The Ultimate Guide to POS Displays: Designing for Success

Ready to deep dive into the world of POS (point-of-sale) displays? In our comprehensive article, we’ll share everything you need to know about POS displays. From the basics to real-life examples of POS campaigns, you will find out more about these displays. 

Let’s discover: 

What Is a Point of Sales (POS) Display? 

A point-of-sale display, commonly known as a POS display, is a specialized type of sales promotion strategically positioned near or on a checkout counter (referred to as the "point of sale"). Its primary purpose is to capture the attention of customers towards specific products, which could be newly introduced items or those available at a special discounted rate. 

POS display example

Additionally, POS displays are utilized to highlight and promote special events such as seasonal or holiday sales. Various types of POS displays include free-standing display units (FSDU), shelf edging, dummy packs, strut cards, standees, hanging signs, counter display units (CDU), display packs, endcaps, display stands, mobiles, posters, and banners.

Types of Point of Sale Displays

Displays on the counter

These compact and petite displays are situated on the counter where customers complete their purchases. Typically, they showcase products meant for impulse buys, including items like candy, gum, magazines, or accessories.


POS display

Displays on the floor

These expansive and attention-grabbing displays are positioned on the store floor, frequently near the entrance or at the end of an aisle. They highlight seasonal products, new arrivals, best-sellers, or promotional items. Additionally, these displays may incorporate interactive features like touchscreens, QR codes, or product samples.

The use of lightboxes

These luminous displays utilize LED lights to generate a vibrant and colorful effect. They can be employed to showcase images, logos, slogans, or messages that captivate the attention and interest of your customers.

Free Standing Display Units

A Free Standing Display Unit (FSDU) is a standalone promotional fixture designed to showcase products in a retail environment. These units are often strategically placed to attract customer attention and drive sales by effectively displaying merchandise. FSDUs are versatile and can be customized in terms of size, shape, and branding to align with specific marketing goals. They are commonly used to highlight new products, promote special offers, or enhance brand visibility in high-traffic areas of retail spaces.

PDQ Display

A PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick or Product Display Quickly) Display is a compact and ready-to-assemble retail display unit designed for efficient product presentation and quick deployment. PDQ displays are often placed near checkout counters or in high-traffic areas to encourage last-minute purchases and impulse buying. These displays are known for their ease of setup and are pre-packed with products, making them a convenient solution for retailers looking to promote specific items or capitalize on seasonal trends. 

Gravity Feed Display

A Gravity Feed Display is a retail merchandising fixture designed to optimize product visibility and accessibility. This display system relies on the force of gravity to automatically feed products forward as items are taken from the front, ensuring a consistently stocked and organized appearance. Typically used in supermarkets, convenience stores, and retail environments, gravity feed displays are popular for items such as snacks, beverages, and other packaged goods.

Why do you need a point-of-sale display?

POS display benefits

A Point-of-Sale (POS) display serves several important purposes in a retail environment:

  • Increased Visibility: POS displays are strategically placed at or near the checkout area, where customers are likely to spend time waiting. This prime location enhances the visibility of specific products, promotions, or impulse items, increasing the likelihood of additional sales.
  • Impulse Purchases: These displays are designed to attract attention and encourage impulse purchases. By showcasing products in an appealing way, often with eye-catching graphics and strategic positioning, retailers can capitalize on customers' spontaneous buying tendencies.
  • Promotion of New Products or Offers: POS displays are effective for promoting new products, special offers, or seasonal items. They provide a dedicated space to highlight and communicate promotions, encouraging customers to try something new or take advantage of a limited-time deal.
  • Brand Awareness: Customized POS displays can reinforce brand identity and create a memorable shopping experience. By integrating branding elements into the display design, retailers can enhance their overall brand presence and leave a lasting impression on customers.
  • Space Optimization: In crowded retail environments, space is often limited. POS displays offer a solution for maximizing limited space by efficiently showcasing products in a compact and visually appealing manner.
  • Cross-Selling Opportunities: POS displays can be strategically organized to promote complementary products or upsell items related to the ones being purchased. This encourages customers to consider additional items, potentially increasing the average transaction value.
  • Seasonal or Event-Specific Marketing: Retailers can use POS displays to adapt to seasonal changes or specific events. Whether it's promoting holiday-themed products or tying into a special occasion, POS displays allow for flexible and timely marketing.

