Using a Point of Purchase Display to Drive Sales

Posted on February 4, 2020 by Carm McCormick

Using a Point of Purchase Display to Drive Sales

Posted on February 4, 2020 by Carm McCormick

Interested in boosting sales for customers already shopping in your store? There’s a display for that. 

Did you know that 70% of consumers prefer to shop at brick and mortar stores? Then why do retailers find it so hard to keep customers coming back to their stores?

Getting customers into your store is one thing, but enticing them to buy more once they’re in-store is an entirely different challenge. Creating a retail space that generates interactions in your store and becomes an experiential destination for your customers can assist in driving sales, but enticing shoppers to purchase more than what they came into your store for means putting the right products and promotions in front of them, educating them on products you’re exposing them to and making them aware of new items they didn’t know they needed.

In other words, you have to make it easy for customers to buy more if you want to optimize the time they spend in your store. One tactic you can use to do just that is a point of purchase. 

What is a point of purchase?

Point of purchase (not to be confused with a point of sale) is a marketing tactic retailers use to upsell products or promotions, incentivizing customers to purchase more while in-store. You can think of the point of purchase as a way to encourage last-minute purchases or items customers didn’t know they needed. 

Point of sale, on the other hand, refers to the actual place or point where the sale takes place, like the checkout. 

With point of purchase, you place items strategically throughout your store using custom displays, signage, marketing materials, banners, digital displays, or by placing salespeople at specific stands in your store. Product demos, like handing out free samples of a new lipstick or oven-ready pizza, or ‘buy-one-get-something-free’ promotions are great examples of point of purchase that help influence a customer’s buying decisions. Indigo, a popular Canadian bookstore chain, offers customers free blankets with $50 purchases, for instance. 

Tip: Place point of purchase displays along the paths customers walk through your store for more visibility. 

How can you use a point of purchase to boost sales?

Point of purchase displays are used to inform customers’ buying decisions and convince them to follow through with the purchase. Your customer has probably already decided to buy something in your store, so any point of purchase display should convince them that there’s another product they could benefit from – the mentality of, ‘Why wouldn’t I buy this?’ 

First, consider your marketing materials. Any marketing materials you use to promote a POP display, like signage, a digital display, or even a salesperson demoing a product, should educate the buyer. 

If you’re discounting a certain shoe in your sports store by offering customers 50% off the product when they buy one or more pairs, making the promotion clear through a standing banner that highlights the features of the shoe, how it can benefit the customer, and the discount, can be impactful for customers who may otherwise walk right by the sale. The same approach can be used when selling a product bundle or promoting a free item with a minimum-priced purchase. 

You can also use a point of purchase display to target specific groups of customers, marketing products in a way that catches the attention of targeted customer segments. 

Let’s say, for example, that you own a baby boutique and sell products for children between the ages of 1 month old and 10 years. If you have a new diaper bag to sell, a POP display highlighting that product would perform better when placed near items like diapers, bottles, or travel accessories for infants, rather than near clothing items for toddlers or shoes for children 6 years and up. Why? Someone shopping for a diaper bag likely needs diapers. And next to the diaper bag POP add a stroller POP display – a parent in the market for a new stroller may also want a small travel bag for it, for changing diapers while out with the stroller. The display is targeting a specific customer – like a new mother or busy parent – who is buying essentials. 

Tip: Eye-catching displays, sales that are clearly marked and easy to access, and promotions that add value are all great ways to keep customers engaged in your retail space, encouraging them to pick up or look at items they may not have purchased before and keeps them moving toward a purchase. 

Why is point of purchase effective?

A great point of purchase display works both as a marketing tactic and product promotion, helping you capitalize on the way customers shop and the impulse nature of in-store shopping.

Point of purchase can be anything, and that’s what makes this approach so effective. Whether you offer in-store coupons for specific products, provide discounts on certain display items, or use salespeople as live displays to demo products, it’s up to you how you optimize the customer traffic in your store. This approach is fluid enough that it can be molded and shaped to fit the particular needs and specifics of the customer, the space, and the products you sell. 

Point of purchase can also be quite cost-effective, given retailers can reuse displays and signage, marketing materials, shelving and digital displays, which makes this approach far less costly than, say, television or social media advertising for promotions and deals. 

Tip: Offer buy-one-get-one promotions to entice customers to purchase other items with free value. This not benefits the customer (who receives additional items at no extra cost), but drives sales for you as a retailer, especially when looking to move more of a certain product. 

Creating a great point of purchase

When creating a point of purchase display within your store, you first need to keep the space in mind. Placement of these displays can make a big difference in how they are received and how effective they are. 

Thinking about the space you have available in your store and the path you want your customers to take to make a purchase will help dictate where you put your displays. Have limited space? To catch customers’ attention, you could place the displays on higher shelving or closer to the front of your store for greater visibility. 

It’s also important to consider how you’ll market your point of purchase display. Signage is incredibly effective in not only promoting products but educating people about them and can be used in really whatever way or design you’d like. In some cases, the signage you use may just drive more sales of products that aren’t even on sale!

If you’re promoting sales for similar items all at once (like shampoo and body wash, or hockey sticks and skates) placing displays for like items in close proximity to one another is a great way to get customers to notice them and buy more than one product at once. If a shopper has been to your store multiple times they likely have memorized where items are, and will probably make a beeline for those products – so why not put them together, and make it easy for customers to buy where they’re already shopping? 

Tip: Putting your point of purchase displays in high-traffic areas in your store (like closer to your checkout area) drives even more opportunity to have single-minded shoppers purchase additional products.  


Every retailer wants to succeed in driving sales and encouraging customers to come back for more. Without a retail space design that’s optimized to keep traffic where it belongs (in your store!), it’s easy to miss out on sales and purchasing opportunities. Work with CBSF to optimize your store and create stunning product displays. Let’s chat today.