The Ultimate Guide to Successful Point of Sale Displays

In this ultimate guide to point of sale displays, we’ve compiled everything you need to know to fully understand, design, and manage your in-store POS displays. You’ll also find valuable insights exploring the future of point of sale and what to expect next in the retail sector.

Whether you’re a commercial brand on the hunt to increase overall sales or you’re a retailer looking to boost a new product line, point of sale displays can offer the ideal solution.

Creating a unique and memorable retail experience for your customers is the key to improving sales and boosting brand loyalty. Join us, as we dive into the ultimate guide to successful POS displays.


  1. What is a Point of Sale Display?
  2. POS Marketing Theory
  3. Point of Sale Display Examples
  4. Successfully Managing Your Point of Sale Projects from Start to Finish
  5. The Future of Point of Sale: How Point of Sale Displays are Evolving
  6. Start Your POS Buying Journey Today


What is a Point of Sale Display?

what is a point of sale display

For anyone trying to understand the term, POS, you may be asking: ‘what is a point of sale display?’. A point of sale (POS) display is a form of sales promotion found near, on, or close to a point of purchase. Displays located at the point of sale are intended to draw customer attention to specific products.

Point of sale displays come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. This includes free-standing displays, gondola displays, shelf edging, hanging signs, banners, posters, countertop displays, end caps, display racks & rails and display cabinets.

POP vs POS Displays: What Exactly is the Difference?

The terms POP and POS can be used interchangeably, but it’s important to know that they’re not exactly the same thing. POP displays are typically found in a ‘product placement zone’, for example;

  • A retail entry point
  • The end of an aisle
  • A centralised location in a store
  • Amongst other products on a shelf

As POP displays appear throughout a store, they offer a wider window for brands or retailers to promote products and offer the ideal space to educate customers, promote product USPs, cultivate brand awareness, and encourage shoppers to choose a product.

With POS displays, shoppers have already made the majority of their shopping decisions and are ready to complete a purchase. Apart from those slight differences, the terms POS and POP displays can be used interchangeably. Displays can be placed everywhere in retail, from the tills, the entrance, or the counter, to shelves, walls and down an aisle.

How Effective are POS Displays?

A POS display’s main strength lies in the fact that their location almost always guarantees a customer will encounter your product during their shopping trip. POS displays can also easily be switched-out or rotated to promote smaller products, encourage impulse buys, and incorporate promotions. Think ‘buy one, get one free’.


POS Marketing Theory

POS Marketing Theory

The point of sale (or point of purchase) is one of the most important touchpoints in the customer journey and the primary point for sales if marketed effectively. Anywhere customers move near a point of sale counts. To best promote your products effectively, aim to use in-store space as effectively as possible. It’s vital to create POS marketing strategies that truly optimise your sales efforts, find out more in this blog.

What is the Purpose of a Point of Sale Display?

With a clever design, in-store POS displays are a great way for brands and retailers to push products that shoppers are likely to buy impulsively. Even if your POS items are only small, they’ll add up to a significant amount of profit if customers purchase them consistently.

Product displays not only help brands showcase their products, but a targeted POS display can also tell a story, elevate a product, and persuade a customer to buy a product they might not have planned to buy.

What is Point of Purchase Marketing?

It’s important to understand how point of sale displays fit into wider retail marketing strategies that encourage consumers to purchase. ‘Point of Purchase Marketing’ is the specific act of marketing a product to a consumer at the point they’re considering making a purchase. We answered the question, ‘what is point of purchase marketing‘ in more detail, in this blog.

POP marketing typically involves selling a new product to current customers or to completely new consumers. Retail displays at the point of purchase work by showcasing a brand that encourages consumers to go through with a purchase based on how a product or service is advertised.

What Psychological Marketing Techniques do Point of Sale Displays use?

POS displays are used to trigger what marketers refer to as “problem recognition response” in people. The most common products found at POS displays are items that aren’t at the top of a customer’s mind.

In-store POS displays provide visual exposure to products to help make consumers realise they may need that particular item to solve a problem, for example: IKEA places tool kits at their point of sale so that customers can assemble their newly purchased flat-pack furniture. POS displays are designed to stop your buyer in their tracks.

Why is POS Merchandising Important?

Point of sale merchandising is the practice of promoting products and in terms of POS, this is usually a product display or signage.

