Have you ever stopped to analyse the tricks of the trade when it comes to enticing you to buy things when you are out and about? These might be things that you were not intending to buy, but may have become an interesting idea as you go about your shopping trip. The right poster on the right wall, a certain product placed at your eye level, the message that gets right into your head, and sometimes even into your heart. All these (and many more factors) get you to want stuff. It gets you to part with your money in exchange for something that you decided you wanted. Right there and then. Emotional connection? Impulse buying? Tick and tick.
There is a lot about point of sale (or PoS as we marketeers like to call it) than meets the eye. Of course, what you see is the really important bit, but there is actually quite a bit of thinking behind all that goes on the shop floor to make your product stand out from the crowd. The big supermarkets, for example, work out with precision which products will go on which aisles. You’re now probably thinking about the bread that is right at the back of the store and makes you have to walk all the way through the shop and be tempted by everything else that is on offer on your way there, right? Well, that is certainly a known trick, but what is it that actually makes you stop and act on your wish to buy something on your way to your loaf of white? That has a lot to do with point of sale. Oh yes.
First of all, any message you display needs to be short, punchy – and very convincing. No one has the time to stop and read more than a few words. You are supposed to be getting to the bread aisle, remember? And if you are on a mission, then only the very best message can stop you on your way. With a good message, there needs to be a fantastic visual, the type that will impress you to the point that you stop and consider what you read, what you’ve seen and then, of course, the product itself. The whole space around the product needs to be appealing, needs to be an invitation to buy. And ok, this may go without saying, but of course all of this needs to be on brand. If you advertise your brand through many other channels, which you probably do, then you will need to make sure that there is a consistency on what people see and the messages you are getting out there.
The type of material you will produce to be part of your PoS will differ, as no two spaces are the same. You may have the best spot at the supermarket, but your product may also be on the corner shop, where there may be less space to display it and also its PoS materials. So, with that in mind, it’s important that things are adaptable. It’s important to think of the space carefully and then decide what you may need. It will also differ if your product sits near the checkout, at the shop window or close to other products that may have an influence on how people see what you offer (the competition, for example). Remember, you want to stand out.
When it comes to showing what to have on your display, the choices are endless… posters, promotional literature, leaflets, free-standing display units, shelf wobblers, shelf talkers, ceiling hangers… You name it, it can probably be done. In fact, the best bit of PoS is that you can let your imagination go wild a little and be very creative. The more creative, the better. But remember, there is always the need of keeping it all on brand and the materials adaptable enough so that your product is recognisable wherever it is offered.
Another important consideration when it comes to PoS is timing – not simply seasonal variations but also annual events and celebrations such as Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and so on. It’s therefore very important that your collateral can be produced quickly if necessary (for example a quick sale to clear old stock).
The bottom line is that PoS can really make or break a sale for you. And so it shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, it’s a massive opportunity to make loyal customers remember you if they forgot about you temporarily, or make new people buy your product. A combination of both should make your sales increase, which is the whole point of it.
And you thought you were only nipping in to buy bread, eh?
Marilia Spindler is an Account Manager and creative thinker at Happy Creative, a strategic marketing and branding agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk.