Article: Does POS work in the physical store?
Point of sale material in the physical store has existed since the beginnings of the advertising industry. Does it have an effect, or is it just old habit? We take the temperature on reality and have a look at the impact of the medium.
We look at the effect of POS in the physical store, where best to target consumers and, not least, how to make POS an integral part of the marketing strategy as a whole.
POS controls behaviours and impulse buying
New research shows that POS materials in the physical store sell products and affect consumer behaviour.
A large study, conducted by leading retail analysis firm The Integer Group, shows that 9 out of 10 consumers stray from the shopping list when they shop. So, an entire 90 percent of consumers make their buying decisions in the store, based on pure impulse.
Of those, 66 percent answered that in-store materials in the shop were the direct cause of their off-road shopping. In other words, it is possible to influence consumer impulse buying through targeted and strategic use of POS materials in the physical store.
What gives the greatest effect?
POS is a powerful tool for creating both awareness and purchase preferences in customers. But what POS channels have the biggest impact?
US firm Miller Zell looked into that. In the report, Miller Zell examines what instore material consumers found most effective, and what material created the greatest recognition. Respondents were segmented by gender, generation and income.
In connection with effectiveness, the average score was high across segments. Among men, 60 percent responded that in-store materials were effective, whereas only 10 percent felt that instore had no effect on their purchase decision.
Instore materials had the same effect in women, where 59 percent thought that POS influenced them in the moment of purchase. What is particularly interesting is the fact that 54 percent of Generation Y consumers were affected by POS, despite the fact that they are frequently described as 100 percent digital.
What platforms do customers remember?
In the same survey, respondents were asked which instore-elements they remembered from their most recent shopping experience. The results are quite remarkable and provide insight into the POS platforms that leave the greatest impressions.
On average, and across all segments, 70 percent of respondents remembered displays at the end of shelves the best and, in the same group, 62 percent remembered seeing product displays and 58 percent recalled the ceiling signs in the department.
At the same time, 55 percent of the same respondents answered that they still remembered having seen wobblers, while 50 percent recalled seeing shelf displays. So, these are also platforms that stick in the customers’ memory.
The figures are supported by neuro marketing professor Stephen Sands who, at Neuro Retail Revolution in 2013, presented a study about the importance of POS in the store. Despite the fact that customers are exposed to many visual impressions, as many as 56 percent of surveyed customers recalled seeing instore displays. And as Stephen Sands aptly says: “If you’re not putting the brand on display, you’re less likely to put your brand in the shopper’s basket”.
Create a connection between platforms
What characterises the modern consumer is that they move effortlessly from one platform to another, and back and forth between analogue and digital. And of course, that needs to be integrated into the POS material.
This may be done through links from your POS material to a contest page on Facebook, a QR code linking to tips and recipes on your website, or perhaps a gateway to video content – the key word is nonline communication and cross-channel marketing.
An effective marketing strategy does not exclude one type of marketing in preference of the other – it is about integrating across channels. And here, both POS and digital platforms are key elements.
Strategy is key
In order for a medium like POS to have maximum effect, it is important to work strategically and with focus. A variety of factors, such as design, messages, placement and media types, are crucial to the final result.
The first step is to look at how POS becomes an integrated and focused part of the marketing strategy, so that in the future, you make the most of your physical surroundings. Because as neuro marketing professor Stephen Sands says, insightfully: “What is unseen is unsold.”