Product on the point of sale display - examples

Point-of-sale displays can feature a wide range of products, and the choice often depends on the retailer's goals, the nature of the products, and the current marketing strategy. Here are some examples of products commonly found on point-of-sale displays:

Candy and Snacks: Small, impulse-buy items like chocolates, candies, and snack-sized packages are frequently placed near the checkout to tempt customers with a last-minute treat.

Magazines and Impulse Purchases: Magazines, gum, mints, and small novelties are often strategically positioned for customers to grab on a whim while waiting in line.

Travel-Sized Toiletries: In drugstores or supermarkets, travel-sized toiletries such as shampoo, toothpaste, and hand sanitizer may be featured on point-of-sale displays for customers looking for convenient travel options.

Seasonal Items: Depending on the time of year, retailers may use POS displays to showcase seasonal products. For example, sunscreen in the summer, umbrellas in the rainy season, or holiday-themed items during festive periods.

Gift Cards: Point-of-sale displays are an ideal location for promoting gift cards, encouraging customers to pick up a gift card as they complete their purchase.

Tech Accessories: Small electronic accessories like charging cables, headphones, or smartphone stands might be featured on POS displays near electronics or gadget sections.

Beauty and Skincare Minis: Cosmetic stores often use POS displays to showcase mini-sized versions of popular beauty and skincare products, encouraging customers to try new items or buy travel-sized versions.

POS display example

Batteries and Chargers: Near the checkout of electronics or home improvement stores, you might find point-of-sale displays featuring batteries, chargers, and other electronic accessories.

Small Toys and Games: Retailers catering to families often use POS displays to showcase small toys, games, or puzzles, targeting parents looking for quick entertainment for their children.

Things you need to remember when you are creating a point-of-sale display

Take a Chance

Innovative Design: Experiment with creative and innovative design elements that stand out from the competition. This might include unique shapes, interactive features, or unconventional materials.

Bold Colors and Typography: Take a chance with bold and attention-grabbing colors. Use eye-catching typography to convey a sense of excitement and urgency.

Showcase the Benefits of Products

Clear Messaging: Clearly communicate the key benefits of your products. Focus on how they meet the needs or solve the problems of your target audience.

Visual Demonstrations: If applicable, incorporate visual demonstrations or graphics that highlight product features and usage. Help customers visualize how the product will enhance their lives.

Make It Your Own

Brand Personality: Infuse the display with your brand's personality. Ensure that the design, messaging, and overall aesthetic align with your brand identity.

Customization: Tailor the display to reflect the unique qualities of your products. Consider customizing the display based on the specific characteristics that set your brand apart.

Engage the Senses

Interactive Elements: Integrate interactive elements that encourage customers to engage with the display physically or emotionally. This could include touch-and-feel components or interactive screens providing additional product information.

Sensory Appeal: Consider how the display appeals to multiple senses. For instance, use scents, textures, or sounds that enhance the overall experience.

Tell a Story

Narrative Elements: Craft a narrative around your products that resonates with customers. Use storytelling to create an emotional connection and convey the value of your offerings.

Sequential Presentation: Arrange products in a way that tells a story or guides customers through a logical sequence, showcasing complementary items or a product's evolution.

Customer Involvement

User-generated Content: Incorporate user-generated content, such as customer testimonials or reviews, to build trust and authenticity.

Interactive Displays: Create displays that encourage customers to participate actively, fostering a sense of involvement and personal connection.

Robotic POS Display

POS displays have been a retail mainstay for decades. In the 1920s, the emergence of retail chains saw various campaigns featured on cardboard POS displays. However, when eCommerce arrived, brick-and-mortar stores didn't significantly evolve.

Recognizing the continuous evolution of technology designed to assist us, physical stores are now placing more emphasis on innovation. Today, robots within stores are not just a sci-fi concept; they are utilized for customer support and stocking. Imagine a robot directly boosting sales, not just indirectly aiding with stocking.

A robotic point-of-purchase display that is not a mere fantasy for forward-thinking retail chains. Enter Tokinomo Shelfobot and Visibubble, robotic POS displays for brand activations in grocery stores. By seamlessly integrating light, motion, and sound technologies, Tokinomo offers much more than a regular POP display.

