Mobile’s increase in accessibility in recent years has provided a platform for brands to utilize UGC through brand activation initiatives such as pop-up shops. Because so many people constantly carry their mobile devices, they are able to use them to instantly share content via social media platforms. It is mobile technology that allows the capture of a moment in a photograph or video, often strategically curated by brands themselves.
Though some may argue that the rise of e-commerce is killing brick-and-mortar stores, the truth is that it’s simply introduced a path for disruption for physical retailers. Digital innovations have urged brands to decrease the size of their store’s footprint, and create an experiential version that serves as a brand activation. Pop-up shops are a good example of this type of initiative; they create a “phygital” space (physical + digital) with selfie-ready backdrops and photo-ops that consumers can easily participate in and share. This type of brand interaction would not be possible without mobile, and the user generated content that it inspires is invaluable.
Because millennials are less concerned with buying things, and more with creating experiences, brands are creating those experiences for them, which they’ll inevitably share via their mobile devices. An example of this is Canon and their immersive pop-up that allowed consumers to learn how to properly take a photo, which they could then post on social media (1). E-commerce beauty brands have seen a lot of success in utilizing experiential shops to build loyalty and brand awareness, such as KKW Beauty. They created larger-than-life versions of the products, and provided in-stores makeup consultations. When brands create a space that is designed to be shared, users will tap into their mobile devices to do just that, ensuring that their name is on your newsfeed and at the top of consumers’ minds.