What is POP marketing? - Examples, and Tips

Understand what is POP marketing, how to use it for your business, the types of POP displays, and tips to increase ROI from pop marketing.

Visiting a supermarket or shopping street exposes you to thousands of brands at once. They use tricks like Pop up signs, graphics, digital boards, or banners to grab your attention. The simple act of you impulsively walking into a store involves a lot of conversion-focused marketing, visual and copywriting psychology.

This process of online or offline stores enhancing their product placements with displays, colors, prompts, etc makes up the Point-of-Purchase or POP Marketing strategy. From established brands like McDonald’s, Walmart, Croma, etc to street vendors – companies of all sizes invest in POP marketing. This is an industry set to reach USD 15.3 billion by 2028[1].

In this article, we will help you understand what is POP Marketing. Get inspired by examples of how leading brands use it to reduce the cost of customer acquisition and drive their store conversions.

What is POP Marketing?

A point of purchase is the stage of your store experience where the customer makes a purchase decision. POP marketing is a customer interaction strategy adopted by brands in the store that acts as a final attempt to influence your purchase decision.

For example, here’s a pop display used by leading cosmetic brand L’Oréal Paris to stand out from the rest of the beauty products in the store.


Source: L’Oréal Paris end cap display

POP marketing is a powerful strategy that impacts 75% of in-store purchase decisions[2]. If not a purchase, it definitely helps create brand impressions and recall.

POP v/s POS Marketing

Point of Purchase (POP) marketing targets the online or offline customer journey where they are about to make a purchase decision. It aims to improve the chances of you noticing the brand as you decide to add products to your cart.

For example, ‘related products' or ‘people also buy’ sections in eCommerce platforms are POP marketing tactics. In offline stores, floor signs, display boards, discount banners, etc act as POP influencers.

On the other hand, Point of Sale (POS) marketing targets the customer journey in the store when a customer is about to complete their transaction. A study of sales data helps keep relevant and complementary products in the store’s display and inventory.

For example, offline stores have gums, toys, and product samples kept at the cash counter to increase cart orders. POS results in impulsive buying to increase cart orders.

Both POP and POS are terms that describe the interaction between a customer and a business about how and where the products get purchased. Ideally, a combination of POP and POS strategy helps ensure a customer notices a brand whether it's on a shelf or billing counter.

Benefits of POP marketing for retailers

Unlike usual marketing that involves consistent efforts in educating or branding, retail stores have limited time to persuade buyers to make a purchase from their store. With such constraints, POP marketing works great in retail because:

  • Easy to test: easy to push banners or sign placements in a store at low costs.
  • Highlight promotions: retailers can highlight discounts and profitable brands to increase sales.
  • Niche targeting: Customers usually enter retail stores with purchase intention. Stores can charge for brand building and exposure to new companies and increase revenues.

Types of POP displays

POP displays highlight brands to customers from the rest of the products in the aisle or shelves. Here are some common types of POP displays you can explore for your business:

Temporary POP displays

Made from cheaper materials like cardboard or banner cloths, temporary POP displays are great to highlight special promotions or test product placements. They are usually signs, banners, dump bins, freestanding displays, etc.


Source: Hot wheels blue dump bin

Semi-permanent POP displays

Usually made from materials like glass, wood, or metals, semi-permanent displays are great to highlight products on shelves or cash counters. For example, glass displays are typically used to highlight jewelry in stores.


Source: Ray-Ban glass display

Permanent POP displays

Permanent displays are usually longer display tables made of stronger materials like glass, wood, or steel. They can be shelves or even aisles depending on the use case. For example, the displays you see for watches, phones, laptops, etc in stores are permanent displays.


Source: Smart Watch display

Digital POP displays

Digital POP displays will contain the provision to showcase ads, slideshows, or product videos to make them more appealing to the customer. These displays are common in electronic stores, airports, and malls.


Source: Arlo Video system display

Robotic POP Displays

Robotic displays possess the ability to showcase movements and actions that help gather customer attention. These are expensive and commonly spotted in larger tech conferences or shows.


