Packaging and Design

What Makes POP & POS Displays Different?

Point of Purchase and Point of Sale. These terms sound interchangeable, right? But there are some key differences between these two types of product displays. Understanding them can help you to get the most out of your marketing dollar.

Why use POP & POS displays?

Both POP and POS displays are eye-catching structures that hold products in retail spaces, drawing precious consumer attention. They make your products pop visually. Depending on the display, you can also educate customers about your solution and build brand awareness.

And last—but almost certainly not least—POP and POS displays trigger impulse purchases. Most shoppers go to the store with a plan for what they’ll buy. But when you put an attention-getting display in their path, in the very place where they’re equipped to make a purchase, they can deviate from that plan. To your benefit!

So, what’s the difference between these two (admittedly similar sounding) displays, and which style best suits your display needs?

What exactly is a POP Display?

Sunrype POP Shelf Display
Sunrype POP Shelf Display

A Point of Purchase display can be set up in a few strategic places around a retail space, including the entrance, the middle of the store, and the end of an aisle. The display might include a large shelving unit, signs, or a stand.

What exactly is a POS Display?

 A Point of Sale display exists only at the place where customers complete transactions, i.e., at the checkout. Because the checkout aisle generally can only accommodate structures with smaller footprints, POS tends to be more compact. Think: a small shelving unit that sits on a counter.

Why choose a POP display?

When you imagine a POP display—say, a multi-level free-standing shelving unit that sits in the middle of a store—what do you think you could do with it? Well, its comparatively large size should offer you a few clues.

It’s best for consumer education

With all that design real estate on the POP, you can really do great consumer education work with it. Imagine incredible digitally printed graphics paired with brand stories, or information about your solution that really amps up its value in your target customer’s mind.

It can hold heavier and more expensive products

 The typically robust construction of a POP display enables it to hold heavier products—which sometimes tend to be more expensive products. And, of course, these are the types of products that tend to benefit from being contextualized by consumer education.

Why choose a POS display?

Pabst Blue Ribbon POS Counter Display
Pabst Blue Ribbon POS Counter Display

If the comparatively large size and rugged construction of a POP display gives you clues about its best use, the compactness of the POS display should also tip you off. When you imagine that small structure sitting on a checkout aisle counter, what do you imagine it could do for your brand?

It’s best for stimulating impulse decisions

The checkout is the last possible moment a shopper could give into temptation and choose your product. This is the place to capitalize on impulse buys.

It’s better for lighter and less expensive products

It’s much easier to impulse buy something that only costs a little money, right? That’s why POS displays are ideal for smaller, cheaper, and more seasonal products. Think:  treats, gum, lighters, cough drops in the wintertime. Plus, it goes without saying that small POS displays can’t exactly hold large or heavy objects.

Whether it’s POP or POS…you win!

 A POP or a POS display is an incredibly value-adding part of the marketing mix when your products are featured in retail spaces. But you always want to invest your marketing dollars wisely, right? That’s why getting clear on the respective benefits and best uses of these display strategies is essential. But no matter what you choose, you’re going to increase sales. Want help figuring out how you can get the maximum value out of your POP or POS display? Reach out…we’d love to talk!

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