How to Make Your Point of Purchase Work

A few tips and trends for POP displays.

Wendy Ruyle 11.29.2012

The holiday season is upon us. Whether you’re someone who loves to be in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping or someone who burrows away until February, you’ll undoubtedly be affected by trends in point of purchase displays.

Retail is ever changing. Bricks and mortar stores are competing with online sales, new retailers, and the go-go-go nature of our everyday lives. Getting a shopper’s attention is more difficult than ever before. So what are the best ways to do just that?

1. Create an experience

In our harried lives, shopping can be a chore. Provide the shopper with a break from the chaos that is around them all day long. A big box retailer can create a store within a store to capture the intimacy of a neighborhood shop. This can be as elaborate as a whole department or as simple as a dedicated endcap.

Small shops can provide little luxuries along the way for customers: taste tests of wonderful chocolates, a cup of tea as they enter the store, a genuine hello, chairs to sit in, a place for children to play. All of these things lead to a less stressed customer…and a sale.

2. Make it easy

Always consider the ease of use for the customer. Make the product easy to see, easy to reach, and in stock. Less is more in this instance. Don’t force your customer to make too many choices. A study done in 2000, commonly referred to as The Jam Experiment (full title “When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing?”) illustrates this for us. The study showed that shoppers given fewer choices (6 jams as opposed to 30 jams on a sampling table) are more likely to make a purchase.

3. Make it easy (part 2)

Make it easy for the merchandisers too. If a POP doesn’t get maintained it won’t create a good customer experience. If displays are messy or disorganized the product will appear shoddy. Create a system for your merchandisers and make it easy for them. Make a checklist of tasks that need to be accomplished. Make sure any endcap signs or shelf talkers are easily replaceable if they get damaged.

4. Use technology…when appropriate

Use it for good, not for evil. Technology add-ons to a POP display have to add value. Today’s savvy shopper won’t fall for a gimmick anymore. If your add-on doesn’t aid the shopper, you won’t get a sale. Before you invest in a piece of technology consider these things: Does it help explain the benefits of the product? Does it help the shopper find the product if it isn’t in stock? Does it give the shopper a special deal? Is it easy enough for your grandmother to use? If you are coming up with a lot of nos, don’t spend the money.

Use these techniques to increase the perception of your brand and as a result increase sales.

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