We no longer support this browser.  Using a supported browser will provide a better experience.

Please update your browser.

Close browser message

Grow your business

How to host a holiday pop-up — in person or online 

Whether you’ve hosted pop-ups before or are interested in trying one, this year brings new opportunities and challenges. Connect with customers safely with these tips and considerations.

Holiday shoppers look different this year. Some are bundling up — and masking up — to go out and support local businesses. Others are aglow in the light of their computer screens as they click gifts off their lists. 

Businesses are looking for new ways to connect with customers safely while boosting sales. Pop-up shops may be the perfect solution.

These limited-time shopping experiences can create excitement and exclusivity. And with the right planning, they can be done in a way that helps you and your customers feel at ease.

Part of pop-up success is a reliable payment system. Whether your business is online or a classic brick-and-mortar, Chase has services and technology to support it.

Chase merchant services

Chase point-of-sale solutions

Online pop-up events

For the past year, people have been staying connected with virtual game nights and happy hours. Did you know the pop-up experience offers many ways for your business to jump on the virtual bandwagon as well?

  • Product drops – Create a sales rush by promoting new products or collections. You can raise awareness and anticipation through social media and online ads and even tease the release with a countdown. Highlight items that are in limited supply or high demand to sway customers to make a purchase before it’s too late.
  • Virtual market and collaboration – Join with other local vendors by co-hosting a website. You can boost each other’s sales with product pairings or gift baskets. For example, a ceramicist who makes mugs could partner with a coffee shop to create a gift set that makes both products more appealing.
  • Pop-up sales – Give customers extra incentive to make their purchase now. Many virtual shopping carts fill up but never reach the checkout. Limited-time sales can inspire people to buy before they leave your site and forget about their abandoned items. To give customers an extra incentive, you can cut prices sitewide on select items or offer free shipping.
  • Rewards – Establish a spending target for customers to aim for. Everyone likes free stuff. If customers can unlock a free gift or reward by spending a certain amount, they’ll be more likely to grab another item for a friend.
  • Experiences – Connect with customers via a virtual event. Give them a peek behind the curtain with a tour of your production space or a Q&A. Another option may be to hold a silent auction while local bands and speakers keep people entertained.
  • Social pop-up – Create a giveaway challenge on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter to encourage people to promote your products by sharing your posts with the hopes of winning one. You could play off the holiday theme with a 12-day giveaway. The prize-a-day structure will entice people to keep checking in and inspire gift ideas, even if they don’t win.
  • Shipping: If you develop a digital shopping experience, remember to consider packaging and shipping costs along with the customer experience.

Send email reminders to customers who leave your site with items in their cart. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, they will appreciate the reminder.

To promote and run a social media campaign, some businesses write and schedule posts ahead of time through an app or website, which can free up time to focus on other tasks. Chase for Business has created some social media templates to help you promote your sale. Download them here.

Creative and safe ways to host a pop-up in person

A successful in-person shopping experience this year is one that puts safety first. You’ll need signage reminding shoppers to stay 6 feet apart and that masks are required. Have free masks and hand sanitizer at the entrance. And be sure to adhere to all state and local COVID-19 guidelines, including maximum capacity of your space.

Here are some ideas to switch up pop-ups in 2020:

  • A pickup pop-up – Set up an online shop, and offer a pickup discount. Whether you have pickups at partnering locations or rent a space where the items await, this contact-free method cuts out shipping and reduces packaging needs. Going green can save you green.
  • Reservations – Ensure safety and create an air of exclusivity by offering customers a chance to reserve private or less crowded times to shop. In addition to products, you’ll provide peace of mind by limiting the number of shoppers allowed at any given time.
  • Window shopping – Create displays of your products in your shop windows. Customers can order at the door or by phone, no entry needed. Then they can walk to a coffee shop or look in another store and come back to pick up their goods. Add gift wrapping for next-level service.
  • Co-op pop-ups – Reach out to fellow business owners and create a joint pop-up that serves as a one-stop shop, where customers can cross multiple items off their lists while also supporting local businesses. Make it even easier to find the perfect presents by collaborating on a gift guide.
  • Outdoor – Open up more space for social distancing with an outdoor setup. Plus, renting a canopy and tables is an affordable option for most businesses.
  • Gallery or event spaces – Get creative with the extra space a gallery or event hall could provide for your pop-up experience. The extra square footage also allows extra distance for customers to feel safe indoors. And the more interesting you make your space, the more likely people will be to promote it for you.

Get the word out

Think about your target market. Reach them with signage in places they’re likely to go. Make sure to reach them online, too.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are now essential marketing tools. Does your neighborhood have a Facebook page? Posting there is a good way to connect with the community.

Use posts and stories to remind followers about your upcoming pop-up experience and to update them on sales and events. Incentivize the sharing of your posts with fun challenges and giveaways. For example, one restaurant pop-up allowed people to pay by posting. Customers posted photos of their food on their social pages, and it paid off for everyone. The restaurant quickly raised awareness and drew in new customers. 

Signage to help you get started

To help you spread the word about your holiday pop-up and keep your employees and customers safe, Chase for Business has created free signage and social templates for your convenience. Download them here  to print or post away.

Finish the year strong with a successful pop-up

A lot has changed this year, but one thing hasn’t: the ingenuity and resolve of local businesses. The right planning, precautions and promotion can boost sales and engagement. Use your pop-up to reach your goals and start the new year right.


For informational/educational purposes only: The views expressed in this article may differ from those of other employees and departments of JPMorgan Chase & Co. Views and strategies described may not be appropriate for everyone and are not intended as specific advice/recommendation for any individual. Information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but JPMorgan Chase & Co. or its affiliates and/or subsidiaries do not warrant its completeness or accuracy. You should carefully consider your needs and objectives before making any decisions and consult the appropriate professional(s). Outlooks and past performance are not guarantees of future results.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. ©2021 JPMorgan Chase & Co.