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Tips For An Effective Point of Purchase Display
Darren GilbertAug 28, 2023 4:45:00 PM13 min read

7 Tips For An Effective Point of Purchase Display

Standing out is more than just a goal in retail - it's a necessity. But how can medium-sized retailers effectively capture and sustain their customers' attention? Enter the transformative power of point of purchase (POP) displays. By leveraging these product merchandising strategies like POP displays, retailers can elevate their retail game one interaction at a time.

Quote On Designing Point Of Purchase Displays

Why? Because today's consumers are inundated with choices, making their in-store journey more overwhelming than ever. Amid this sensory overload, compelling POP displays act as a beacon, drawing shoppers in, engaging them, and guiding their purchasing decisions. It's not just about selling a product; it's about creating a memorable shopping experience.

How do retailers achieve this? By blending aesthetics, psychology, and strategy. We delve into seven pivotal tips to optimize point of purchase displays, ensuring they resonate with your target audience and drive tangible results. Dive in, and let's transform your retail space together. 

Understand Your Customer

1. Understand your customer

Grasping the nuances of who your customer is, what they desire, and how they think empowers retailers to curate experiences tailored specifically to that audience, leading to increased sales, loyalty, and brand affinity.

We can't overstate the significance of recognizing your target audience and their preferences. Retail isn’t a one-size-fits-all industry. Each customer segment has its unique behaviors, needs, and desires. 

By identifying and understanding these factors, retailers can position their products, craft their messaging on their point of purchase displays, and design their store layout in ways that resonate most effectively with their core audience. This results in a more personalized shopping experience, which modern customers not only appreciate but expect.

Demographic studies play a crucial role in this understanding. They delve into factors like age, gender, income level, education, and more. For instance, a store catering predominantly to millennials might prioritize eco-friendly products in their POP displays, given the demographic's known inclination towards sustainable living. 

Conversely, a retailer whose primary clientele is older might focus more on comfort, accessibility, and tradition. Without these insights, retailers might miss the mark, offering products or experiences that don't align with their customers' values or needs.

Customer surveys serve as another indispensable tool. While demographic studies provide broad strokes about a group, customer surveys can unearth specifics. They can reveal likes and dislikes, purchase drivers, pain points in the shopping experience, and much more. Moreover, by actively seeking feedback, retailers show that they value and listen to their customers.

Choose The Right Location For Your POP Displays

2. Choose the right location for your POP displays

Location, as the old saying goes, is everything. This truth is especially valid in the world of retail, where the placement of a product can significantly influence its sales performance. Take point of purchase displays, for example. Designed to capture attention and encourage impulse purchases, their positioning within the store is paramount.

We can't overstate the significance of its positioning. A well-crafted POP display, stocked with enticing products, can lose its effectiveness if tucked away in a seldom-visited corner of the store. Conversely, placing it right at the store's entrance might seem advantageous, but if it impedes the natural flow of traffic, it can create congestion and deter shoppers.

The key is to balance traffic flow with visibility. High-traffic areas, such as near checkout counters, are traditionally favored for POP displays because they guarantee maximum visibility and effective product merchandising. But these aren't the only viable locations. Other areas to consider include gondola ends, waiting areas (like near fitting rooms), and spaces adjacent to complementary products. 

For instance, a POP display featuring premium coffee beans might do well near high-end coffee makers.

While the goal is to ensure maximum visibility for the POP display, it's crucial to avoid disrupting the natural flow of shoppers. A product display should never feel like an obstacle. Instead, it should seamlessly integrate into the store layout, allowing customers to approach, engage, and move on without feeling like they're in the way of other shoppers. This harmony ensures that the display captures attention without causing annoyance.

Moreover, the nature of the products within the point of purchase display can also influence its ideal location. Time-sensitive promotions or seasonal items may benefit from more central placements in your POP displays to ensure they're noticed before their relevance wanes.

While the design and content of a point of purchase display are crucial, its strategic location can make or break its success. By optimizing the positioning of these POP displays, retailers can ensure they maximize both engagement and sales, balancing visibility with the overall store experience.

Keep Your POP Displays Clean And Uncluttered

3. Keep your POP displays clean and uncluttered

In retail, where every inch of space seems like an opportunity to showcase more products or promotions, there's an often-underestimated power in simplicity. A clean and uncluttered point of purchase display isn't just aesthetically pleasing; it's a strategic tool in product merchandising that testifies to the clarity of thought and precision in marketing.

Minimalism in retail does more than cater to a design trend. It aids in clearer, sharper decision-making for customers. When confronted with an overwhelming array of options or messages, a phenomenon known as "choice paralysis" can occur. 