Merchandising has always played a pivotal role in improving retail sales. Visual merchandising with POS methods allow businesses to show off their creativity while promoting their products. Even if the items at your POS are small, over time they’ll add up to a significant amount of profit if you can get your customers to make consistent purchases.

POS merchandising displays also create the opportunity to highlight a particular product line, move overstocked items, show seasonal items, and remind customers they may need more of a specific product.

The Role of POS Merchandising in a Sales & Marketing Strategy

As a marketing manager, you know that the point of sale is far more than a place to encourage transactions. Your POS display should be considered a strategic asset to help your business improve both profit and marketing efforts.

Thankfully, there are countless options for creating a POS marketing strategy.

Before you get started with your POS marketing strategy, take a moment to identify your goals. For example, do you want to upsell overstocked items, increase the visibility of new items, highlight a specific line of products, or spark limited-time interest?

Marketing managers in the world of retail should understand the key role product manufacturers play in the point of sale display process. Point of sale and point of purchase display manufacturers will often send representatives to visit stores to negotiate variations in POS (and POP) displays. In-store space is a scarce resource, so it’s important to use it strategically and effectively.

How Point of Sale Displays Increase Sales

By the time your customers are in-store, they’ll already be in the right mindset to make a purchase. After all, they’re almost certainly there because they’ve already picked out something to buy. Anywhere your customers stand or move while making a purchase is an opportunity to sell. Make use of your space to separate out your POS marketing areas.

Whether you opt for a free-standing display unit or invest in eye-catching hanging signs, a well-designed and strategically placed POS display can make all the difference to a customers’ average spend-per-visit. The Advertising Research Foundation concluded that even the simplest POS displays had the potential to increase in-store sales between 12% and 27%.

All shoppers can relate to the frustration of long queues at the till. Engaging POS displays, along the path to the checkout, can dissuade customers from abandoning their trolleys or prematurely leaving the store before they’ve completed a purchase as well as being a powerful upselling tool. POP displays are a great tool to keep your customer occupied on the journey to the point of sale.

Boost retail sales with unique POS display stand

What Makes a Good Point of Sale Display?

If you want to maximise the effectiveness of your POS displays, you’ll want to incorporate compelling designs that grab customer’s attention.

Features of Powerful Point of Sale Displays:

  • Spotlight product features and benefits. Be upfront about the benefits customers receive from purchasing your product. Better yet, add in a punchy call to action like “Buy Now” to motivate immediate purchases.
  • Show the product in use. Visual imagery helps create a desire among your customers. Show customers how your product can be used, but be careful to ensure the models fit the image of your target market.
  • Make your point of sale display interactive. New retail technologies like QR codes and augmented reality allow customers to interact at the point of sale using their mobile devices. Direct customers to landing pages or videos that offer more information and a more detailed sales pitch while they’re waiting.

Point of Sale Display Examples

Point of sale display examples

Point of Sale Ideas by Sector

Different retail sectors require unique approaches to point of sale advertising ideas, (we shared our top 9 POS advertising ideas in this blog).

Here are a few of our top point of sale display ideas across a range of industries:

Cosmetics Point of Sale Displays

Cosmetic point of sale display example

Sports Point of Sale Displays

Point of sale display Sports example

Fashion & Apparel Point of Sale Displays

Fashion and apparel point of sale example

Consumer Electronics POS Displays

Consumer electronics product display example

DIY & Garden POS Displays

DIY and Gardening POS Example

Food & Drink POS Displays

Food Product Display Example

Point of Sale Display Ideas by Type

Marketing managers have to balance creative innovation with functionality when designing innovative POS display stands. But, striking the right balance doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Use these ideas to imagine the best type of point of sale displays for your retail space.

Discover how KSF used POS and POP display solutions to bring Osprey’s brand to life in this case study.

Free Standing Displays

Free-standing POS and POP displays can be placed anywhere in a store to showcase your products to the right people.

Freestanding POS display example

Counter Top Displays

Placing a POS display on a countertop is a great technique to attract attention to new or promotional products.

Counter top product display example

Point of Sale Display Units

Floor standing POS displays units are useful for exhibiting your product and bringing your marketing to life.

Floor standing product display example


Transportable Product Displays

For a product display that can be moved around a retail store, a product display on wheels might be the answer.

transportable POS unit

Product Display Cabinets

POS display cabinets can be placed away from the wall so customers can view your products from all sides.

