What Is a Retail Point-of-Purchase Display?
A point-of-purchase or POP display is marketing material or advertising placed next to the merchandise it is promoting. These items are generally located in the checkout area or other location where the purchase decision is made. More commonly abbreviated to POP by retailers, this can be one of the most underutilized tools in retail.
POP has become a staple strategy for manufacturers. Most vendors will have some sort of POP material they can provide for free use in retail stores. This material will highlight the product and draw the customers' attention to it, which is important in a retail store crammed with similar merchandise.
POP displays can be as simple as a sign or as elaborate as a display carton. For example, a retailer may use a "shelf talker" (a sticker stuck to the end of the shelf to draw attention as the customer walks down the aisle of a grocery store) which is a small visual item. Or they may create a full display where the vendor's products are merchandised inside it. Think of a free-standing display with the vendor's branding on it, with only its merchandise on display inside.
Where POPs Are Used
Not to be confused with other retailing terms like endcap, POPs have moved from the traditional location of the cash wrap to other locations in the store. In its early forms, you would only find POP displays and materials in the cash register area. But today, manufacturers and retailers have discovered that POP displays can be placed throughout a store with great success.
Types of POP Displays
The most elaborate POP 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.
Probably 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. That means that sales of the items with signs were 20 percent higher than the sales of the times without signs.
Even more incredible was the fact that regular priced merchandise (not on sale) outperformed sale or clearance priced merchandise by 18 percent when it was signed and the sale items were not. Simply put, signs as part of a POP display draw attention to the items. And when the customer takes notice, they tend to buy.
Signs can take the form of hanging displays and posters or they can be mounted on store shelves. As long as the signage doesn't interfere with or annoy the customer, they're a great way to draw attention to a new product, or one that's on sale, as well as seasonal items.
Signage can be thought of as a silent salesperson: It can keep a customer in a store and interested when the store is busy and the salespeople cannot get to them.
When you consider that some 70 percent of retail purchases aren't decided until the customer actually is in the store, it's clear what impact something as simple as a POP display can have.