So retail giant Tesco has opened a new pop-up Facebook store for Halloween, not dissimilar to this season’s pop-up Facebook Halloween store from Target. There’s no call-a-friend polling feature allowing users to poll friends about which costume to wear, but the Zibaba-powered Spooky Halloween Shop on offers Tesco fans a VIP 20% discount on their ghoul-gear.
So we’re beginning to see a bit of a pattern here – the use of Facebook as a platform for online pop-up retail – temporary stores offering Facebook fans VIP pricing or fan-first access to promote a retail event, and well as product-launches and marketing campaigns.
As we’ve argued before, Facebook is an ideal channel for doing this kind of online pop-up retail – word of mouth-powered, and quick and easy to deploy. There’s real value – in terms of sale-acceleration – by driving loyalty and advocacy among Facebook fans with fan-first exclusives in a pop-up fan-store.
And Tesco has taken the quick and easy route to pop-up retail in Facebook with its Spooky Halloween Pop-Up Shop; it’s simply a simple storefront with a VIP fan-code for discounts linked through to Tesco’s main e-commerce site.
What’s good about the Tesco solution is that it embodies the LEAN spirit of pop-up retail. Just as physical pop-up stores require a just single hex-key to set up, all the Tesco pop-up Facebook fan-store requires is a storefront app from an increasing number of providers (Zibaba, TabJuice, Payvment). No logistics, inventory issues or payment gateways to worry about. The only thin to note is that these storefront-only pop-up fan-stores can create friction – by obliging fans to leave Facebook to pay. Imagine if pop-up retail kings Adidas allowed you to see new gear in a temporary pop-store in some hip area of the city, but then made you track over the main store to pay. Not cool. The second disadvantage is that pop-up storefront software is typically self-serve, and user-confoguration may not results in an appearance and experience that is as polished as your e-commerce site. Unless you can create a Facebook pop-up fan-store that looks as good as that from Gilt, we’d recommend trying again.
But do it right, and a Tesco-type approach to pop-up retail in Facebook is a simple, highly cost-effective and smart solution.