POS- What is it?

The Definition

The definition of Point of Sale (POS) also known as Point of Purchase is a situation where products and customers both come in to contact. It might be in a product catalogue, in a shop or in a pop up on a computer, whichever it is though, the same rules will apply.

The Explanation

Purchasing decisions of around 30% for supermarket and 26% for mass merchandise are made before consumers have even entered a shop, though location, prices, atmosphere and displays can still aid in influencing shoppers to choose one shop over another.

While most shoppers may believe they are not susceptible to retail forces and advertising, they would be wrong.

If we have a look at those figures in another light, it shows that a whopping 70% of purchasing decisions are not done in advance and this is where the influence of marketers can take hold.

This gives an explanation to how important the influence of POS is in impulse decision making.

A POS display can make all the difference in a retail environment, with free standing displays having the most impact, however they are also the most unpopular as they take up a lot of space, which leaves us with racks and shelf and counter signage.

Within these restraints a POS display will still be required to be creative and eye catching. There is no denying the value a POS provides and it is astonishing that only around 5% of marketing budgets in the UK are spent on them.

The Costs and benefits

It may be difficult to determine how much to spend on POS, but it is definitely a vital outlet that should not be overlooked. The impact they can makes depends on the type of product they are promoting, maximise opportunities by working with distributors to pull together an integrated strategy.

To get the maximum impact make them:

  • Attention grabbing, unusual and entertaining.
  • Get involved, use a headline or image that is relatable to the customer and draw them in.
  • It’s about the sale. A Point of Sale display is not an end in itself, it is there to sell a product
  • Work together with the retailer, try and liaise with them before the POS goes into production. Up to 60% of material is thrown out and never seen.


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