Point of Sale Display

A form of sales promotion involving the display of products near, next, or on a transactional purchase area

What is a Point of Sale Display?

A Point of Sale display (POS display) is a form of sales promotion in which products are displayed near, next to, or on a transactional purchase area. Point of sale displays are most effective when used to display or promote convenience goods. The rationale behind such displays is to draw consumer’s attention to products and encourage them to make an impulse purchase.


Point of Sale Display


Point of sale displays can take many forms, such as:

  • Counter displays
  • Floor displays
  • Shelf talkers
  • Lightboxes


Products on a Point of Sale Display

Although any products can appear on a point of sale display, convenience goods are the most effective products to put there. For example:

  • Soft drinks
  • Chocolate bars and candy
  • Chewing gum
  • Magazines and comics
  • Lighters and tobacco
  • Novelty products
  • Souvenirs
  • Bulk sold items


Purpose Behind Point of Sale Displays

Point of sale displays are used to trigger what marketers refer to as “problem recognition response” in consumers. Products on a point of sale display are usually things that are not on a consumer’s top-of-mind. Point of sale displays provide a visual exposure to products and helps make consumers realize that they may need that particular product to solve a problem. Point of sale displays capture the consumer’s attention and create impulse purchases.

For example, consider a trucker who makes a stop at a gas station to fill up his tank. He walks into the store to put $50 on his pump station and receives exposure to point of sale displays when he is making the purchase. He notices a pack of gum on a point of sale display, which triggers a problem recognition response – does my breath smell? Impulsively, he adds the pack of gum to his purchase.


How to Generate Impulse Purchases Through Point of Sale Displays

There are several ways to improve your point of sale displays to generate impulse purchases:

  1. Make sure the products on the point of sale displays are convenience goods that are priced cheaply.
  2. Make sure the POS displays are visually exciting. Create visibility by using contrasting colors, and ensure that they stand out and grab attention by being creative with your POS displays.
  3. Incorporate promotions and encourage consumers to take advantage of the deal. “Buy one, get one” free deals are highly effective in generating impulse purchases at the point of sale.


Key Takeaways From Point of Sale Displays

  • Point of sale displays refers to products that are displayed near, next to, or on a transactional purchase area.
  • Point of sale displays are used to trigger a “problem recognition response” and generate impulse purchases.
  • The most common types of items on a point of sale display are convenience products.
  • Point of sale displays should be creatively designed to grab attention.


Additional Resources

CFI is the official provider of the global Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)™ certification program, designed to help anyone become a world-class financial analyst. To keep learning and advancing your career, the additional CFI resources below will be useful:

  • Brand Equity
  • Market Positioning
  • Types of Buyers
  • Walmart Marketing Mix

Financial Analyst Certification

Become a certified Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® by completing CFI’s online financial modeling classes and training program!

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