Create Point of Purchase Displays that Encourage Conversion

A point-of-purchase (POP) display is what the marketing world calls material or advertising placed next to merchandise that it promotes. Such items are generally located in the checkout area or other location where the consumer is actually making a purchase decision and has become a staple strategy for manufacturers.

Most vendors will provide for free use in retail stores some sort of POP material. This material highlights the specific product and attempts to draw the customers' attention, which is essential in a retail store environment filled with similar merchandise. 


Types of POP Displays

POP displays can be a simple sign like a sticker stuck to the end of the shelf to draw attention as the customer walks down the aisle of a grocery store. POP displays can also be an elaborate, free-standing display carton with the vendor’s branding on it and only that vendor’s merchandise on display inside. A vendor shop is the most elaborate type of POP. A vendor shop follows the "store within a store" model. The vendor places the branded display in an area of the retail store that sets its products apart from others.

Regardless of whether it is simple or elaborate, the heart of an effective POP is signage. A number of studies have found that sales of items with signs are regularly higher than sales of products without signs. This is true even if the merchandise with signage is regularly priced and the merchandise without signage is marked with sales or clearances prices.

Signs can be displayed in a number of ways. Some are hanging displays and posters while others might be mounted on store shelves. Signs are an excellent way to draw attention to a new product, one that is on sale, and seasonal items. They are silent sales people doing their job from open to close which is helpful considering that more than half of retail purchases are not decided until a customer is shopping in a store.


Where to Position Your Point of Purchase Display

POP displays were originally located only at the check out locations of stores, near the cash registers. We still see that strategy used, often in an expanded manner. Retailers have started placing small, inexpensive items not only on sales counters but also in shelves that run along the paths designed for customers to wind their way to the registers. What better way to spend your time in a queue than doing more shopping?

This sort of POP strategy works because customers who have already decided to buy something are more likely to purchase additional products if the price is low enough to entice them. These add on items that are relevant to the needs and interests of your typical customers can trigger impulse purchases and allow customers to easily justify a “little” purchase. These POP displays keep customers engaged and help to maintain consumers’ decision to buy a product, reducing the chance they will walk out without making the purchase because of a long line at the register.

In addition to displays near the checkout counter, retailers and manufacturers have started placing POP displays throughout their stores. Stores are using creating strategies to place their POP displays near relevant items that might be purchased with the product being marketed. Manufacturers are also locating eye-catching POP displays in and amongst their competitors’ products with the goal of their POP display helping the item to stand out in the crowd. Tech-savvy retailers are even using geo-location options to push out digital versions to customers’ smartphones as they browse through the store.


Design Tips

POP displays are all about standing out in the crowded floors of a retail environment. They are meant to be eye-catching temptations that encourage consumers to stop their stroll through the store to learn more about the product on display. Next, we’ll cover some design tips that can help POP displays be as effective as possible in turning a casual consumer into a customer.


1. Bold to Demand Consumers’ Attention

Bold, bright designs attract customers’ gaze. Use large fonts that match your product theme that are easy to read from a distance. Choose bright, contrasting colors that can’t be overlooked. These choices will make sure your display stands out from your competitors’ merchandising efforts.

2. Feature Benefits of the Item

State directly the benefits customers will receive from purchasing your product. This strategy helps to create a desire for an item. Include a call to action to encourage consumers to buy NOW and create an immediate sale.

3. Value Added Proposition

Instead of offering just the display item, include a coupon that can be used either immediately or on a future purchase of the same product. If there are other, relevant products in the store that complement your product, include a coupon for those items. If you have the potential for strong upsells with relevant products, considering placing them directly next to or even in the display.


4. Show Products in Use

Visuals can help create consumer desire for a product. Include in your POP display images of other (happy, of course) consumers using your product. Models who project the image of your customer base will be most effective. You can also include illustrations of “how to” in order to show customers how they might use your product.

5. Add Descriptive Language

If you are offering multiple product types in your POP display, use descriptive language to personalize the presentation and appeal to subgroups within your target audience. Subtle differences in copy can be a powerful strategy to motivate consumers to buy. If you are displaying animal collars, use phrases like “dog lovers” or “kitty parents” to help customers identify personally with your products. The more personalized your point of sale marketing is, the more effective it will be.

6. Offer Takeaway Material

Sometimes, customers want to know more about a product before they decide to make a purchase. If your product is one of those that has a lot of detail and might require some thought, have available on your display printed brochures or flyers for consumers to take with them. This strategy not only provides the “thinker” consumer with the information he needs to make a purchasing decision, but it also provides a channel for sharing your product info with others.

7. Create an Interactive Display

With the advances in technology, there are a number of ways in which you can create an interactive POP display. You can add a video on top of your display to attract attention and provide more information about your product and your brand. You can add an interactive touch screen that leads consumers through a quiz or “did you know” sort of presentation. QR codes on your display can lead customers to an informational video if the display itself won’t support a video option.


Brick and mortar retailers need to work hard to compete with their online competition. Powerful POP displays are an excellent way to help products stand out and encourage consumers to make a purchase of the display item. The more creative the design and placement of the display, the more success you will find with this marketing strategy. 

The design team at Strategy Driven Marketing has experience working with brands of all sizes and across a number of industries. Whether you are looking for an amazing POP display or have other marketing needs, SDM is ready to deep dive into your business and help you grow to the next level. Contact us today to get started!

Cover photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels