How to... Merchandise your pop-up

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Discover Sook's must-read advice on how to merchandise and make your pop-up space look tip-top (and how it can draw in your customers).

You’ve done it! You’ve booked your Sook and you’re ready to bring your business into the real world. 

But when it comes to setting up shop, a blank canvas is both exciting and daunting. What to put where. How to arrange your products so they look appealing. How to draw people in. Luckily, Sook spaces are not only super customisable so you can get it looking exactly the way you want it, but the team are also here with handy advice on how to merchandise your Sook effectively and make the most of your booking. 

What is merchandising?

Merchandising and ecommerce platform, Reflektion says:“Merchandising is the practice and process of displaying and selling products to customers. Whether digital or in-store, retailers use merchandising to influence customer intent and reach their sales goals.”

Today we're focusing on Visual Merchandising, which refers to the display techniques used to highlight the appearance and benefits of your products or services. This includes the arrangement of your products, of course, but also deals with lighting, the colour palette you go for in your branding or displays, and even your furniture layout.

Normally, how you go about visually merchandising a space depends on several factors: what sector you’re in; how much space you’ve got; the facilities available to you; and the time and money you have to spend on it. With Sook, everything you need is included in the cost of your booking, so that takes some of the guesswork out of the equation, but there’s still plenty of flex for you to have fun, and optimise the space to suit you.

So, without further ado, here are four easy ways for you to merchandise your Sook, and make the most of that footfall

1. Make your displays memorable

MIT researchers found out that consumers are much more likely to remember and react to imagery they don’t expect. So, without sacrificing your own branding, given that consistent branding increases revenue by 23%, how can you give them something that will make them stop in their tracks? 


Look at what your competitors are doing. Look at placement, layout and use of colour and imagery. Is there a trend? If there is, can you piggy back, or could you even consider doing the opposite? Brands in the same sector often unintentionally fall into line when it comes to styling, so why not be the one to break the mould?  

Go interactive & leverage social media

Give the customer something to do. For example, how about creatinh a display that they can snap and share to their socials for a discount or entry into a competition? Just like the Marc Jacobs pop-up in NYC, where social shares could be exchanged for tokens that could be used as payment. Or take a leaf out of Nordstrom’s book and highlight items that might have had high engagement on your website or Insta. Joining those dots never looked so good. 

Make the most of every square inch

Use the floor, the ceiling, and every inch of the walls. Handily, Sook’s digital screens are wall-to-wall in most spaces, which allows you near total space domination, but if you’ve got the time and money, check out the recent beauty event at our St James Quarter space…CRAZY good. Of course, they went beyond what Sook provides as standard, but they really embraced the space and nailed it.

2. Get visual

What will your store look like? What will you put on your screens? How will you arrange your products? 


Place products that go together, or products that have a similar look, together. It creates a cohesive look, but also takes some of the decision making away from the customer. If that cleanser is sold right next to the tone that compliments it, then it’s almost too easy to pick both up. 


Capterra suggests using old books, glassware and other items that don’t typically accompany your product to add interest to your displays in an unexpected way. Add plants or lamps to create focal points and give your space depth. 

Create your own ‘visual language’

The way you merchandise can become an important part of your branding. For example, Anthropologie’s displays are inspired by bohemian art, and their in-house team takes great care over placing items at specific angles. The result being, when you walk into an Anthropologie, you couldn’t be anywhere else, with Dirtsa Studio remarking: ”the feeling of Anthropologie is like a warm bowl of oatmeal, the store feels like you're walking into a hug from your kindergarten art teacher."It becomes more than an aesthetic, it becomes a feeling that’s unmistakable, and is a big, valuable part of the shopping experience. 

Experiment with your wall designs

Video is often considered to be king, but the beauty of our screens is that they can make any content look impactful. Sook is fully integrated with Canva, which, if you don’t know already, is a easy-to-use design platform with thousands of exceptional templates, ready to go, or you can upload your imagery or video into it and send it to us. The beauty of such a flexible platform is that you can design it yourself and save multiple options to compare before you confirm. And during your experience, make a note of what’s working/not working for you so you can improve for next time. 

3. Say yes to multi-sensory

A huge trend. If you’ve ever been into a branch of Zara Home, you’ll have noticed their signature scent. Olfactory memory, where a scent evokes a memory, is incredibly powerful, and is intertwined with our emotions. Luxury car brands use the same tactics, often commissioning perfume houses to create a scent just for their showrooms.

Here are some suggestions to amp up the experience for your customers:

Add a diffuser with aromatherapy oils

Citrus and mint oils are invigorating and energising, lavender and chamomile are calming and soothing. Think what mood youre trying to create, then check out Pinterest for oil blend inspo.

Demonstrate your products

Put out samples for people to try or taste, or create a sensory display in itself using raw ingredients, like the Bombay Sapphire Experience that gives background into the product, and lets consumers see, feel and smell the aromatics that go into it…before buying it, of course. 

Offer refreshments

L’occitane often gives out green tea, or infused water to their customers, or even champagne on special occasions. 

4. Get placement right

Entrepreneur tapped into the consumer psyche to learn what aesthetics they like and what drives them away, and…‘It turns out that most customers are ‘righty-shoppers’. That is, when most people walk into a store, they look left, then turn right and follow a horseshoe-pattern around the store.’

With that in mind, design your layout with your most eye-catching display, or your hero products, to the right to make the most of the behaviour. You may not have control over where your display bays are in a normal pop-up, but with Sook you do. There’s a great article here that talks about some common store layouts and what effect they can have.

They also found that customers failed to notice 20% of what was on display, to which they recommend spacing your stock out, with clear spaces in between to draw attention the way you want. Again, something that is easily achievable with the modular furniture system - just make sure you factor layout into your wall designs. 

And that’s it… quite enough to be getting on with! Happy Sooking.

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