In other words, customers become so inundated with choices that making a decision becomes taxing, sometimes leading them to skip the purchase altogether. However, a minimalist, focused POP display can highlight the product's essential features or the promotion's core message without distractions, making the purchasing decision smoother and more intuitive.

Focused messaging is central to this minimalistic approach. Retailers must discern the primary message they wish to convey and ensure that every element reinforces it. Whether promoting a product's sustainability, its innovative features, or its value proposition, the message must remain consistent and clear.

However, achieving and maintaining this clarity requires diligent upkeep. Here are some tips for regular maintenance and decluttering:

  • Regular audits: Schedule periodic checks to ensure the POP displays remain as intended. Over time, additional items or materials can unintentionally accumulate, diluting the primary message.
  • Limit stock on product displays: Showcasing select pieces and storing the rest can help maintain a neat appearance.
  • Training staff: Ensure that all staff understand the importance of a clean display and have training in restocking and organizing as per the store's visual standards.
  • Feedback channels: Implement a system where employees and customers can provide feedback on the point of purchase displays, offering insights into whether it might feel cluttered or confusing.

An uncluttered point of purchase display is more than just a visual treat; it's a strategic tool. It beckons customers with clarity, ensuring that their shopping experience is pleasant, straightforward, and, most importantly, leads to a purchase.

Use Engaging Visuals On Your Point Of Purchase Displays

4. Use engaging visuals on your point of purchase display

Visuals are the primary means retailers can communicate with their customers without uttering a single word. They capture attention, elicit emotions, and convey messages, often within mere seconds of a customer's glance. When effectively used on point of purchase displays, colors, graphics, and imagery can create an indelible impression, transforming a simple store visit into a memorable shopping experience.

Colors play a pivotal role in this visual narrative. Every hue invokes specific feelings and reactions. For instance, red is often associated with urgency and can be effective for clearance sales, while blue exudes trust and reliability. Green, becoming increasingly popular, is linked with sustainability and natural products.

By understanding the psychology of colors, retailers can tailor their POP displays to evoke desired emotions and encourage specific consumer behaviors.

Graphics and imagery further enhance this visual story on point of purchase displays. They provide context, build brand identity, and often convey messages more swiftly than text. For instance, a picture of a family enjoying a picnic can communicate the joy and utility of outdoor products.

Graphics can simplify complex information, making it digestible at a glance. For example, an infographic highlighting the eco-friendly attributes of a product can quickly inform and persuade eco-conscious customers.

While the importance of engaging visuals is evident, achieving them requires expertise. This is where the benefits of professional design services or software come into play. Professionals bring a depth of understanding of design principles, ensuring that visuals are attractive and effective in driving sales.

They can harmonize elements, optimize layouts, and ensure designs resonate with the target audience. Meanwhile, specialized design software offers tools and templates that facilitate the creation of polished, high-quality visuals, even for those without a design background.

Engaging visuals is paramount in the retail landscape, especially when it comes to POP displays. They serve as silent salespeople, drawing customers in and guiding their journey toward making a purchase. Investing in professional design expertise or tools isn't just about aesthetics; it's about maximizing the potential of every visual touchpoint within the store.

Incorporate Interactivity In Your Product Displays

5. Incorporate interactivity in your product displays

Merely catching a customer's eye is not enough in today's retail landscape. Modern shoppers seek more than just visual appeal; they seek engagement and a deeper connection with products and brands. Incorporating interactivity into point of purchase displays offers this level of engagement, transforming passive browsing into an active, immersive product merchandising experience.

Interactive POP displays have distinct advantages. Firstly, they increase dwell time. A customer interacting with a display is likely to spend more time at that spot, giving the product or brand a more extended opportunity to make an impression. This increased engagement often translates to better recall and a higher likelihood of purchase.

Secondly, interactive displays provide instant gratification. In an age of digital immediacy, customers have grown accustomed to accessing information or experiencing products immediately. Interactive POP displays cater to this expectation, offering immediate insights, experiences, or rewards.

Here are a few interactive ideas that retailers can use:

  • QR Codes: Simple yet effective, QR codes can bridge the physical and digital realms. Scanning a code might lead a customer to product videos, reviews, or a dedicated brand app, enhancing the depth of information available and facilitating informed purchase decisions.
  • Touchscreens: These can be a goldmine for engagement. Interactive touchscreens can showcase product catalogs, allow customers to customize products, or even play promotional videos. Their dynamic nature makes them a magnet for curious shoppers.
  • Product Testers: For many customers, seeing is believing, but trying is buying. Whether it's a new perfume, a tech gadget, or a skincare product, giving customers the chance to try before they buy can dispel doubts and boost confidence in the purchase.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) Stations: These provide a futuristic touch. Customers can, for instance, see how furniture might look in their homes or how a pair of sunglasses might look, all through AR.

