The question of “do I need this or not?” is the guiding force behind what we buy and what we put back before we get to the checkout line. On the flip side of this, companies are working hard to convince you the answer to that question is “Yes. Yes, you do need this.” The work that it takes for companies to convince you to choose their product is pretty obvious in traditional and modern forms of advertising – magazine ads, TV commercials, and social media campaigns are all written, designed, and produced to appeal to consumers in hopes they’ll make a purchase. Another common form of persuasion that companies use to influence purchase decisions is something called a point of purchase.
What is the point of purchase and why does it matter to businesses and their customers? Will addressing and focusing on improving these points or purchase influence purchases? Let’s take a look.
What is the Point of Purchase?
According to Investopedia, the point of purchase, or POP, is “a term used by marketers and retailers when planning the placement of products for consumers, such as product displays strategically placed in a grocery store aisle or advertised in a weekly flyer.” Think of a colorful product display at your favorite store – they grab your attention and bring your focus to the product, forcing you to make a purchase decision (even if a quick one). Even online, retailers and companies are creating shortcuts to show you what other items people have bought in addition to the one on your screen, and make past item searches more readily available.
Why Does it Matter?
Now that we know what a POP is, and how retailers use it to advertise and target customers, why would businesses use it? Here are some of the benefits of using point of purchase advertising and marketing:
Supplement product packaging – Say more about your product than you can on the package with a shelf hanging or cardboard product display.
Strategic product location – Be placed where you can be seen! By having a product display, retailers will be more inclined to put your product in a high-traffic, accessible area.
Cost-effective – Advertising on media platforms can get pretty pricey, but you can save some money and advertise to a more targeted audience if you choose to try POP advertising for your product.
Target impulse buyers – Reaching customers and convincing them to purchase a product is easier to do when they’re already in the store.
POP vs POS
POP sounds pretty similar to the commonly known term, POS, meaning point of sale. While the terms are different and refer to different parts of the purchase journey, a POP and the POS are actually pretty closely related to each other and the overall customer experience. According to Repsly, the point of sale “refers solely to the customer-product interactions that occur where the actual sale of the product happens. Typically these interactions take place near the checkout area of a retailer.” Like points of purchase, points of sale can also have displays – the candy bars, lip balms, refrigerated drinks, magazines, and gum are all in the checkout line at the grocery store for a reason. These are great for impulse purchases. So, the point of purchase guides consumers to the point of sale eventually, which may push additional purchases. The POP and POS are integral to not only the customer experience but for actual transactions to take place for businesses to make their money.
Improving Customers POP Experience
Companies want to sell their product, and to do so they have turned to some pretty creative POP marketing and advertising tactics to do so. To successfully market and sell a product in a retail POP space, companies have to be able to catch the customers eye and sell the brand and product in a few seconds. To do so, a unified message has to be present, objectives and a budget need to be set, and effective vehicles need to be used. The Harvard Business Review suggests that these 5 principles can guide these decisions:
1. Integrate all elements of the POP communications mix (effective displays, impressive packaging, fun promotions, and in-store advertising. The package, for example, cannot be designed independently of the display. All POP vehicles should communicate consistent and mutually reinforcing messages to both the trade and the consumer.
2. Offer the trade a coordinated POP program for an entire product line rather than a collection of POP materials for particular items. To further impress the trade, make sure that the POP program is easy to understand and financially realistic.
3. Link POP assistance to trade performance. High-quality displays, for example, should not be given away to the trade unless linked to a quantity purchase or paid for with cooperative advertising dollars earned on previous purchases.
4. Assume that various POP programs will be necessary for distribution channels. The traditional hardware store and the self-service mass merchandiser, for example, differ both in store environment and in type of customer; the ideal POP program for each will not be the same.
5. Integrate POP communications with non-POP communications. Television advertising should tell consumers in which stores and departments they can find the advertised product and should include shots of product packages and displays to facilitate consumer recall and brand identification at the point of purchase.
TrueMerchant Has the POS Systems to Support Your POP Efforts
True Merchant is proud to offer both point of sale (POS) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions for businesses of all sizes to aid in the effectiveness of POP campaigns. With our focus on merchant services and secure payment processing, POS and ERP systems are a natural extension of our other features such as CardSecure, EBT Payment Processing, and much more. With True Merchant, you can rest assured that you will be getting the best available price thanks to our complimentary rate reviews.
If you are considering a POS system for your business, please feel free to contact us by calling 1-888-770-2018 or through our online email form. A qualified merchant service professional will be waiting to walk you through the process!