Source:Interactive ads by Robo Ads

Examples of POP marketing

Brands use creative ways to showcase their products using a wide variety of POP displays and marketing hacks available. Here are 5 examples of how brands in different industries are using POP marketing to stand out in stores.

1) Floor display by Nesquik

Nesquik has creatively used floor displays designed as a hopscotch game. This engages kids (also their target customers) who visit the shop and interact with their brand in the process.


Source: Nimlok portable

2) Pepsi’s inflatable Helmet

For the Superbowl season, Pepsi places inflatable helmets around its beverage stands in various stores. It also reflects an offer to lure customers who would want to have drinks as they watch the game with a group of friends.


Source: Pepsi Helmet

3) Prayer wheels by Sherpa

Sherpa, an adventure gear brand has made its collection showcase interactive with the prayer wheel. Anyone playing with the prayer wheel might help catch attention towards their stand and check their apparel.


Source: Prayer Wheel by Sherpa

4) Neon signs by Jagermeister

Neon signs are commonly used in bars and pubs to stand out in the dark lighting. Here, placing Jagermeister signs on the tables makes people experience brand recall and may even order or enquire.


Source: Jagermeister Neon Sign

5) Spot the difference by Barilla

Barilla chose two of its products and asked the store visitors to spot the difference that comes with a single ingredient. This generates curiosity among viewers and may tempt them to try both product flavors.


Source: Barilla difference floor graphic

How to calculate the ROI (return on investment) for POP marketing

Here are some ways you can use to determine if POP marketing is giving you any return on investment:

  • Use formulas: Calculate ROI [ercentage based on the investment done on the POP displays versus the actual product sales obtained from that store.
    ROI = ( Profits - Investment costs ) / (Investment costs)
  • Compare engagement: Do a before-and-after POP display usage comparison based on the store sales. Initially, you might want to run experiments using temporary displays and floor signs to understand if your target customers or brand loyalists visit the said store.
  • Gross Margin ROI (GMROI): Calculating GMROI helps you understand if POP displays are helping you drive your inventory movement into actual sales.

GMROI = (Annual sales - Cost of sales) / (Inventory)

Some stores may even charge you for using POP marketing strategies, for which you must account the same in investment costs. Hence, you should calculate the duration for which you need to use the POP displays in the store to break even POP marketing investment costs.

Account festival season-related benefits that can lead to short spikes in revenues from the store. Based on this duration and seasonality, you may want to invest in suitable POP displays.

Tips to improve POP marketing performance

POP marketing is a cost-effective and easy-to-implement strategy that has proven to deliver ROI to businesses with store sales. Here are some tips that you can refer to when designing your POP marketing strategy:

  • Run a POP marketing campaign: POP displays work great when their theme is based on festivals, sports, celebrities, etc. This helps generate familiarity among customers as they visit different stores.
  • Include discounts in your POP displays: This not only helps increase conversion but will also help you understand the ROI from your POP marketing efforts based on how many people use the discount offer.
  • Allow product trials: Let your potential customers try your products via sampling, demos, or interactive videos like Augmented Reality based tryouts. This helps create trust, especially if it's a premium product.
  • Use bright colors: For POP marketing, sticking to dull or nude shades might not work best to grab customer attention. Use vibrant shades that complement your brand colors for maximum effect.
  • Get creative with your POP displays: Come up with interactive games, QR code-based activities, or unique product demos to stand out from other products.
  • Leverage cross-selling: POP marketing isn’t just about targeting one product or announcing discounts. You can cross-sell other product categories too that complement the product in the aisle.

Get started with POP marketing today!

Remember that POP marketing is not just about adding POP displays anywhere in the store. Coordinate with the store owner or wherever you plan to place your products to determine the best plan possible. Store management is a fast-paced business. Hence, conduct random store checks to know if your products and POP displays are working as instructed to the store.

A more uniquely designed POP display yields better POP marketing ROI. Get started today and get more customers or generate brand impressions.


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