Point of Purchase: What it is, how it works

Point of purchase (POP) is a common term used in retail. In this complete guide, you will discover more about POP marketing and POP innovation. We’ll share the definition of the term, examples of POP campaigns, and tips and tricks that will help you implement your campaigns. 

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Understanding Point of Purchase 

A Point of Purchase (POP) is a key aspect of marketing and retail, focusing on where and how products are showcased to influence buying decisions. Unlike the Point of Sale (POS), where transactions occur, the POP encompasses the entire shopping environment. 

In stores, it's where marketers strategically place displays and promotions to catch shoppers' attention. The POP is where customers encounter special deals, product demos, and a curated shopping experience, guiding them from initial interest to making a purchase. It's the space where retailers aim to make a lasting impression, fostering engagement and loyalty throughout the customer journey.

POS Systems 

The Point of Sale (POS) system is a fundamental component within the broader landscape of the point of purchase. These systems, prevalent across diverse industries, deploy specialized hardware and software uniquely tailored to the needs of specific businesses. Departing from conventional cash registers, modern POS systems are predominantly computer-based and digital, often incorporating various peripherals such as printers, barcode scanners, scales, and touch screens. Notably, customer engagement is evolving, with patrons assuming roles traditionally reserved for checkout clerks, including scanning barcodes, operating touch-screen terminals, and executing payments via credit card swipes or cash machine insertions.

Beyond streamlining transactional processes, retailers leverage POS software for multifaceted functionalities. Inventory management is a key aspect, with the software facilitating real-time tracking and automatic alerts to warehouses when stock levels are low. Additionally, POS software plays a pivotal role in accounting, aiding businesses in managing revenue and seamlessly integrating daily sales data into their financial records. This integration not only enhances efficiency but also serves as a valuable tool in deterring theft and employee fraud.

Furthermore, the dynamic capabilities of POS systems extend to comprehensive business operations. Retailers utilize POS software for tasks such as generating purchase orders and automating their dispatch to suppliers. The system's versatility enables it to contribute significantly to warehousing functions, enhancing overall management efficiency. In essence, the POS system is a technological linchpin that not only facilitates smooth and secure transactions but also integrates seamlessly into broader business operations, making it an indispensable tool for modern retailers.

POS Innovation 

Modern Point of Sale (POS) innovations are characterized by their adaptability and programmability, often accommodating third-party software enhancements to cater to specific business needs. Retailers leverage POS systems for more than just transactions, utilizing them to administer membership programs that reward frequent buyers with points and future purchase discounts.

An emerging trend is the adoption of cloud-based POS systems, particularly prevalent among large online merchants. These systems, adept at tracking and processing numerous transactions, offer significant cost benefits by minimizing upfront implementation expenses for businesses.

In the hospitality industry, there's a notable shift towards customer interaction with POS systems, facilitated by location-based technology. In restaurants, patrons engage directly with terminals at their tables, perusing menus and placing orders. Similarly, in hotels, customers use similar terminals to request room service or settle their bills, showcasing the evolving and interactive nature of contemporary POS systems.

Successful POP Programs 

Apple's In-Store Experience

Apple has redefined the in-store experience with its innovative POP programs. Apple Stores are designed to be immersive spaces where customers can interact with products like iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. The layout encourages hands-on exploration, and knowledgeable staff members are on hand to provide assistance and answer questions. Apple's approach focuses on creating an environment that enhances the overall customer experience and encourages product engagement.

Nike's Customization Stations

Nike has implemented POP programs that include customization stations in some of its retail locations. Customers can personalize their sneakers by choosing colors, materials, and designs. This not only creates a unique product for the customer but also adds an interactive element to the shopping experience. The customization stations are strategically placed within the store to attract attention and drive customer engagement.

Samsung's Virtual Reality Demos

Samsung utilizes virtual reality (VR) technology in its POP programs to provide customers with immersive experiences. In select retail locations, customers can don VR headsets to explore product features, such as the capabilities of Samsung's latest smartphones or virtual tours of home appliances. This approach allows customers to experience the products in a more dynamic and memorable way, influencing their purchasing decisions.

