What's a Point of Purchase? (With Advantages and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 7 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A point of purchase (POP) is typically a marketing term that refers to an area displaying a product. Retail stores may choose a strategic location to include a POP display where it may receive extensive customer traffic. Understanding how to create a POP display can help you advertise a product successfully and encourage purchases. In this article, we define a point of purchase, discuss the types of POP displays, outline its common advantages, list some examples and provide a guide on how to create a POP display.

What's a point of purchase?

A point of purchase is a display technique that retail stores commonly utilise to improve public awareness of a product and encourage purchases. POP displays are usually present in most retail stores, both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce platforms. The display technique positions the product in an area receiving heavy foot traffic or online views. The purpose of a POP display is usually to make customers aware of a specific product or deal the store is offering.

A store can place any product on a POP display, though they're usually special offers, discounted items, seasonal products and high-quality designs. POP displays can be excellent marketing tools for influencing online shoppers and walk-in customers. Part of the POP display technique assumes some customers don't plan a pre-determined purchase. Customers may enter a store to browse items without knowing what to purchase. A POP display typically targets these customers and encourages them to make a purchase.

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Types of POP displays

It can be helpful to understand that stores typically utilise varying POP displays. A POP display is often visually pleasing and might be unique to the store and its products, but there are typically three primary categorisations. Below, you can explore more information on each category of POP display:

Temporary

A temporary POP display is usually a quick design that might only remain for several days or weeks. Many stores utilise temporary pop displays to promote special discounts on perishables or limited-time products. For example, a grocery store might have a stand with varying chocolate flavours of a specific brand with a special deal. Another grocery store might have a similar POP display, but the products are for seasonal events.

Semi-permanent

A semi-permanent POP display typically lasts for several months or a year. These displays may showcase products that aren't perishable. The products are usually of high quality and may be seasonal. For example, a retail store may have an expensive range of winter coats from a famous brand. The retail store creates a POP display for the winter coats and displays them for several months before, during and after winter. When summer approaches, the retail store may likely remove the POP display because the demand for winter coats may diminish.

Permanent

A permanent POP display usually lasts for several years and showcases products that aren't seasonal or perishable. This type of display is typically rare, as customer demand and expectations evolve regularly. An expensive and well-designed product might not be in demand after several years because new designs and product features might emerge. Most permanent displays are typically products that become more valuable after time. For example, a car dealer might have a permanent POP display for a classic vehicle because it may become more expensive as the years pass.

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5 advantages of POP displays

Below, you can explore five advantages of POP displays:

1. Engages customers

When a store creates a visually appealing POP display, it may engage customers and encourage them to view the product. If the store has many shelves with varying products, it can sometimes be challenging to direct the customers' attention toward a certain product. Many products may have special packaging for engaging the customers, but a POP display can usually gain customer attention by incorporating large visuals. If a pop display engages the customer, they're usually more likely to make a purchase or at least consider purchasing the product during their next visit.

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2. Informs customers

If a store has a new product available for purchase, a POP display can be an excellent method of showcasing its features and functionality. Most stores may use email marketing techniques to present current customers with new products, but a POP display can be excellent for walk-in and potential customers. POP displays can engage the customers, encouraging them to view the product and consider its features. Some products might not have obvious features or their purpose might be difficult to portray through packaging alone. A POP display can inform customers to help them make a purchase.

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3. Targets impulse buyers

Impulse buyers are typically customers who make quick purchase decisions. Marketing techniques are usually effective at encouraging these customers to make a purchase. A POP display can influence impulse buyers through visually appealing graphics. They might enter a store without knowing what to purchase, so when a product advertisement engages them, they're typically more likely to buy that product.

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4. Provides flexible marketing

POP displays can be an extremely versatile and flexible marketing technique. Depending on the display type, a store may rearrange, remove or add extra displays with minimal effort. Other marketing procedures typically require extensive planning, budgeting and resource allocation. A POP display is usually quick to organise and doesn't require an abundance of resources or planning.

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POP display examples

Below, you can examine several examples of POP displays in physical store environments:

End-caps

An end cap is typically a set of shelves at the end of an aisle. These shelves usually contain products belonging to a specific brand. The purpose of an end cap is to showcase products to customers who might not walk down the aisles. The ends of aisles typically receive heavy customer traffic because customers might not walk down every aisle, but they're likely to walk past them.

Floor graphics

Floor graphics are visually appealing advertisements that showcase products or direct customers to products. A store usually positions them at the ends of an aisle or at a shelf's base where the store places a product. This can inform customers about products in an aisle without the customer walking down the aisle to find them. For example, a store might have a visual graphic of an ice cream brand, with an arrow pointing to the ice cream's location.

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Freestanding displays

A freestanding display is usually one of the more popular POP displays because a store can place it anywhere in the store. These displays are often visually appealing and constructed from cardboard graphics that house products. Stores usually place them in high-traffic areas where customers are likely to walk past them. Freestanding displays are typically very creative and may relate to a theme or seasonal event.

Dump bins

A dump bin is usually a simple POP display containing many small products, typically perishables, such as chocolates or sweets. The dump bin might be a container with 3D visual designs. For example, a dump bin containing energy drinks might resemble a giant version of the energy drinks located inside. These POP displays can encourage customers to purchase multiple items, as they typically showcase several small products at a relatively low price.

Shelf talkers

Shelf talkers are informative displays typically connected to shelves or other POP displays. A store usually constructs them from cardboard and designs them with visually appealing graphics. The purpose of a shelf talker is usually to provide information about the products nearby. They typically protrude from a shelf or display to gain customers' attention.

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How to make POP displays

Here, you can examine a guide on how to make an effective POP display:

  1. Use visually appealing graphics: A POP display's purpose is typically to gain the customers' attention, engage them and encourage purchases. One of the most effective methods of achieving this is to develop a display with visually appealing graphics.

  2. Choose a location with heavy traffic: Product placement is usually an important factor to consider when developing a POP display. If you place the POP display in an area where customers regularly walk by, such as the ends of aisles or near the point of sale (POS), you can increase the number of views.

  3. Outline unique functionalities: Depending on the product you're showcasing, it can be helpful to inform customers about unique product functions. This typically improves customer engagement and maintains their attention, as the product features may intrigue them.

  4. Use simple text: When informing customers about a product, such as through a shelf talker, it's usually a good idea to ensure the text is direct, short and simple. The text on a POP display aims to gain the attention of customers walking past rather than customers actively viewing the display.

  5. Tailor the display to the audience: Depending on the store, it may have a specific audience. If you identify this target audience, you can develop a POP display that appeals to customers, improving engagement.


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