POS (Point Of Sale, actually: POSM – Point Of Sale Materials, also POP – Point of Purchase) is marketing material or advertising placed next to the merchandise it is promoting.
Brand owners prepare POS materials and then negotiate with retailers the conditions of their exposure in the store. POS material allows to highlight the product among others from the same category and draw customers’ attention. In a competitive market, POS material can influence customers’ decision to choose a specific brand.
Although POS materials are created by producers and it is them who care the most about its appropriate display, POS materials can also be used by retailers as a visual merchandising tool that influences customer’s decisions. Thanks to POS materials, we can direct the customer attention to the desired area in the store or pay attention to the specific product / product categories whose sales we want to increase.
Traditional location of POS materials is cash desk, counter and other places where final purchase decisions are made and the transaction is finalized. However, introducing new promotional forms like so-called endcaps (special retail furniture presenting promoted products or highlighted articles of a selected producer) caused POS materials have moved from the traditional location of the cash wrap to other locations in the store. It forced the producers and advertising agencies to find more creative solutions in the field of POS design. New formats were introduced like wobblers, stoppers, shelf-liners, hangers and many more.
The biggest form of POP materials is a vendor shop. This is a “store within a store” idea where a vendor places a section in the retail store that sets its merchandise apart from the rest.
However, research show that the most powerful form of POP is signage. One research study conducted by Brigham Young University found that displays with signs outperformed displays without signs by 20 percent . Thanks to POS materials, the regular priced merchandise (not on sale) can outperform sale priced merchandise when it was signed and the sale items were not. For this purpose, for example, you can use special signs (so-called wobblers) attached to store shelves or ads placed on the floor (such as display).
POS materials can play the role of “silent saleperson” in the store, which can suggest the choice of a specific product when the store staff is busy and cannot get to customer.
According to the research conducted by Mood, 70% of purchasing decisions are taken by the customer in the store. Therefore, it is impossible to overestimate the impact of POS materials on customer decisions. However, it is worth to take under consideration a fact that accumulation of POS materials in a store space will practically always have the opposite effect to the intended, increasing only the information overload and eliminating the potential positive influence of advertising materials. For this reason, the retailer should always hardly negotiate with the producers whose target is to bring in as many POS materials to the store as possible.
The pandemic forced us to deal with many safety rules. While arranging commercial space in these unusual times, the principles of visual merchandising can help you to avoid many unnecessary mistakes.