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Beginner’s Guide to Effectively Use Point of Purchase Displays

Implementing an effective product marketing strategy within a retail store can have a profound impact on sales. There is a reason why supermarkets and other retail businesses choose to use in-store displays to promote products, and it shows in their bottom line. While applying in-store marketing can increase product sales, it is important to understand what the different types are and how these displays work in driving sales so that you can apply them effectively to your business.

What is Point of Purchase Marketing?

Point of purchase (POP) marketing is a way of promoting products in a brick-and-mortar store using displays placed in the general vicinity where the purchase is made. Generally, this means any type of banner or display that is situated before or in the checkout aisle but can also include displays where the product is found within the store.

What is Point of Sale Marketing?

Point of sale (POS) marketing is a similar product display tactic that refers to promotional items placed at the exact site where the products are scanned and paid for. Although POP and POS can be considered one and the same, a few details cause the distinction.

What Is the Difference Between POP and POS?

The point of purchase area is usually bigger than that reserved for POS items. This means that the types of goods and banners that can be placed before and within the checkout lane as well as at the aisle where the product is found are different than the ones at the register itself. Another distinction is that the customer is at a slightly different point in their purchasing experience when they are standing in the aisle than when at the register. When they are in the product’s aisle or in the checkout line, customers have more time to peruse POP items, whereas a point of sale display may tap into the person’s sense of urgency since they are interacting with the cashier and have less time.

Benefits of POP Marketing

Point of purchase displays is ideal for harnessing the power of the impulse purchase. For certain types of products, POP displays can be more effective than advertising or other marketing efforts. They are also very flexible and can be adjusted to take advantage of customers’ shopping patterns that result from measurable and observable behaviors. Other than an increase in sales for products featured in POP displays, keep the following additional benefits in mind when creating a campaign:

Grab Attention

An eye-catching display gives customers something to pass the time as they await their turn at the checkout lane. You can use a point of purchase display to grab a customer’s attention while answering any questions they may have about the product.


Since the displayed product is at the center stage, you can use this opportunity to inform the consumer about benefits and interesting facts. This will further encourage people to pick up the product on the spot.

Direct Focus

An effective POP display will make a product stand out. Directing customers’ focus to a specific product can have the benefit of indirectly bringing attention to related products that are placed around the main display, further boosting overall sales for the business.


Some of the products you choose to place in a point of purchase display will also be present in other parts of the store. Point of purchase displays can be used in conjunction with shelf displays to further build a brand in the minds of customers. Creative displays at both checkout lane and store aisle locations can pique consumers’ interest through the use of lighting and appealing design.

Marketing Cohesion

When creating a point of a purchase display campaign, the message and imagery you employ will have a common thread that reinforces the product in the mind of your customer. This takes advantage of people’s need for consistency, a principle reinforced by psychology which states that people respond to brands that have consistency and regularity in their presentation. Cohesion in your point of purchase marketing will only strengthen customers’ perception of the product.

Types of POP Displays

There are three main types of POP displays which are classified based on how long they will be utilized and the material from which they are constructed. Depending on the product, a display may be necessary for a limited amount of time due to seasonality or because of a limited-time offer. Conversely, the display may remain in place longer for products that you want to promote in a lengthier timeframe.

Temporary POP Displays

Temporary displays are usually designed for short-term promotions. The timeframe may range from a few weeks to a couple of months. This type of POP display is best for seasonal goods or for products that business owners are trying to add to their store but are not certain whether to include yet on a permanent basis. Temporary POP displays are made from cheap materials, making them ideal for experimentation or for storage for seasonal use.

Semi-Permanent POP Displays

A Semi-Permanent POP display is intended to last from just over a couple of months to about a year. The materials that these displays are made of are more durable and may be designed to hold more than one product from the same company. A semi-permanent display costs more than a temporary one but is still a cheaper option than a permanent display.

Permanent POP Displays

Permanent POP displays, as the name suggests, are intended to last several years. This type of display has the highest initial outlay and maintenance costs associated with it but can yield a high return on investment if designed and implemented properly.

15 Examples of Point of Purchase Displays

The different types of POP displays can be used in conjunction to achieve maximum brand awareness and boost product sales. Starting from the exterior of a store and following the customer’s journey all the way to the cash register, an entire sales funnel can be created with the use of point of purchase displays. Let’s look at 15 examples that business owners can choose from when designing their product promotion strategy.

  1. Window Signage
  2. Custom logo floor mats
  3. Cart advertising
  4. Banners
  5. Shelf displays
  6. Customized doormats
  7. Floor stands
  8. Cash registers
  9. End aisle displays
  10. Trash cans
  11. Lighted signage
  12. Motion displays
  13. Interactive displays
  14. Directories
  15. In-store commercials

Best Practices List for Point of Purchase Displays

  • Appropriate use of color for product
  • Use of eye-catching shapes
  • Concise communication of the message
  • Ease of access to products
  • Focus on user experience
  • Illustrate benefits clearly
  • Display customization depending on product

Stats about POP Marketing

  • Even though e-commerce has exploded in recent years, it is estimated that approximately 85 percent of total purchases worldwide still happen at physical retail stores rather than online.
  • In the United States, the average time spent in grocery stores is 41 minutes, whereas the average time spent in a mall is at 84 minutes, giving store owners a timeframe on which they can base their POP display’s user experience.
  • 61 percent of consumers polled say that finding what they want quickly is a key factor of a positive shopping experience for them, making POP displays important in facilitating this.
  • Studies show that customers respond favorably to in-store displays, and 68 percent of customers do not have a problem switching to a different brand, while only 5 percent exhibit brand loyalty.
  • Following the previous statistic, approximately half of consumers are very likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t take the time to anticipate their needs.
  • 75 percent of customers expect a consistent experience when engaging with a brand.
  • In big retail stores, 74 percent of all purchases are not planned in advance, reinforcing the idea that POP displays can affect impulse buying.
  • 70 percent of grocery store purchases can be attributed to decisions made in-store, with 68 percent of these purchases being impulse buys.
  • Customers will notice a product’s packaging before noticing the price at a rate of 5 to 6 seconds earlier depending on the product and the display, giving store owners a prime opportunity to encourage sales.

The Future of Point of Purchase Marketing

The increased popularity of e-commerce in recent years is forcing brick-and-mortar retailers to adapt in order to survive in the new business paradigm that is evolving. The use of POP displays is playing an instrumental role in attracting customers’ attention and generating sales and will continue to do so as a point of purchase marketing finds new ways to meet consumer needs.

Increase in the Use of Augmented Reality

Augmented reality gained widespread popularity with the advent of mobile games that saw millions of users across the globe become familiar with the technology. This new way of adding additional layers of content to the point of purchase display is expected to grow and further complement the selling efforts of retail store owners. It is expected that augmented reality will play a bigger role in informing consumers about products in the coming years. An entire ecosystem of tools on customers’ mobile phones will create a companion that transforms POP displays into an essential aspect of the shopping experience.

Increased Convenience

Retail store owners can become more appealing to customers over e-commerce businesses by increasing the convenience offered over their online counterparts. Point of purchase displays can play a big role in offering customers a more personalized and tactile experience than buying online. Marketing efforts such as the “buy online, pick up in-store” promotions that stores are offering their consumers are seeing a rise in popularity in several different markets. With in-store displays becoming more and more sophisticated with the use of interactive monitors and augmented reality, POS promotions are evolving to create a more personalized experience centered around convenience.

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