5 reasons to not underestimate point of sale marketing

5 reasons to not underestimate point of sale marketing Richard Saysell, managing director of point of sale specialists Creo. A specialist in point of sale and services for in-store marketing, the UK based business which focusses on the FMCG, retail and media markets, was acquired by DS Smith Plc in June last year and strengthens its existing pan-European point of sale network.

While e-commerce is thought to be changing the face of the retail industry, the reality is that the high street has never been more important.

Point of sale (POS) marketing needs to be given precedent in the marketing mix.

Here are five reasons why you should be thinking about POS if you aren’t already.

 1.    POS works

Research shows that 75% of buying decisions are made in-store.

We also know less shoppers are going on planned purchasing missions. Instead, they are browsing and influenced by a variety of channels, which means POS is crucial in terms of inspiring and persuading shoppers at the point of their buying decision.

The choice and number of products available is vast and POS is key to help time pressed shoppers navigate stores effectively.

POS also encourages impulse spend to increase by positioning products as a deal, on sale or as an exclusive product of the week.  Well placed adjacent POS can also trigger impulse purchases e.g. chocolates near to wine for gifting or herb mixes next to meat for recipe ideas.

POS is an extremely effective tool for new product launches to help the product stand out, as well as to educate, inform and entice shoppers to try something new. In particular, these promotions capture shoppers who may not be particularly loyal to a brand.

It’s worth bearing in mind that brand shoppers will typically find their preferred brand on its normal shelf, potentially avoiding POS altogether.

 2.    POS is measurable

The impact POS has on the bottom line can be measured and evaluated to enable brands and retailers to maximise their ROI.

For example, it may be that a brand is allocating the same POS spend across all the major grocers, but with a given promotion a greater return would be seen by increasing the spend with one particular grocer and lowering it elsewhere.

POS specialists can assess the performance of different campaigns and if it’s not working, change or adapt the promotion. Retailers, meanwhile, can experiment with putting different items on POS and review their cut-through and success. Effective use of data enables POS to drive additional sales for brands and retailers.

 3.    POS can break up the retail environment

POS campaigns aim to disrupt the shopper journey and can also help retailers to temporarily change their environments for seasonal events or highlight major product launches. 

Elaborate but cost effective 3D displays can create theatre in stores: from archways to giant characters and vehicles.

Light, sound and movement can also be incorporated to theatrical pieces and in aisle activations to drive further stand out.  Creating experiences provides shoppers with more reasons to visit stores and provides a differentiating factor to the online experience.

 4.    POS can build and strengthen brands

POS enables brands to be represented in a cohesive, attractive and appealing way at the point where the shopper can directly interact with the product. 

Brands and retailers often invest substantially in above the line campaigns and it is important that the promotion in-store provides a clear link to remind shoppers of the brand or promotion at the point of purchase. 

Displays offer the opportunity to educate and help shoppers to choose the right product for them, if the purchasing decision is more complex. Clear, effective categorisation and messaging makes life easier for the shopper and helps to build a relationship with the brand as a trusted partner.    

Brands can also drive association with events to strengthen their positioning, for example, a chocolate brand and Easter or a stationery brand and the start of the school year.

 5.    POS allows brands and retailers to be reactive

POS is perfect for quick tactical responses to competitor activity, pushing extra stock, highlighting a particular product line or generating a buzz at a certain time of year.

POS campaigns provide marketers with a more immediate tool to adapt to changing market forces.

POS can be in stores in a matter of days where required and with the right processes in place to ensure brands and retailers are able to take advantage of last minute opportunities.

The ability to respond quickly also means retailers and brands can take advantage of topical events as they arise.

This might be an ice cream promotion in response to the hottest day ever recorded, or hot chocolate for the coldest.

Essentially POS allows brands and retailers to remain relevant to shoppers, a crucial component for surviving in today’s competitive retail environment. 

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