Coca-Cola's Interactive Vending Machines

Coca-Cola has introduced interactive vending machines equipped with touch screens and digital displays. These machines go beyond traditional beverage dispensers by engaging customers with games, promotions, and personalized offers. The interactive elements not only make the vending experience more enjoyable but also serve as a marketing tool to promote Coca-Cola products and create memorable brand interaction.

Products that POP management has been applied to

Innovative management of the point of purchase (POP) has been applied across a diverse array of consumer product categories, including:

Technology and Electronics:

Smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices often feature interactive displays and engaging demonstrations at the point of purchase to showcase their features and capabilities.

Fashion and Apparel:

Clothing retailers utilize creative POP displays to highlight new collections, promote fashion trends, and enhance the overall shopping experience.

Food and Beverages:

Grocery stores employ strategic POP programs for food and beverage products, including eye-catching displays, in-store promotions, and interactive elements to influence purchasing decisions.

Automotive Industry:

Car dealerships have implemented innovative POP strategies to create a more comfortable and engaging car-buying experience, as seen in Ford's showroom wine-and-cheese parties mentioned earlier.

Consumer Electronics:

Companies manufacturing gadgets, home appliances, and audio-visual equipment often use dynamic displays and interactive demonstrations to showcase product features and functionalities.


Shoe retailers integrate POP management to showcase new footwear collections, highlight technology advancements, and offer customization options for customers.

Beverage Industry:

Beverage companies, including soft drinks and energy drinks, utilize creative POP displays, interactive vending machines, and promotions to attract customer attention and drive sales.

Beauty and Cosmetics:

Cosmetic brands employ innovative POP techniques to introduce new products, provide demonstrations, and create visually appealing displays to enhance the shopping experience.

Sporting Goods:

Sporting goods stores apply POP management to highlight equipment, apparel, and accessories, often incorporating interactive elements to engage customers with the products.

Home Goods and Furniture:

Retailers in the home goods sector use creative displays and room setups to showcase furniture and home decor items, allowing customers to visualize how products can fit into their living spaces.

These examples illustrate the versatility of innovative POP management, showcasing how businesses across various product categories leverage creative strategies to capture consumer attention, enhance brand perception, and ultimately drive sales.

POP’s New Importance

Improving Communications Productivity

In the evolving retail landscape, Point of Purchase (POP) strategies have gained new importance by significantly improving communication productivity. By utilizing innovative displays, interactive technologies, and targeted messaging, businesses enhance their ability to communicate effectively with customers at the crucial moment of purchase, leading to increased engagement and brand recognition.

point of purchase new importance

Low Cost

One of the key drivers of the renewed importance of POP is its cost-effectiveness. Compared to traditional advertising methods, POP programs provide a low-cost solution to deliver impactful messages directly to consumers at the point of decision, maximizing marketing ROI for businesses of various sizes.

Consumer Focus

In the contemporary marketplace, successful businesses recognize the value of consumer-centric approaches. POP management allows for a more focused and personalized interaction with consumers. By tailoring displays and messages to specific consumer needs and preferences, businesses can create a more compelling and relevant shopping experience.

Precise Target Marketing

The new importance of POP is underscored by its ability to facilitate precise target marketing. Through data-driven insights and analytics, businesses can strategically position products and promotions, ensuring that the right message reaches the right audience at the right time, thereby increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Easy Evaluation

With the advent of advanced analytics tools, businesses can easily evaluate the effectiveness of their POP strategies. Real-time data on consumer interactions, sales performance, and engagement metrics allow for quick and informed decision-making, enabling businesses to refine and optimize their POP programs for maximum impact.

Changing Consumer Expectations

As traditional retail faces challenges with declining sales, the new importance of POP is further accentuated by the need to adapt to changing consumer expectations. Modern consumers demand immersive and personalized shopping experiences, and POP strategies play a crucial role in meeting these expectations by creating dynamic and engaging interactions at the point of purchase.