Product display cabinet example

Gondola End Displays

As shoppers move between aisles, gondola end displays are an effective use of space to promote your brand and your products.

Gondola product display

Point of Sale Ideas by Material

When you’re considering a POS display solution, one of the first things you must think about is the suitability of materials needed to meet your requirements. Think beyond the intended use of the display, and also consider the permanency of the POS display along with the best materials to minimise any environmental impact.

Metal Point of Sale Displays

Metal POS displays are a robust, professional and premium option. There are various metals available, from lightweight aluminium to high-end copper.

Metal POS display

Perspex & Plastic Point of Sale Displays

Choosing plastic and perspex in your POS displays is a lightweight, durable, option that’s easy to decorate through printing and painting.

Plastic point of sale display unit

Cardboard Point of Sale Displays

Cardboard POS displays are easy to distribute and assemble, and also allow you to play with creativity to come up with a unique style.

Cardboard POS example

Glass Point of Sale Displays

A POS display made from glass is suitable for premium, high-end products.

Glass product display

Wooden Point of Sale Displays

Wood is a good choice for eco-friendly brands, where a more natural look will suit your products. Wood is also highly durable for the retail environment.

Wooden point of sale display

Picking the right materials for your POS display stands can be challenging, especially if you’re on a budget. Find out whether cardboard or plastic displays are the best option for your store.


Successfully Managing Your Point of Sale Projects from Start to Finish

Managing a Point of Sale Project from Start to Finish

POS marketing displays are great for catching customer attention and encouraging impulse buys. Nevertheless, as a marketing manager, how can you make sure the display achieves the best possible results?

To achieve the best results, you first need to understand your end goals. For example, do you plan to use the display to boost brand awareness? If so, then you should plan to include strong imagery and eye-catching colours. Or, do you primarily want to increase purchases? Then a more sales-focused display would be the ideal choice for spotlighting your products and increasing the chance of spur of the moment purchases.

Remember that, ultimately, a POS display should target your customer — so it’s important to think about how they’ll experience it. Consider how much time they’ll have to soak in your display at the point of sale. Customers are unlikely to have time to absorb a lot of information, so tailor your retail POS design towards quick impulse purchases.

We covered the steps to take when choosing the features of your custom point of purchase displays in this blog. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How permanent should the POS display be?

When deciding how long you want your POS displays to last, you have three main options: permanent, semi-permanent or temporary. The longer you expect your display to last, the more you should prepare to pay. The level of permanency of a display also impacts other decisions, including the type of materials that need to be used. For example, a cardboard display is only intended for temporary use.

  • Where exactly will the product display be located?

Consider location as part of the design. Think where exactly your customers will see it. On the till? As a free-standing unit? Or, will it be located in a specific aisle close to your existing products?

  • What’s the intended goal of the display?

The overarching goal of a POS display is to sell a product. But, as a marketing manager, you can (and should) be more specific. After all, there’s a huge difference between trying to sell as much of a discounted item as possible and attempting to get customers to take the plunge and try a product that’s just entered the market.

  • What’s the store’s visual aesthetic?

Every store has a different style, so it’s important to make sure your display matches accordingly. If you don’t match your POS display to your brand, it’ll look out of place and potentially make customers less likely to buy the product.

Using Shopper Insights to Plan Your Point of Sale Display

Using shopper research is a good way for brands and retailers to understand their customer’s specific behaviour and motivations. Shopper research employs a whole host of methodologies and questions to gather valuable data and information about consumers.

Conducting shopper research can help to effectively plan POS and POP product displays. After all, the only way to truly understand the unique and dynamic customer buying journey is to put yourself in your customer’s shoes throughout your store including at the point of purchase.

Google shopping insights show that more than ever, customers are doing research before they decide to make a purchase. Whether they’re deciding to buy, learning how to use a product, or looking for inspiration on their next purchase, the online world is hugely impactful — even at an in-store product display. By the time customers arrive in-store, they’ll already be in the mindset to make a purchase. They’re almost certainly there because they’ve already picked out something to buy after researching online.

Research conducted by McKinsey & Company concluded that today’s shoppers typically make fewer trips to a store but buy more when they do shop. The study found that shoppers now go to the store not to browse, but instead with a clear purpose in mind.

Revealing shopper insights has created a more strategic than a tactical shift in shopper marketing and aligning sales goals with point of sale displays. By understanding customers more deeply, shopper insights help brands and retailers tailor POS displays that resonate with customers.

