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What is point-of-purchase marketing?

point-of-purchase marketing

Point-of-purchase marketing is a common term in the retail industry. But what is it, and how can you make best use of it? Read on to find out.  

There are many different opportunities to market a product to a consumer. It can start long before they ever think of entering your store, when they see your offering on a billboard, in a newspaper ad, or - more likely - online. However, while these are all important opportunities to sow the seeds for a sale, it’s important not to neglect one of the most important forms of marketing: point-of-purchase.  


This term refers to the act of attempting to market a product to a consumer at the point they are considering making a purchase. This might sound like the point of all marketing, but there’s a major difference. Most attempts to sell a consumer on a product start long before they actually buy it, using tactics designed to make them more aware of the item and its advantages. 

In contrast, point-of-purchase marketing is often selling to people who’ve never heard of your product before. If someone is at the supermarket, sees a retail display showcasing a new brand of washing-up liquid and decides to buy it based on how it is advertised, that would be a good example of successful point-of-purchase marketing. 

In this case, the consumer might never have heard of that brand before. However, because they were already in a supermarket, they were already willing to make multiple purchases of a range of items as part of their weekly shop. In this situation, it doesn’t actually take much to convince customers to buy your products if they’re marketed well. 


why ıs ıt so ımportant?

There are a number of different reasons why point-of-purchase marketing is so effective, but the most simple is that most marketing efforts are trying to get consumers into the right mindset to spend money on a product. In point-of-purchase situations, they’re already in that mindset, as in a great many cases customers enter stores with the specific intent of making a purchase. 

This is even more important in the online age. If a consumer has a specific product in mind, they may choose to order it online. However, if they’re heading into a store it’s likely they know what they want only in a general sense. They might want a packet of biscuits, but what brand and type they choose will depend on what they see in-store.  

Consumers are very much tied to their phones while shopping but this isn’t just about finding a better price online versus in-store. A study has found that 77% shoppers will use their smart phones to research products while in store. This means that customers are going to be very informed on which product is going to be the best one for their needs. However, point-of-purchase marketing is going to have an opportunity to appeal to the customer from an emotional level.  

In-store point-of-purchase can register on an emotional level that a consumer may not get else where in their purchasing journey. Be it telling a brand or product story or a good old ‘pulling on the heart strings’, a consumer will physically be able to engage  

Through clever retail design a great point-of-purchase will encourage a customer to pick up or even play with the product. Getting a ‘feel’ of the product is something that cannot be replicated when shopping online so it is vital that the visuals in-store lead to the point of getting a customer to want to handle the product and make it their own.  

Good point-of-purchase should attract the consumer enough to want to end their online research and start to absorb themselves in the information given them via the in-store marketing. Only 35% of shoppers will want to have face to face contact with a sales assistant so the information given via point-of-purchase should aim to be good as, if not better and more convincing that online.  


Finally, in-store marketing is a good option for smaller disruptor brands who may not yet have been able to find their online voice. When customers are presented with well researched options they have found online, finding a new brand or product with exciting visuals in-store suddenly becomes a ‘wild card’ option. In today’s market where young consumers want to be the ‘discoverer’ of a new brands, having a unique point-of-purchase could really make your product stand out.   

The research is fairly conflicted, but it’s thought that more than half of shoppers prefer being in-store to make their final purchasing decisions. Furthermore, being in a physical store makes shoppers ten per cent more likely to impulse buy. These facts make being able to market to people at this point in their customer journey crucial. 


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