The revitalized significance of Point of Purchase strategies is driven by their ability to enhance communication productivity, cater to evolving consumer expectations, and provide a cost-effective means of targeted marketing with easy evaluation metrics. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, businesses that leverage the power of innovative POP management stand to gain a competitive edge in capturing consumer attention and driving sales.

The Point-of-Purchase Communications Mix

Using Displays Effectively

Effective utilization of displays is a key component of the Point-of-Purchase (POP) communications mix. Well-designed and strategically placed displays capture the attention of customers, showcasing products in an enticing manner. From eye-catching visuals to interactive elements, displays play a crucial role in influencing purchasing decisions and creating a memorable in-store experience.

fanta misterio POP tokinomo

A Package Is More Than a Container

In the POP communications mix, packaging is recognized as more than just a container. It serves as a powerful communication tool, conveying brand identity, product information, and value propositions. Innovatively designed packaging can differentiate products on the shelf, communicate quality, and contribute to the overall visual appeal that influences consumer choices.

Making Shopping Fun

The concept of making shopping a fun and engaging experience is integrated into the POP communications mix. Beyond mere transactions, retailers strive to create an enjoyable atmosphere by incorporating elements like interactive displays, in-store events, and promotions. By infusing an element of enjoyment into the shopping process, businesses enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In-Store Advertising Media

The diverse array of in-store advertising media contributes significantly to the POP communications mix. From digital signage to traditional banners and posters, retailers leverage various mediums to convey promotional messages, brand stories, and product highlights. In-store advertising media enables businesses to communicate effectively with customers, informing them about offers, new releases, and creating a dynamic shopping environment.

This comprehensive communications mix underscores the multifaceted nature of Point-of-Purchase strategies. By combining effective displays, strategic packaging, an enjoyable shopping experience, and a variety of in-store advertising media, businesses optimize their ability to communicate messages, influence consumer behavior, and create a compelling brand presence at the point of purchase.

Implementation Steps

Implementation Steps POP

Program Development

  • Market Analysis

Conduct a thorough analysis of the target market to understand consumer behavior, preferences, and trends. Identify key competitors and assess their POP strategies to gain insights.

  • Set Objectives

Clearly define the objectives of the POP program. Whether it's increasing sales, promoting a new product, or enhancing brand visibility, setting specific and measurable goals is crucial.

  • Target Audience Identification

Identify and define the target audience for the POP program. Understanding the demographics, psychographics, and buying behaviors of the intended audience ensures tailored and effective strategies.

  • Creative Conceptualization

Develop creative concepts for displays, packaging, and in-store promotions. Consider the brand message, visual appeal, and overall experience you want to create for customers at the point of purchase.

  • Budgeting and Resource Allocation

Establish a realistic budget for the POP program. Allocate resources appropriately, considering costs for design, production, placement, and any technology or tools required for execution.

  • Collaboration with Stakeholders

Involve key stakeholders such as marketing teams, designers, and retail staff in the development process. Ensure alignment of the POP program with overall marketing and business strategies.

Program Execution

  • Production of POP Materials

Initiate the production of displays, packaging, and promotional materials based on the developed concepts. Ensure materials are of high quality and align with the brand image.

  • Training and Communication

Provide training to retail staff on the new POP program. Communicate the objectives, key messages, and strategies to ensure a consistent and informed approach when interacting with customers.

  • Installation and Setup

Coordinate the installation of displays and other POP materials in-store. Ensure that they are strategically placed to maximize visibility and impact. Monitor and address any logistical challenges during the setup.

  • Launch and Promotion

Execute the launch of the POP program with promotional activities. Leverage various channels, including social media, to create awareness and drive traffic to the retail locations.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation

Implement a monitoring system to track the performance of the POP program. Collect data on sales, customer feedback, and overall effectiveness. Use this information to assess the success of the program and identify areas for improvement.