How to Design Your Retail Display

While location and placement are crucial, your retail display design should be a top priority. Learn more about how to achieve your brand vision with your retail displays in this blog.

If you’re struggling to come up with retail POS design ideas, you could:

  • Reach out to a retail display designer for their thoughts and ideas.
  • Research your competitors and find POS displays they’re executing with success.
  • Read POS case studies for inspiration about successful retail display designs.
  • Ask your target audience about what motivates them to make a purchase.
  • Conduct A/B testing to determine which displays yield the best results.

For more ideas, read our blog with 7 tips for retail pos design.

Aligning your marketing campaign and design assets is a great way to elevate your brand and establish a stickiness in the minds of consumers. Tell a story with your retail POS design.


GET STARTED WITH A RETAIL DESIGN BRIEFDownload Your Free Retail Design Brief Template


How to Design an In-Store Promotional Display

Promotional marketing can be challenging when there are other displays fighting for customers’ attention. By designing bold in-store promotional displays, you can focus consumer attention away from other products and directly onto yours. This blog goes into more detail on designing in-store promotional displays.

Don’t be afraid to think outside-of-the-box when designing a POS display. As long as you make your display relevant to your customers, you’re onto a winner. Make sure your message is concise and try weaving a story into your product displays that connect directly with your customers.


How to Appoint a Point of Purchase Display Partner

When speaking to a retail design agency or a product display manufacturer, think about the elements you need to sell effectively versus the elements of that are simply ‘nice to have’. It’s important to carefully consider your budget and how quickly you need your display fittings and fixtures to be assembled in-store.

At KSF Global we have the expertise and talent to create beautifully designed and high-quality POS and POP displays. Our experienced designers are able to create bespoke POS displays to meet your specifications. The team can also develop something inspired by your creative brief.

The Future of Point of Sale: How Point of Sale Displays are Evolving

The Future of Point of Sale

Digitisation plays a critical role in customer experiences online and in-store. From mobile applications to digital POS displays, technological advancements represent an important shift in ever-evolving in-store experiences.

How are Emerging Retail Technologies Changing Point of Sale Displays?

With new POS display technologies, retailers can offer customers a more personalised shopping experience. This will simultaneously help them to make more informed buying decisions at the point of sale.

Digital point of sale displays provides retailers with a unique opportunity to fine-tune marketing tactics. This type of POS display potentially drives customer engagement and retention rates while also positively impacting revenue and profit margins.

Technological innovation allows retailers to come up with better in-store layouts to gradually reduce inventory volumes and eliminate inefficiencies and unnecessary carrying costs.

Point of Sale Display Trends in 2021

From in-store digital product displays to self-service kiosks, retail in 2021 is geared to become more technologically connected and digitally immersive than ever.

Artificial intelligence promises to deliver better overall shopping experience as well as transform in-store point of sale areas. Online shopping has set the bar for the shopping experience. And through data collection, the convenience and intuitive suggestions can be useful for in-store shoppers too.

Through AI similar POS experiences can be created in-store. By personalising product recommendations based on a customer’s past behaviour and purchases, retailers can use their POS to offer relevant product displays.

Why Brand Leaders Need to Follow New Retail Trends

With digital POS displays, brands and retailers can deliver in-store experiences and strategic brand messaging that’s consistent across online and offline marketing channels. Emerging tech provides a consistent, efficient, and speedy service that meets customer expectations.

Brick-and-mortar stores must harness new retail technologies to offer a more coherent, fully integrated omnichannel shopping experience across multiple touchpoints. Creating multiple touchpoints provides better support across the purchase journeys — including at the point of sale. Therefore, brands and retailers can fully optimise return on investment and boost sales.


Start Your POS Buying Journey Today

Start Your POS Buying Journey

KSF Global is a leading point of sale display manufacturer specialising in comprehensive retail display solutions, including POS displays and POP displays, along with custom retail fittings. With our extensive expertise in creating and designing a diverse range of display solutions and retail store fixtures, we excel in crafting high-quality products that effectively showcase your merchandise.

Discover everything you need to know about buying a point of sale display stand in our Point of Sale Display Buying Guide.

Find out how KSF Global can help you make a success of your next product launch with effective point of sale marketing techniques by getting in touch today.

CTA The Ultimate Point of Sale Buying Guide