pointofpurchasePoint of Purchase (POP) displays are valuable marketing strategies for both manufacturers and retailers. They attract people who are already making purchases. They also have a significant impact on what the consumer buys.

In fact, research shows us that POPs are actually more effective influencers than price promotions. According to a study published by OgilvyAction, 29% of 6,000 people surveyed reported buying from categories they hadn’t planned to when entering the store. Of these people:

  • 24% were influenced by displays
  • 18% were influenced by in-store demonstrations
  • 17% were influenced by price promotions

When it came to convenience stores, the trend was even greater. An impressive 49% of impulse decisions were influenced by displays.

That isn’t to say that any old POP display will drive sales. There is an art to it. Whether you’re giving your display to a retailer or you’re displaying products in your store, you need to do it right.

Generating Interest

There are several reasons that displays fail to capture attention. In some cases, a POP is initially successful and then flops shortly thereafter. Here is what the experts say about making a display interesting:

    • Make it eye-catching. This involves a number of details to consider. Colors should be easily spotted from far away, but also pleasing to the eye. Font needs to be big enough to read from a distance. Text should be kept to a minimum. Showing a picture of the product being used is very persuasive (or the results of the product, like a happy person.) Create color contrast. Dark-colored items should be on the bottom and light at the top.
    • Change the display often. When the costumer sees it too many times in a row, he or she will become blind to it. Rearrange items, switch out the products, and make the displays time-sensitive (e.g. promoting an offer. Price cuts do still affect buying decisions!)
    • Include a call-to-action
    • Watch your lighting. Overhead lighting casts shadows. If possible, light the display from the front.
    • Keep the display stocked and tidy. Bare shelves and messes both turn people off.


Use Prime Locations

Even if your display is eye-catching, your POPs need to be strategically placed where the customers are. Anyone who has been in a checkout line knows this is a popular POP. Know how traffic flows and where people are likely to be.

You can also place your items next to other key products. For example, if you’re displaying Sesame Street walkie-talkies for Christmas, you could display batteries next to them.  In the summer, many grocery stores display chocolate bars, graham crackers, and marshmallows together.

Another piece of advice here: ask your employees for ideas on what to display and where. The people who work the floor are the ones who know what is trending and where people go.

Appeal to Consumers as People

You need to understand your consumer not just by her habits, but also by her motivation. Know your audience’s limits and appeal to their emotions. Ways to accomplish this:

  • Give your consumer an experience. The right words and pictures can tell a story. Is your cereal high in fiber, or does it make you a healthy, happy person? Do your trash bags fight odor, or do they create a clean and pleasant kitchen? Relate to what your customer actually wants from the product.
  • Don’t overwhelm the buyer. Your displays should not be cluttered or stuffed with too many unrelated items. Have you ever tried to find lip balm at a convenience store and not seen it right in front of your face because there was too much to look at?
  • Know what else your customer needs. Help the customer find you on Facebook, get on a mailing list, download coupons, or contact the manufacturer. Use QR codes, tear-offs/booklets with coupons/ideas/recipes/business info, and anything else that supports your consumer without cluttering your display.

By using the right POP strategy, your products will fly off the shelves. In the end, they also cost less for the company than price promotions. Using the two together is also effective, but the POP is the smarter strategy.

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