How To Grow Your Pop Up Retail and Food Service Business Customer By Customer


Communicating with every customer who visits your physical store and eCommerce site is damn hard, and every retail business owner knows this. At GoGoGuest, we make it super easy for pop up retailers, food service craft brands establish a meaningful relationship customer by customer.

Running a store venue and an eCommerce site as a pop up retailer or a food service business is not an easy task. Curating the best products that you’d like your audience to experience comes first. Often, customer marketing becomes part of a long to do list instead of a source for learning more about what your customers want and a path to grow your business. 

At GoGoGuest, we understand the daily grind of running a brick and mortar and eCommerce retail business. This post highlights  what we learned when implementing  our WiFi Service with Customer Marketing at over 100 retail businesses across the United States. The end result: meaningful, timely engagement customer by customer with high open rates ranging from 42% to 38.01% and 6.8% to 4.10% click-through-rates.  According to HubSpot the average open rate for the retail and hospitality industry is 40% .

The Architecture Of A Message

When our customers request for our help with their customer marketing campaigns on the GoGoGuest platform before diving in and creating campaigns, we take a quick look at the customer data from our WiFi Service and other digital touch points integrated with our system to answer the following questions:

  • Who’s the Recipient – Who are you talking to? First time customers? Repeat customers? Are they locals? Out-of-town guests? How long did they stay in your physical store? One of the most frequent segments we run for our food service business customers is called the Frequent Visitor segment. With this information, we’re able to automate carefully crafted rewards that encourages that customer to keep on coming back. 
  • What are we communicating – Is there anything new that you have not shared with them before? Is this a reminder about a new product?
  • What is the next step  – What do you want them to do after they’ve read your message?
  • What is the right voice – How are you going to say it to them? Is it a light hearted message, or a sober serious tone?
  • When is the right time – When will you say it? Is it right now? Is it 3 days before their birthday? Should we remind them about their free latte on their 8th visit? Do you want to hit them during work hours? Would you rather they were idly browsing on a Sunday?
  • How consistently will we send it? – Is this a message that is part of a bigger campaign? Or is it a one-time message?
  • What is the best medium – Where will you say it? On display while they are in the physical store? After their visit at your venue or your eCommerce store front? Do you want them to download an app first before they see the message?

GoGoGuest dynamic customer segmentation helps retailers hyper-target their campaigns and offers.

The Importance of Segmentation and Automation 

Let’s face it, the more you know a person, it is possible to surprise them with things that they’ll love and appreciate. Like friendships, nurturing your best customers into ambassadors for your business takes time. You can’t expect a customer to walk in once and then immediately become your BFF.

Segmentation takes away the guess work in your customer marketing up to the send time. This means, if a customer who visited your location in Nashville, is based in the New York City, that means emails will arrive in the inbox at the optimized time calculated across multiple campaigns and businesses. It could also mean that a business who wishes to send an offer to local customers can exclude anyone outside of a specific city or zip code. Segmentation also means higher performing messages.

I took the liberty to pull some examples from customer marketing messages that arrive in my own personal inbox.

Salt & Straw Ice Cream

I love Salt & Straw Ice Cream. It is one of my favorite local neighborhood ice cream experiences. I first discovered the brand when I was in Downtown Los Angeles last spring. Since then, I’ve traveled to their Santa Monica, Portland and San Francisco locations. Take a close look at the message — free delivery alert, focused on the L.A. market. I received this message while snowboarding in Whistler, Canada. For a multi-location unit retailer or franchise system this is a lost opportunity to drive new business from one location to the other, and ultimately their eCommerce site. Failure to segment your customer list and crafting your message for each of those segments is a lost opportunity for any growing retailer – physical or online. With consumers traveling more than ever, you need to know how, when and where to reach them.

When a marketing message fails to connect with your audience.

Neiman Marcus

When in San Francisco, my go to shopping spot is Neiman Marcus. They have a great collection of designers, the price is decent and you have a wide range of options. Each season, I’ll receive these random offers like the one below, sent by one of their wonderful sales floor associates. Being someone who worked part-time at Bloomingdales while supporting my way through school in Chicago, I get the drill. At the beginning of each season, corporate retail asks their associates to send out offers to their best customers. For starters, at least let me know what I am invited to. Since am a loyal customer albeit I didn’t sign up for the rewards card, perhaps Neiman should let me know about my favorite brands based on my previous shopping history.

When customers do not know what you’re trying to say…


I stumbled upon Sosta, a fast casual healthy brand based out of New York City. Besides an awesome experience in the physical store and the food, their digital experience is ahead of the curve compared to many brands out there. Here’s why:

  • The brand is emulated throughout the physical store experience down to the paper coasters.
  • The menu, food packaging and flavors was as promised – simple, fast and delicious.
  • The digital experience, from connecting to the WiFi, the first message and the follow up messages were quite compelling because of timing and content.

When a brand cares. A message a few days after my first visit. When there are so many options in a place like New York City, staying top of mind is key.

An Intro To Customer Journeys Or Marketing Automation

Data and key insights driven automation is magical. We’re mad about actionable customer data here at GoGoGuest. Underneath the hood, there is a boatload of data streams flowing from multiple digital sources, including from your physical store to eCommerce and back.

Some questions that we answer with customer data before running campaigns:

  • What area in the store has high convergence traffic?
  • What was the most popular device in each store?
  • What content were customer downloading and uploading
  • What did they purchase? Did they buy in-store? Did they buy online?
  • What was the first customer touch point? In-store or online?
  • How often do they visit in-store and online?
  • How much have they spent in product X?

How actionable data applies to your growing your business:

  • It helps a brick and mortar determine the best area for product placement when trying to up-sell a customer or introducing a new product.
  • Knowing upstream and downstream data when customers  are gathered in your store is a smart way to decide on where you put your digital marketing Dollars. Should you really advertise on Facebook or Instagram when it is the #10 or 11 app in your in-store browsing data? Should you advertise with Snapchat or Spotify when it is the #1 and #2 most used app?
  • Knowing the time of day a person makes a purchase and how much they spend at each purchase point is a good way for a business to craft a reward for that customer or group of customers.
  • Knowing where a person is helps a business determine which marketing campaigns to send to that customer. It is so easy to send the same, generic email newsletter to a customer even when it is clear that your audience is a mix of local and tourist customers.

Today’s consumer is liberal with whom and how they share their data. With permission, retail, food and beverage service businesses, hospitality and any level of business organization is expected to make an effort to personalize and craft their message based on their profile


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