Point of Purchase (POP) Displays: Definition and Benefits

Updated June 24, 2022

Point of purchase or POP displays can be an effective tool for persuading customers to buy something in a store. One reason for their effectiveness is retailers place them beside the merchandise they want to promote, which gives those items more visibility. Understanding how to create POP displays and their benefits can help your business take advantage of high-traffic areas in your store for increased revenue generation. In this article, we discuss POP displays, the benefits of using them, examples and provide tips for creating them.

What is a point of purchase?

A point of purchase is a marketing term used to describe the area where a retailer or marketer places promotional or marketing material. It is the area where most customers will encounter the products, so placing promotional items beside the items or services can increase the chances of people buying them. POP displays can be electronic or printed materials near merchandise in a brick-and-mortar store or near the checkout area or virtual signs on an online store.

Point of purchase displays are used to create a visually appealing customer experience so they may notice specific offers or brands the store is promoting or marketing. POP displays depend on the fact that some customers don't know what to buy before going into the store. Placing product displays next to their paths in the store can influence their buying decision and increase the sales of particular products.

There are three types of point of purchase displays:

  • Temporary: These displays can last just a few months since designers make them with cheap materials. You can use them for seasonal product promotions or discounts.

  • Semipermanent: These displays last between three months to a year and feature higher-quality designs and materials.

  • Permanent: These displays may last several years and are less common than temporary and semipermanent displays. Only major brands with popular products use them.

Read more: What Is Point of Purchase Advertising?

Benefits of POP displays

Here are some benefits of using POP displays in your store:

Catch customers' attention

The biggest benefit of point of purchase displays is they can help catch a customer's attention when they are in the store. Many shoppers skim aisles in search of a product to choose from the many options on the shelves. However, product packaging is often too small to convince customers to buy something. POP displays provide bigger, more visually appealing media that people can notice easily. By helping to catch buyers' attention, POP displays increase the chances of getting customers to buy a particular product.

Educate buyers

With point of purchase displays, retailers can better educate shoppers on the distinct qualities of a particular product or brand. POP displays allow stores to provide more in-depth information about a product or brand compared to the product packaging, which may lead to a more in-depth customer experience that can boost sales.

Target impulse buyers

POP displays can be effective tools for targeting impulse buyers. When people enter a store, they may not know what they want to buy yet. If they have the intention of buying something, a conspicuous sign showing the unique value of a specific brand or product can persuade them to buy it.

Reduce marketing costs

Stores can also reduce marketing costs with an effective point of purchase marketing strategy. By placing cost-effective paper and digital product displays around the area customers will encounter offers, stores can target shoppers directly with product advertisements. Some POP displays can adapt messages from a brand's more expensive ad campaigns to better persuade shoppers.

Improve retail merchandising

Brands can also use POP displays to improve how retailers advertise their products. Brands can provide point of purchase displays along with their products with instructions on how retailers should use them in the store for maximum visibility which can save the retailer time, effort and space.

Product placement flexibility

Point of purchase displays may offer brands and retailers more flexibility in product placement, which helps boost visibility. Instead of being placed in an obscure location on the shelves, POP displays allow brands to place their products in high-traffic areas where customers can see them and quickly decide whether to purchase them.

Related: Retail Work: The Definitive Guide

Examples of POP displays

There are several examples of point of purchase displays, including:

Freestanding displays

Freestanding POP displays can help turn shoppers' attention to a specific product. Usually found in high-traffic areas of a store, they typically have a cardboard construction and are visually appealing. Some also display samples of the product and may even include small-sized complimentary packages people can try before choosing to buy.

Freestanding POP displays are cheap to make and offer versatility in terms of product placement, creativity and messaging. For example, brands can make the display a giant replica of their product and advertise samples in a busy area of the store.

Shelf talkers

Shelf talkers or hang-tags are signs or tags attached beside a product on the shelf to promote it, show buyers the price or inform them about its features and unique benefits. These POP displays are perfect for catching customers' attention, telling people about ongoing promotions, educating buyers and making a brand or specific product stand out. For example, a shelf talker may show the different prices of a product's flavors.

Dump bins

These POP displays are typically used to advertise candy bars, chocolate and other small food items because they can hold many products. Their size also makes them ideal for promoting a brand's image and encouraging shoppers to buy multiple items at once.

Floor graphics

Stores place these POP displays on the floor in front of the aisle shelf where the product they are promoting is stocked. Besides being visually appealing, they make it easier to find products and catch the shoppers' attention as they move down the aisles.

End caps

You will find these POP displays at the end of the aisle where two back-to-back shelves sit. End caps help save shelf space, provide product placement flexibility and provide increased visibility since shoppers can see the goods on display without moving down the aisle.

Vendor shops

These are typically small shops within a large store for displaying the products from a particular brand. They are mostly used to advertise consumer packaged goods to differentiate them from the competition and provide more flexibility in terms of placement on limited shelf spaces.

Related: What Is a Purchase Order?

Tips for creating an effective point of purchase display

Here are some tips for creating POP displays which you can use to help increase product awareness, which may boost sales:

Use bold images

When designing POP displays, the primary purpose is to grab a customer's attention using bold images and wording. Ways to grab a shopper's attention include using:

  • Bright colors

  • Large print

  • Fun and catchy words

  • Visually appealing pictures

  • Irregular shapes

Choose the right location

For the biggest impact, place POP displays in areas with high customer traffic and that offer easy accessibility to the products being promoted. These include open spaces for freestanding displays, the end of shelves or hang-tags on aisle shelves. For smaller items, you can position the POP displays in the register line where people can see them while waiting to check out. Retailers can also place displays around complementary items. For example, placing pots around fresh produce or bread beside butter and margarine products.

Highlight unique qualities

An effective POP display can show customers the unique qualities of a product or brand. It should include the key selling points of the product, the colors most popular with the brand and any other information that may encourage people to buy.

Be concise

A good POP display should be short and to the point. Keep the messaging clear and include action words that will entice people to buy and remember your brand next time they are shopping.

Know your audience

It is important to tailor your message to a specific audience when creating point of purchase displays. That will allow you to craft a message that appeals to them for increased acceptance, brand awareness and sales.

Tell a story

To make your POP display interesting, use it to tell a story unique to your brand or product. For example, the display can emphasize the founding date of the company, its secret recipe or specific health benefits.

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