Point of Purchase Displays Versus Point of Sale Displays - What is the Difference?

Posted by Cindy Banker on 11/30/17 2:21 PM

Woman at checkout. At checkout is point of sales.

Are point of purchase displays and point of sale displays the same thing?

You might see the two terms used interchangeably, and on the surface, they sound like the same thing. After all, isn’t the point where customers make purchases and the point where stores close sales the same place?

But we’d argue there’s a distinction, and it starts with defining what constitutes a point of purchase (POP) and a point of sale (POS).

Learn How To Avoid Common Mistakes When Developing POP Displays

What is a POP?

Giant-TravelMugs-EndCap2-new.pngThe point of purchase is a part of the store designated for product placement. For example, you go into a supermarket and see a new type of cracker on display in its own cardboard display case at the end of an aisle, away from all the other snack products.

The point of purchase isn’t the display, but the section of the store used to promote the product. This can be anywhere in the store: in the aisles, in the back, near the register, etc.

But the term “point of purchase” can also mean the moment during the buying process when a customer sees your product, gets the information they need and decides to buy it.

Point of Purchase Displays

Like we said above, a POP display is the cardboard display used to promote food products, household items, etc. at a point of purchase. They are specifically designed to help consumers make a purchase decision. Point of purchase displays can include:

  • Endcaps – Displays set up at the end of an aisle
  • Dump bins – Often found in grocery stores, club stores, and specialty retailers, these are used to merchandise a vast number of products without the need for individual packaging
  •  Power wings – Also known as“sidekicks,” these displays hang from a shelf in an aisle, at the end of an aisle, or on the side of an endcap. Placed at eye level, they’re a designed to catch a shopper’s eye and encourage impulse purchases.

These displays have one goal, to encourage a purchase decision or improve the "sell-through" rate of a product. The success of a POP display relies on several factors including positioning,  graphics and messaging as well as the overall structural design.

What is a POS?

GlycoEnergy_CounterDisplay_DD-2.pngIf the point of purchase is the place where consumers decide to buy something, the point of sale is where the purchase happens: at the cash register or checkout counter, or wherever the customer exchanges money for goods.

The official Wikipedia definition is "point-of-sale display (POS display) is a specialized form of sales promotion that is found near, on, or next to a checkout counter (the "point of sale"). They are intended to draw the customers' attention to products, which may be new products, or on special offer, and are also used to promote special events, e.g. seasonal or holiday-time sales. POS can also refer to systems used to record transactions between the customer and the commerce.

Confusion may set in due to the use of POS /retail management systems, which is software that processes electronic transactions and keeps track of inventory.

There are displays designed specifically for this part of the store, namely corrugated counter displays, great for catching the attention of customers as they get ready to check out.

These displays are great for selling:

  • Candy and gum (the kings of the impulse buy landscape)
  • Last minute things like batteries or Scotch tape
  • Seasonal items like sunglasses or sunblock in the summer, or lip balm in the winter

No matter where you want to showcase your items, ProCorr Display & Packaging can create point of purchase displays designed to grab the attention of your customer, tell the story of your product, and meet the unique specifications of each store.

Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities, and visit our website to see a complete portfolio of our displays.

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