Where I grew up in the Midwest, carbonated soda was referred to as ‘Pop’. Likely shortened from the ol’ 1950’s term ‘soda pop’. When I first moved to the South 20 years ago and attempted to order a ‘Pop’, I got the “Y’all must be from ‘up nawth’” response. All of this to say, let’s talk about POP as it refers to marketing, where it stands for ‘Point Of Purchase’…The magical time and place that all elements of a shopping experience coalesce…the consumer, the money and the product, all in one place, under one roof. This is where the rubber meets the road, supply meets demand, the final shopping showdown of showcase marketing to win the hearts, minds and money of the customer. Grab a cold soda pop while I pour out some details…

In this blog I’ll be referencing research and insights from a shop! Enhancing Retail Environments and Experiences white paper called “A Display is a Terrible Thing to Waste”.

While so much of America has gotten used to the Point/Click/Add to Cart/Ship/Wait/Arrival of the online shopping experience, when something is needed immediately, there’s no time like the present to visit the brick and mortar store for some good ol’ fashioned shopping. This shopping experience is still a ‘prime’ (pun intended) way to acquire things in an instant, and the store itself is a critical touch point to reach and influence consumer behavior. The shop! document notes that “3 out of 4 buying decisions are made in-store, and 68% of all in-store purchases are impulse-driven”. The decision to stick with a known brand or buy a rival product is made in 3 to 7 seconds, so this 68% impulse buy statistic is not really a shocker. The paper says “…the store’s potential to create impressions and build brand equity is tremendous, and it should be thought of like any other marketing media”. 

Think of the costs of in-store displays as a vital line-item on your marketing budget, and you’ll be dollars ahead. Let me set the stage: You’re in the store as a product vendor. The consumer is here, charge card at the ready, wanting and needing to make the purchase. It’s the last 100 yards of the race to the checkout line…75% of final purchasing decisions are made here. Is this where you pull back? Start walking back to your car to go home and leave this customer’s decision to the wind and their own devices? Leave your last element of marketing outside the door? Or…is this where your marketing effort should be bombastic, a slam dunk, as it explodes in a grand finale can’t-miss-LOOK-AT-ME display, rising above the competition. Sure, there’s the cheap knock-off generic store-brand on the bottom of the shelf, but you’ve successfully created a masterpiece-stand-alone display shelf that caught their eye, touting your memorable product, catchy slogan and reasons why your product is the best. The display itself looks expensive, showing you have faith to invest in your product and proving it’s a successful brand, so, as the customer sees it, it MUST be of excellent quality and value. The consumer picks it up, looks at the products’ ideal packaging for 1-2 seconds, glances at the price, and puts it in their cart, never looking back.

This process takes about a tenth of the time it took for you to read about it for the average consumer.

A POP display’s value in this scenario just paid for itself, and will, time and again. The white paper acknowledged several reasons to drop your dollars on in-store displays, and here they are:

  • Gain placement in a retail store that may not be possible without a display
  • Improve the merchandising effectiveness of the product or create a home for the product within a store when space might not otherwise exist
  • Create awareness and identity for the brand
  • Sell more product

So, having your product presented in-store with a fantastic display is important, but it’s not as simple as shipping the display to the store and waiting for the $millions$ to come rolling in. There are additional factors that will influence your success at Point of Purchase. The study presents data regarding display placement as well as location of displays (yep, I said it, and they’re not the same thing) having a lot of influence on their effectiveness and ultimately, their success. We’ll pop that knowledge down here in our next blog…so, until then…if you need help with your in-business displays, or any of your marketing needs, give us a holler! Thank you, and please come again!

– Bruce Thiem, CMOco Director of Integrated Media