apart from convenience, wall stores have the advantage of being shareable across news-feeds – thus taking word of mouth marketing to a new level.  Double-Kudos.

But where Chanel’s pop-up Facebook retail event somewhat fell apart for us was in that Chanel excluded everyone with a mobile Apple device from participating in this buzzworthy, time-limited event.  Why? Because Chanel’s f-store was built with Adobe Flash and the market-leading iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch do not support this ‘pretty but silly’ ‘legacy’ technology (for a number (6) of reasons).  With an increasing and soon to be majority of online access coming from mobile devices, excluding the market leader from pop-up Facebook retail is odd (UPDATE as Brian from Fluid points out in the comments below, current Facebook restrictions mean the wall-store has to be in Flash right now – but not for the tab store).

Flash is pretty, and indeed the Chanel f-store was one of the prettiest we’ve seen, no doubt seducing the owner of the budget it came from.

But was this social commerce campaign a case of form over function?

Sweet, I can buy from the wall…

Not so sweet, it’s Flash…

…Or at least they make you really work for it, if you want it – back to the laptop

For those than can use the f-store, it’s a gold-standard experience (note the VeriSign symbol)