Last Updated On September 01, 2020 / Written By Jin Hyun

Point of Sale Display- How to Increase Impulse Buys

Creating a point of sale display is a strategic point of purchasing marketing technique that can boost both small and large-ticket item sales for retail businesses.

To understand how to utilize point of purchase marketing effectively, businesses must first know the difference between the point of purchase and point of sales displays, as well as how to integrate them into in-store product placement.

Point of Purchase vs. Point of Sale Displays

A point of sale (POS) for retail stores is the location where transactions are processed. This is typically one counter with cash registers, though with mobile POS technology implementation, there may be multiple locations within the store that allow transactions to be processed.

Last-minute impulse buying is widespread at these point of sale locations, with research finding that 5 in 6 customers admit to impulse purchasing while in a store. This is why retailers should focus on using the space around the POS to encourage impulse purchasing.

The term point of purchase' (POP) refers to anywhere within a retail store that engages a customer with a product, separate from the standard aisles and shelf displays. These are break out' displays to encourage small-investment impulse buys.

A POP display is different from a point of sale (POS) display. POP displays are located in other areas beyond the actual sales register and are spread throughout the store. Therefore, point of purchase marketing refers to the efforts and materials used by retailers to sell products through visual displays, including written and image-based signage.

The POS displays, on the other hand, are located at the point of sale where the buyer completes the transaction. The key benefit of focusing on crafting an effective point of sale display is to leverage the opportunity of having a customer present and already willing to make a purchase. Adding to the purchase with smaller, impulse buys can boost sales of related items and other promotions to increase the average transaction value.

5 Types of Displays

The following five types of impactful POP displays will offer businesses different ways to increase sales. Retail businesses should consider using a mixture of POP display types to maximize their floor space.

1. Counter Display

The retail store counter space is highly visible, making it a valuable display location. When placing accessories and small items on the counter as a POS display, be sure to avoid cluttering up space and keep clear visibility of the sales-person. Displaying small shelves along the front wall of the counter or open box/drawers offer simple ways to organize items without taking up too much space.

2. Free Standing Display

Products are showcased on freestanding units which can sit in the middle of stores, or at the end of aisles, drawing attention directly to the products as they are not integrated into counters or existing shelf space.

3. Sampling Display

Some retail businesses will be able to utilize sampling POP displays, which are dedicated areas to place tester products for customers to try before they buy. Interactive sampling can boost sales as customers will have more confidence in their choices, especially if they are purchasing cosmetics or food items. Sampling POP displays can also be used with in-store special events and workshops.

4. Dump Bin

This display is easy to set up and is effective in attracting customers looking for last chance sale items, with a large open bin' that showcases a variety of similar products. For example, businesses can create a basket of reduced cosmetic items or last chance' clothing pieces.

5. Checkout Display

Finally, this is a POS display type that encourages impulse purchases by strategically showcasing items in the line of sight of customers at the check-out counter. The entire line-up area can be organized in a way where customers are required to walk through baskets and shelves with low cost, impulse buy items that grab their attention.

Tricks for In-Store POS Marketing

Two effective ways to generate more sales involve encouraging impulse purchases through special offers and cross-selling.

  • Promote Special Offers
POS Marketing through point of sale display tactics is an effective way to promote products for campaigns or highlight specific items in-store. POP displays, like those mentioned above, are great places to showcase special discounts, seasonal campaigns, bundle sales packages, or new stock.

According to industry research, 85% of impulse buyers stated that their purchasing decisions were influenced by a promotion or discount. Therefore, businesses should ensure that there is clear and attention-grabbing signage to express the promotion.

Staff members should also be trained to answer questions and upsell the current promotions with suggestive selling strategies and scripts to encourage customers to increase their transaction values. Be sure to keep consistent communication with all staff members for changing seasonal promotions.

  • Cross-Sell Items
POP displays are very effective when they highlight low-cost products that are related to higher-priced items for sale. An example of this is to display shoelaces and socks next to high-priced sneakers. This type of POP display needs to be in close proximity to those higher-ticket items.

Additionally, examine POS data to determine which products are currently sold together so that the display reflects this and cross-sells both items. Not only will the POS data point to cross-selling ideas, but surveying customers is a clear way to understand their needs. Listen to what products they are looking for, and ask for feedback on new products they'd like to have access to. This is an interactive, proactive way for sales representatives to know how to meet demand and market expectations effectively.


Businesses should consider every part of their store space as valuable real-estate to maximize retail sales in their marketing strategies. When a business is strategic about where and how they display items throughout the store, specifically through point of sales marketing, they can enjoy increased average transaction value and profits with minimal additional effort.