  • Adaptation and Optimization

Based on the monitoring results, make necessary adaptations to the program. Optimize elements that prove successful and adjust strategies that may need improvement. Continuous refinement ensures ongoing effectiveness.

By following these implementation steps, businesses can systematically develop and execute Point-of-Purchase programs that resonate with their target audience, drive sales, and enhance the overall customer experience at the point of purchase.

What is POP marketing?

Point of Purchase Marketing, often known as POP marketing or POP advertising, is a strategic retail approach employed by diverse brands to influence customers at the critical moment when they are in the store and poised to make a purchasing decision.

This form of marketing entails the use of innovative techniques to distinguish products within the retail environment, aiming to capture the customer's attention and prompt impulsive purchase decisions in favor of the prominently displayed brand. The primary goal is to create a visually compelling and persuasive shopping experience that resonates with customers and drives brand preference at the point of purchase.

Why Is POP Marketing Important?

POP marketing is an important strategy for retailers and brands. Here’s why: 

Capture Attention at the Critical Moment

POP marketing is crucial because it allows brands to capture the attention of consumers precisely when they are in the store and ready to make purchasing decisions. By strategically placing displays and promotional materials, brands can influence choices at the point of purchase.

Influence Impulse Buying

Many purchasing decisions are made impulsively. Effective POP marketing techniques, such as eye-catching displays and promotions, capitalize on this behavior by prompting customers to make unplanned purchases, thereby increasing sales and revenue.

Highlight New Products or Promotions

Brands often use POP marketing to showcase new products or promotions. This enables them to communicate product features, benefits, and special offers directly to customers, fostering interest and encouraging trial.

Adapt to Changing Consumer Behavior

As consumer behavior evolves, especially with the rise of online shopping, POP marketing remains a vital tool for brick-and-mortar retailers. It allows them to adapt to changing consumer preferences, providing a personalized and interactive experience that online platforms may lack.

Differentiate Products in a Crowded Market

In a crowded marketplace, it's essential for products to stand out. POP marketing provides a means for brands to differentiate their products, communicate unique selling points, and create a lasting impression that sets them apart from competitors.

What is the Objective of POP Marketing?

Here are some of the main objectives of POP marketing: 

Influence Purchase Decisions

The primary objective of Point of Purchase (POP) marketing is to influence and guide customers' purchasing decisions at the moment they are in the store. By strategically placing displays and promotional materials, brands aim to sway consumer choices and encourage them to make purchases.

Enhance Brand Recognition

Another key objective is to enhance brand recognition within the retail environment. Well-executed POP marketing strategies help create a distinctive and memorable brand presence, making it more likely for customers to choose a recognized brand over competitors.

Boost Sales and Revenue

Ultimately, the overarching goal of POP marketing is to drive sales and increase revenue. By strategically influencing customer behavior at the point of purchase, brands aim to maximize the value of each transaction and contribute to the overall financial success of the business.

POP Marketing campaigns with Tokinomo

Tokinomo's innovative robotic Point of Purchase (POP) display, Shelfobot, stands out as a highly engaging tool for brands and retailers seeking to boost sales and enhance in-store engagement. Three standout campaigns exemplify the effectiveness of Tokinomo Shelfobot:

Maggi's Singing Soup Pot Campaign

In this award-winning campaign, an ordinary soup pot was transformed into a musical spectacle with the assistance of Shelfobot. Maggi soups were showcased in an entire section, accompanied by a pot serenading with Italian opera. Utilizing motion technology, Shelfobot choreographed the pot's lid movements to synchronize with the music's rhythm. 

The use of sound technology allowed Nestlé to infuse Italian opera into Bolivian retail spaces, creating an enchanting and visually appealing display that earned accolades, including the Creative Retail (UK) awards for POP/POS Concept and Innovative Display Product.