Interactivity brings products and displays to life. It invites customers to engage, explore, and immerse themselves, forging a deeper connection between the shopper, product, and brand. In an increasingly competitive retail landscape, such interactive nuances can set a store apart, offering products and memorable experiences.

Use Your Point Of Purchase Displays To Promote Limited-Time Offers

6. Use your point of purchase displays to promote limited-time offers

One of the most compelling triggers that drive consumer behavior is the fear of missing out (FOMO). When harnessed effectively through point of purchase displays, this powerful emotion can translate into increased footfall, heightened engagement, and most importantly, increased sales. Central to evoking this sentiment are limited-time offers, an age-old tactic steeped in the psychology of urgency and scarcity.

The psychology behind urgency rests on the human instinct to prioritize immediate needs. When confronted with a time constraint, like a sale ending soon, consumers feel an internal push to decide promptly, often leaning towards a purchase to avoid potential regret later. It appeals directly to our innate desire not to lose out on opportunities, especially ones with perceived value.

Meanwhile, scarcity plays on the principle of supply and demand. The rarer an item is, the more valuable it seems. By promoting products as exclusive or in limited supply, retailers can elevate their perceived value, making them more coveted in the eyes of consumers.

For retailers to capitalize on these psychological triggers effectively, they must prominently showcase these limited-time promotions on their POP displays. 

Here are some tips:

  • Prominent signage: Use bold, clear signs that immediately communicate the limited nature of the offer. Phrases like "While Stocks Last" or "48-Hour Flash Sale" can be effective.
  • Countdown clocks: If applicable, integrate digital countdown clocks near the display. Watching time tick down can intensify the sense of urgency.
  • Highlight exclusivity: Make it known if the product is exclusive to your store or available in limited quantities. Terms like "Exclusive Release" or "Limited Edition" can make products more alluring.
  • Utilize digital platforms: Promote limited-time offers on the store's website, social media, or through email campaigns. Digital teasers can drive in-store traffic.
  • Create dedicated zones: Set up specific areas or displays for limited-time offers, distinguishing them from regular stock and making them a focal point.

In essence, limited-time offers are more than just sales promotions; they're psychological tools. When executed thoughtfully through point of purchase displays, they can transform a potential interest into an immediate purchase, leveraging the potent human emotions of urgency and scarcity.

Evaluate And Tweak Your POP Displays

7. Evaluate and tweak your POP displays

Retail, much like every other industry in the modern age, is dynamic. What captivates consumers today might become outdated tomorrow. Therefore, while setting up an attractive point of purchase display is just the starting point; it's equally crucial to evaluate and tweak these POP displays for continuous improvement. This commitment to continuous improvement ensures that retailers remain relevant, resonant, and ahead of the curve.

Regularly reviewing the effectiveness of a display goes beyond aesthetics; it's a strategic move. A well-placed, engaging POP display can significantly impact sales and customer engagement. However, without periodic assessments, retailers might miss out on evolving trends, changing consumer preferences, or even logistical issues within the store.

Several mechanisms can assist in this evaluative process:

  • Sales data analysis: Perhaps the most direct indicator of a display's effectiveness, sales data reveals which products are moving and which aren't. If a prominently displayed product isn't showing expected sales figures, it might be time to reconsider its presentation or positioning.
  • Customer surveys: Direct feedback from customers can be invaluable. By soliciting their opinions on store layouts, product placements, and overall shopping experience, retailers can gain insights into what's working and areas of potential enhancement.
  • Employee feedback: Store employees, especially those on the floor, are the frontline observers of customer behavior. Their feedback on how customers interact with displays, products that get queried the most, or even areas where shoppers seem confused can offer actionable insights.
  • Foot traffic analysis: Modern technology allows retailers to track foot traffic patterns. Understanding where customers naturally gravitate, linger, or rush through can help optimize product placement.
  • Trial and error: Sometimes, the best way to gauge effectiveness is through experimentation. Change the display's layout, positioning, or visual elements and observe any shifts in engagement or sales.

Regular evaluation fosters a culture of adaptability. It underscores the need to be proactive and anticipate change rather than react to it. By prioritizing the assessment and adaptability of POP displays, retailers can ensure they remain current and consistently compelling in their appeal to consumers.


Want to stay ahead in today's fiercely competitive retail landscape? Meticulously crafted point of purchase displays and strategic product merchandising can usher in a dramatic transformation for your store. Subscribe to our newsletter for in-depth strategies and groundbreaking insights into achieving retail excellence through optimized POP displays.


Darren Gilbert

Darren Gilbert joined in 2017 and is the content manager. He has a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Stellenbosch.