Have you ever been walking the aisles of a store and a display caught your eye? Did you stop and look at the item? If you’re like many people, you probably picked up the item and added it to your purchase. That’s an effective point of sale (or purchase) merchandising program. There was something compelling that caught your eye and you stopped and took note of what they were selling. It told the benefits quickly and you were sold.

Consistent Impact on Sales

Most people don’t think about the POS (point of sale) displays they see, but they have consistent impact on purchasing habits. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine was in the grocery store recently when he made a strange comment, “can’t figure it out but this store has changed and it’s boring”. I couldn’t understand because to me all grocery stores are pretty much the same. Cluttered and busy. Then it hit him. There were no “sales” displays at the end of the aisles. He didn’t know why, but the store was very open yes, but he missed the displays. He hadn’t realized it but he did “shop” the POS displays for deals.

So, basically, point of sale merchandising is designed to grab your attention and increase the sales right at the time a purchase is actually made. It is most likely a last-minute impulse purchase. It’s typically not something you were planning to buy, but it isn’t such an expense that you can’t add it to your purchase.  For instance, I was in a department store recently and they had chocolate bars right on the counter – wasn’t planning on it at the time, but I had skipped lunch so I bought one.  It was not a necessary or planned purchase, but it was tasty and satisfied my immediate need.

Point of Sale Merchandising is most commonly either signage that catches your attention or an

attractive display with the actual product. Both are designed to appeal to customers that may not be brand loyal and would be willing to try something new (or buy more of what they already have).

Point of sale merchandising also gives a company the opportunity to highlight a particular product line, move overstocked items, show

Creative Display will Grab the Attention of Shopppers

Creative Display will Grab the Attention of Shopppers

seasonal items all together to remind customers that they may need more of something now that the weather has changed or a new lower cost on an item is being introduced.

Many businesses that have a physical location will have some sort of point of sale merchandising. It is especially effective in grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants.

However, you don’t have to be in retail for it to be an effective marketing strategy .

Do you have a lobby? Reception desk? Conference Room? Then you could have a display touting your expertise. Maybe you are running a monthly special for 10% off a special service. If you have a counter card on the reception desk, then maybe I will ask for more information and buy it right then.

If you are a non-profit organization you may request donations for a special cause in your office. A compelling sign showing what my donation can help would probably have me pulling out my wallet.

Just remember the most effective point of sales merchandising  will:

  • Capture the attention quickly
  • Feature a low-ticket or sale item
  • Or feature a seasonal or special gift item
  • Be positioned at eye level or “buy level”
  • Many times will be available for a Limited Time
  • Physically located in the paths to the cashier


Danette Gossett

Danette brings more than 30 years of experience developing advertising campaigns, direct marketing programs and sales promotions to her clients. Prior to starting her companies, she worked for New York advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi & Lowe Marschalk.

Her corporate marketing experience included National Advertising Director for Avis Rent a Car Systems, Inc., and Director of Marketing Services for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Read More

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