Discover why Depop creators are breaking into the world of physical retail using pop-up spaces like Sook.
Branching out, and taking your up-til-now online business offline is the flavour of the month, and more and more retailers are seeing the value in being able to connect with their audience in real life.
Why are so many Depop creators opening pop-ups now?
In short, the time is right. Depop is selling what people want, and research is showing that people’s appetite for returning to the high street, particularly for clothes shopping, is increasing.
Depop is a unique marketplace, in that it has allowed its sellers - or Creators - to amass significant followings through the social aspect of the platform. Creators such as Celiapops and the world #1 seller, Remass, manage their own accounts and profiles, and many model their own clothes. The leap from creator to influencer is a short one, with creators encouraged to promote, promote, promote on Instagram. and Depop’s community-centred model appeals like nothing else to Gen Z.
And why not, with a mission like “building a community-powered fashion ecosystem that’s kinder on the planet and kinder to people.”? BOOM, Depop. Yes please! The platform prioritizes and makes-cool the sale of used clothing - or vintage, please - tapping into our love for what’s gone before, our yearning for a circular wardrobe. Depop has also benefited not only from the growth and strengthening of social media communities interested in secondhand fashion, but also those to whom climate change is important.
Real-life connection with their highly-engaged community is the next step. You’ve got what they want, why not remove a step to putting it in their hands?
Why it’s all about the pop-ups
Depoppers like Remass know that nothing boosts your biz like physical space. Let’s look at why…
Experience is everything
Maya Angelou put it best when she said “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Giving people the brand-led chills is tricky if you’re relying on online only, and the queues round the block when a Depop creator occupies one of our Sook spaces is testament to this.
Offline is great for discovery
If you know what you want, you look online. If you don’t, you look in the real world. Physical space is great for introducing people to something new, whether that’s a product, an activity, or ideas. Of course, when it comes to vintage clothing, which is so very often a one-off you also give people the opportunity to find a piece with a story…and what’s more satisfying? Bagging the ‘last in stock’ in your online cart, or running your hand over rails and picking out something exquisite that no-one else in the world has got?*
*Ok, admittedly both satisfying.
Take control over how people see you
The internet has been a game-changer for business, and social media is useful for getting yourself and your vibe out there, but while it can feel authentic, you don’t always have a say over how it’s perceived, or what goes on in the comments. Your online activity can sometimes take on a life of its own, whereas, in a physical space, you are the mistress of the universe for 8 glorious hours. Nothing goes on without your say-so. The music you play, the way your staff behaves…everything builds a more complete picture that reflects your brand values and adds an accurate, human side that it’s tough to turn away from.
It's a brilliant way to create a community
Bringing people together physically around shared interests shifts you away from being a cold online entity, and into a role of active participant in your chosen movement. Depop’s appeal is that its marketplace is so intertwined with social media, so it’s a natural step for them to take, er, steps to build that community more. There is a certain level of connection that you can only get with people face-to-face, and post-pandemic, it’s even more important.
It’s do-able now
New platforms like Depop need like-minded people who can enable them and their creators. Payment service providers, like Stripe, have caught up with the new way of doing things, making it quick, flexible, and intuitive to get onboard, for instance. And until recently, traditional retail models have kept experimental up-and-comers away from our high street, through the prohibitive costs that come with the required long leases. Thankfully this is changing too, with flexible space providers, like Sook, making it possible for people like Depop creators, Studio 88, to take coms chances with their brand.