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What is Point-of-Purchase (POP) Marketing?

Think of the last time you made a purchase in a brick-and-mortar store. 

Maybe you entered the store on a whim, just browsing for holiday gift ideas, and left the store with a gift for yourself instead. Maybe you had a list in mind, but you added two, three, four additional products to your final sale, because the promotions were too good to pass up. Or, you had a great conversation with a salesperson who convinced you to buy add-ons to complement the product you already planned to buy. 

Whatever the case, your in-store shopping experience more than likely influenced your final purchasing decision—for better or for worse. That influence was the result of point-of-purchase (POP) marketing, a key tactic used by brick-and-mortar retailers to boost sales. 

What is Point-of-Purchase (POP) Marketing?

Point-of-purchase, or “POP,” marketing is a type of marketing that occurs at or directly near the checkout. In physical retail locations, POP marketing materials may include small signs, cases, or other displays for products with a high likelihood of impulse buys at the checkout counter, whereas POP marketing online may take the form of an ad that pops up just before the customer clicks “complete order.” 

Because they drive impulse purchases and encourage customers to buy more than what they planned when they entered the store, POP displays can have a significant impact on your business’s overall revenue. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive to put in place, making them a no-brainer investment for brands desiring an effective in-store retail strategy.

POP displays can be:

  • Temporary: Designed to last two to three weeks.
  • Semi-permanent: Designed to last one to six months.
  • Permanent: Designed to last one to three years.

The best type of POP display for your design will depend on the type of product you’re displaying, the retail environment in which you’re displaying it, and the budget you have available. For example, temporary displays are usually put in place for brief holiday sales, whereas permanent displays may be better suited for long-term product line displays.

The ultimate goal of a POP display is to grab consumers’ attention, encourage them to make additional purchases, offer signs and scenes that demonstrate how best to use your products, and enhance the overall shopping experience. 


How Can You Improve Your POP Marketing?

Because POP marketing is generally intended to disrupt consumers’ normal shopping patterns and encourage them to make unplanned purchases, consider centering your POP marketing strategy around creating engaging, eye-catching displays and placing them in locations with heavy foot traffic.

Think carefully about the retail environment in which your display will be located and the way that customers move around the store. The ideal location for your POP display will be dependent upon the path that customers typically take, the other products that are displayed nearby, and even the height of your display on the shelves. For example, a POP display for a children’s toy will probably perform better on lower shelves where children can see and interact with it. 

Likewise, in stores where the lines to the checkout typically have a long wait associated with them, retailers use POP displays to turn that area into a mini shopping experience. By confronting shoppers at the point of purchase with small, low-priced items like candy and trinkets, you encourage them to fill their baskets and drive up the overall value of the sale. 

Location isn’t the only element for effective POP marketing, however. In addition to selecting the right location, you need to optimize your POP displays to highlight your products, tell your brand story, and engage in a one-to-one experience with the customer. 

For example, this countertop display that we designed for Arctic Ice makes for engaging, on-brand POP marketing. The packaging displays all of the educational material that a consumer needs in order to make an informed purchase, and it gives consumers the ability to pick up and interact with the ice packs themselves. A display like this will drive many more sales than it would if the retailer just tossed the products onto the shelf without any branded graphics, educational information, or neat design. 

InStore Design Display Can Help You Take Your POP Marketing to the Next Level

In the crowded retail environment, every detail counts. That’s why the team at InStore Design Display works in a concrete, five-step process to nail down the ins and outs of a new POP display design and help our clients bring their ideas to life. 

With over 100 years of experience in the retail environment, we understand the unique banes and boons of in-store POP displays. We help our clients deliver experiences—not just product displays—to their customers.

Interested in leveling up your POP marketing with a new display? Request a consultation and we'll dive into your needs and propose a solution that will get your brand noticed in-store.


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