Fanta Misterio’s Spooky Halloween Campaign

Dalben Supermercados aimed to enhance customer engagement during Halloween while showcasing Coca-Cola's products. Tokinomo's Shelfobot technology animated Fanta products in Brazilian stores, specifically Dalben Supermercados. Shoppers had the opportunity to interact with Fanta bottles from October 16th to 31st, 2022. 

This Halloween campaign, executed in collaboration with Tokinomo's partner, Creative Display, not only increased engagement at the point of purchase but also received a Convrt® Award.

Viper’s Hard Seltzer Launch Campaign

Asahi, introducing a new beverage category in the Romanian market, prioritized establishing widespread awareness through unique in-store activation. Tokinomo's Shelfobot was selected for its ability to breathe life into products.

 Executed by IPP Romania in 25 Auchan stores, the campaign aimed to encourage product trials among shoppers. For 14 days, Viper hard seltzer became a beverage that directly engaged and communicated with customers in grocery store aisles.

These campaigns showcase how Tokinomo's Shelfobot adds creativity and interactivity to in-store displays, making them not only visually appealing but also highly effective in achieving marketing objectives.

Tokinomo’s newly launched product, Visibubble is set to revolutionize POP marketing and in-store advertising. Compact and versatile, Visibubble features a QR code that brands can link to a landing page where they share more details about the product or where they can interact with the shopper. Not only does it tie the online and the offline environment together, but Visibubble is also increasing the engagement of shoppers. In trial campaigns, the QR code from Visibubble was scanned 17 times more than a regular QR code.

Checklist for Ensuring POP Advertising Success

  1. Clear Objectives

Define specific and measurable objectives for the POP advertising campaign. Whether it's increasing sales, promoting a new product, or enhancing brand visibility, having clear goals is essential.

  1. Target Audience Identification

Clearly identify and understand the target audience for the POP advertising. Tailor the messaging, visuals, and promotions to resonate with the demographics and preferences of the intended consumers.

  1. Strategic Placement

Ensure that POP displays and materials are strategically placed within the store to maximize visibility and impact. Consider high-traffic areas and points where customers are likely to make purchasing decisions.

  1. Eye-Catching Design

Invest in visually appealing and eye-catching design elements for POP materials. Use vibrant colors, compelling imagery, and concise messaging to grab the attention of customers quickly.

  1. Consistent Branding

Maintain consistency in branding across all POP materials. Ensure that the colors, logos, and overall aesthetics align with the brand identity, fostering brand recognition and recall.

  1. Message Clarity

Craft clear and concise messages that communicate the key benefits or promotions associated with the products. Avoid clutter and ensure that the primary message is easily understood by customers.

  1. Interactive Elements

Incorporate interactive elements where feasible. Interactive displays, touchscreens, or product demonstrations can enhance customer engagement and contribute to a memorable shopping experience.

  1. Product Accessibility

Ensure that the POP advertising does not hinder the accessibility of products. Products should be easily reachable, and displays should not obstruct the natural flow of customer movement within the store.

  1. Adequate Stock

Check and maintain adequate stock levels of promoted products. A successful POP advertising campaign may drive increased demand, and it's crucial to avoid stockouts that could result in missed sales opportunities.

  1. Employee Training

Train retail staff to be knowledgeable about the POP advertising campaign. They should understand the key messages, and promotions, and be capable of providing assistance or information to customers.

  1. Monitoring and Maintenance

Regularly monitor the condition of POP displays and materials. Ensure that they remain in good condition, free from damage or wear, and make necessary replacements or repairs as needed.

  1. Data Collection

Implement mechanisms for collecting data on the performance of the POP advertising. This may include tracking sales data, customer feedback, and other relevant metrics to evaluate the success of the campaign.

  1. Continuous Improvement

Based on collected data and feedback, be prepared to make adjustments and improvements to the POP advertising strategy. Continuous refinement ensures that the campaign remains effective and aligned with changing market dynamics.

By systematically addressing these points in the checklist, businesses can enhance the chances of success for their POP advertising campaigns, creating a compelling and impactful presence at the point of purchase.

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