Definitely, There’s a Diff
If you’re an entrepreneur, consumer, inventor, or a production-side person, you may not know the difference between POP (Point of Purchase) and POS (Point of Sale). Even retailers might see this whole field as “store merchandising”, but that’s from a previous era. Things are evolving. You need to know because in the world of multichannel retailing, your promotional strategy will involve different elements of POP and POS activities — from print shelf talkers to shopping carts with interactive screens.
You need to move beyond a basic understanding of the two and know more about how to use each. Never assume that because a consumer sees one of your POP displays and the matter is done. It’s never one until the consumer actually makes the purchase.
Today, Point of Sale (POS) mostly refers to the hardware and software used to process an electronic sales transaction and update stock inventories. POP refers to any promotion that occurs within the store, and it could refer to promotion that occurs via texting and mobile phone use while consumers are in the store.
Increasingly, consumers are getting promotional messages via smartphones while they are in the aisle picking up the product off the shelf. If brands combined unique printed promotional collateral such as displays, banners, and shelf talkers with additional video on smartphones, it creates a much inclusive effect on the consumers mind. A more powerful message should create more intent to purchase and brand loyalty.
Sales stats show that retailers who have an online presence to accompany their brick and mortar retail outlet fare better. Those with superior POS systems get an even better advantage. Tim Horton’s for instance, is adopting a new smartphone payment option, which is used via their popular TimmyMe(TM) mobile application. That app gives them plenty more digital POP opportunities. And their physical printed instore displays could tie in with the mobile app to deliver further incentive for customers to buy the products they need to push.
POP is where the Real Selling Power is
POP is any in store display or advertisement from the back of the store to the cash register. POP can build desire and help change a consumer’s mind. That’s why many print and packaging promotional campaigns are integrating electronic messaging of some sort right into shopping carts, shelf displays, and POS devices.
The Wireless and Smartphone Battles
I’m in the market for a new phone. Haven’t purchased yet, but with so many options, the store’s POP and salesperson has plenty of room to maneuver me. With no solid ground to stand on, I find myself unsure and often too confused, so I leave. The store’s haven’t dealt with that particular customer experience yet, although they’re delighted to scramble our brains so determining value is difficult
Which will I choose: Bell, Rogers, Koodoo, Telus, Virgin, Primus, Wind, or Fido? And which phone – iPhone 5, Samsung, Motorola? While I’m in store, or online, they have a grand opportunity to make a sale and upsell me to something I may not really need. If their in store displays really focus in on my desires, they could get me to buy the top phone and the best wireless package. If they fail, what is to blame? Relying solely on branding is not wise.
Here’s a Chinese supermarket (in pic below using all the latest smartphone technology to engage customers and get them committed to find, pick up and buy products.
What makes a great POP display, such that it really makes an impact on the shopper? How does a display actually change customer preference? Why do too many people leave with the cheapest phone and lowest wireless package?
These are the issues a POP expert struggles with. It’s almost certain your displays could improve and generate a measurable impact.
Getting Social in Supermarkets
Some stats on the state of electronic tie-ins to supermarket POP promotion:
How is your packaging design looking for this year? Take a look at our POP survey results. 84% believe graphic imagery is the most important feature in a display.
If you’ve had complications with your packaging fulfillment operations that have lead to retail stockouts, that’s costing you money. It might be a good time to outsource fulfillment to a contract packager. As your sales increase, your current system could come apart at the seams. Find out more about contract packaging companies are adding value.