Effective marketing at Point of Purchase

image shows hand holding out a credit card

Your advertising strategy should consider engaging with consumers at every point in their customer journey. At first glance, point of purchase (POP) sales might seem like a niche consideration; surely, at this stage, shoppers have already made up their minds about what they want to buy? The reality, as we’ll discover, is far from that; this is an opportunity to make a bid for audience attention when your potential customers are not only receptive to impulse buys, but are also reaching for their wallets.

Point of Purchase decision making

The reality is that the majority of purchasing decisions happen long after the ink has dried on a customer’s shopping list. We’ve all been there; we’re out looking for a few choice items until a sales display reminds us that we haven’t bought such and such. We come out of the store stocked up with a bunch of items that we didn’t know we wanted but suddenly realised that we needed (or vice-versa). That, of course, is just one way we make spontaneous point of purchase decisions.

A lot of shopping is retail therapy; it seems to satisfy our hunter-gatherer instincts to tread the floors of shopping centres and other retail outlets until something shiny catches our eye.

All these factors and more should give you an idea of the importance of point of purchase marketing. But the question still remains, how to market effectively at POP?

Attention seeking

Shoppers are in a state of focus whilst shopping. They may be inclined to make spontaneous purchasing decisions but they will still have an idea of what they are shopping for, and will be focused on finding it. So to make sure your point of purchasing marketing is effective, you need to grab their attention.

Think about the location you position your ad in the store, the format that it takes and the content of your creative.

This Nutella POP display ad is both a visual display and product showcase rolled into one.

a stand of Nutella jars in a supermarket

It’s visually interesting and appealing, and blends in as part of the shop’s infrastructure; as such it serves a useful purpose (i.e. somewhere to put all the Nutella). It also features a slogan which taps into POP psychology (pardon the pun), asking us, “what would a trip be without Nutella?”.

Consider the format of your POP ad

Not all POP marketing needs to be as elaborate (read, expensive) as the Nutella example to be effective.

A simple shelf banner can be a very effective form of POP advertising; it’s the close-combat fighting of the advertising world, engaging audiences as they stalk the aisles. This is exemplified in the Flora banner shown below:

flora ad banner in supermarket
These Toblerone checkout dividers make a big impact:
a supermarket checkout with groceries and checkout dividers in the design of Toblerone chocolate bars
Their effectiveness partly lies in fact that the triangular packaging of the iconic chocolate bar doubles up perfectly as a shopping divider. But they are also wonderfully disruptive in terms of the user experience. Consider how many times you have unthinkingly picked up a divider and placed it behind your goods. These kinds of unconscious behaviours represent a mental space which point of purchasing advertising can fill; a great way to break through into your audience’s attention when their thoughts may be prone to wandering.

Think outside the box/store

Of course, not all point of purchase advertising happens in-store. Consider booking out out-of-home ads outside the stores that stock your products. Your creatives will be front of mind when audiences come to make purchasing decisions, and your outdoor ads may just nudge them towards buying your products. Take a look at these John West tuna ads:

large John West tuna adverts outside supermarket

Play to the shopping world’s swing voters

Brand loyalty is all well and good, but everybody has a price. It turns out that a majority of people are prepared to switch brands

image showing the statistics regarding the power of in-store marketing. 5% of people remain loyal, whereas 68% will switch

Think of point of purchase marketing as canvassing voters on their doorstep; it’s an intimate way to engage people and lead them towards your brand.