Is it essential for a retail business to put as much thought into point of sale (POS) displays as they do into logo design, security, store layout, shop hanger size cubes and lighting? Bottom line, creating a functional, effective retail environment isn’t about putting all those eggs in one basket. It’s about using every tool available to pull together all facets of the brand, including both the smallest details and largest concerns.
In a small retail environment like a boutique store or high street sole trader, how can POS displays add to the final revenue outcome in the retail environment?
What Are Point of Sale Displays?
Usually located at or near the till area, point of sale displays are designed to offer customers a “final chance” for purchasing typically smaller, cheaper items. This technique is used across plenty of markets but has been pioneered by large supermarkets which usually have things like chewing gum, batteries, sweets and chocolate, a small selection of low-end magazines (e.g. TV guides), travel-sized toiletries and gift cards around the checkout lane.
Point of sale works by offering two things. Firstly, these displays are meant to serve as a reminder – “Don’t forget these, valued customer!” they seem to say. Secondly, various studies have shown customers are more likely to pick up unnecessary items (like sweets and chocolate) once already in the queue.
Encouraging Stock Variety
For the small business where every penny counts, point of sale displays can offer superb scope for driving the revenue of smaller, cheaper items. For example, a local newsagent will typically offer items like matches, various sweets, lottery scratch cards and other last minute items in their POS display.
Even a high end fashion boutique can make great use of POS displays by including typical related point of sale items like lip balm, mints, hair clips, suede cleaner, etc.
Themed Point of Sale Displays
For the small retailer, overhauling the store in line with every event – Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day, etc. – can be a strain on resources. Point of sale displays offer superb scope for themed areas around the till. For example, replacing hanger size cubes with little pumpkins and repainting the walls of the store orange would likely not be fiscally viable every Halloween. But including a Halloween-themed POS display full of small, low cost novelty items (in line with the brand) means the store can quickly and easily add theme detail without impacting negatively on revenue.
The Next Generation of Point of Sale
Small businesses are in an amazing position when it comes to dexterously adopting various new technologies. For example, the use of tablets in point of sale areas is becoming more common. But not in large stores. It’s smaller brands with more capability to change that are already seeing the real benefits of POS 2.0 tools like interactive customer smartdevices.
Libby Carins is a retail writer who contributes to several retail and marketing blogs, including that of retail supplier, Morplan.