Tokinomo represents the future of POS displays, as it:

  • Attracts more customers
  • Interacts with shoppers
  • Allows products to speak for themselves
  • Enhances brand recall
  • Provides real-time data about interactions
  • Boosts sales by an average of 200%

The best part? Managing these futuristic displays is convenient and flexible through our cloud-based platform, accessible online from any device. Setting up a campaign is swift, requiring just a few minutes once the device is in place in the store, holding the product.

On the cloud-based platform, you can upload audio files for Tokinomo Shelfobot to use in presenting your product. Additionally, you can make the product move or dance in various ways, adjusting the lighting to fit your campaign.

Consider customer engagement: Are your shoppers captivated by regular point-of-purchase advertising? Over 70 percent of purchase decisions are made in-store due to visual and emotional stimuli. Regular displays may be overlooked, but a robotic POS display like Tokinomo Shelfobot or Visibubble is hard to ignore!

Customers don't just walk past Tokinomo; they stop, stare, interact, take photos, and share their experiences. Why? Because Tokinomo does what other POP displays can't: it interacts with customers, keeping them engaged.

Crucially, Tokinomo addresses a key limitation of regular POS displays by offering real-time data. This allows you to monitor your in-store marketing campaign and make adjustments on the fly, a capability lacking in traditional displays.

In comparing regular POS displays to Tokinomo:

POS displays comparison

Tokinomo Shelfobot, as a robotic POP display, presents a paradigm shift from old-school methods. Choosing innovation with Tokinomo provides retailers and brands with a competitive edge, delivering a unique and memorable shopping experience for customers. 

Unlike traditional displays, Tokinomo offers multiple promotion options, allowing for scenario creation, real-time monitoring, and daily campaign adjustments. Innovative, easy to set up, and effective at converting customers, Tokinomo represents the present and future of POP displays.

POS vs. POP - which is better

While both POP and POS displays play roles in product promotion and revenue generation, there are distinct differences between them:

POS Displays Are Exclusive to the Register Area

Consider POS displays as a more focused variant of POP displays. POP displays encompass general product showcases throughout the store, while POS displays are confined to specific locations—typically where customers finalize their purchases. In most retail settings, this is the checkout counter or cash register. POS locations can also extend to digital checkout pages for online retail.

POS Displays Feature Smaller Quantities

Unlike POP displays, which often occupy shelves or floor space, POS displays tend to be more compact, housing individual packaged items. Think of items like pre-packaged candies, energy bars, or small seasonal products. At this point, shoppers have concluded their browsing and are ready to make a purchase. Consequently, a point-of-sale product display becomes a valuable opportunity to drive last-minute impulse sales through attractively designed displays and strategically placed products.

In contrast, POP displays are generally larger and can accommodate multiple items. They are well-suited for promoting multi-packaged items, such as cases of soda.

Distinct Purposes

POP Displays Educate and Convince: POP displays aim to inform customers and persuade them to make a purchase. They provide sufficient space to include a brand's mission, product benefits, or company narrative. POP displays may feature eye-catching graphics and custom shapes. For example, a grocery store might showcase a vibrant endcap display promoting a new or seasonal product.

Customers are encouraged to interact with POP displays, read the displayed text, examine the product closely, and decide if it meets their needs. POP displays excel at spreading brand awareness and promoting new products or sales.

POS Displays Urge Impulse Buys: In contrast, POS displays are designed to prompt impulse purchases. They appeal to a customer's immediate mood or desire for something enjoyable. Customers often don't plan to buy items near the register, but if a product catches their eye, appears to fulfill a need like hunger or thirst, and is reasonably priced, they are likely to make a purchase.

The choice between POP (Point of Purchase) displays and POS (Point of Sale) displays depends on your specific marketing goals, the nature of your products, and the shopping environment. Each type serves a different purpose in the retail strategy, and the effectiveness of one over the other can vary based on the context.

In many cases, a balanced approach that integrates both POP and POS displays strategically within the store can be the most effective. It's essential to align your display strategy with your overall marketing objectives and the preferences and behaviors of your target audience.

Using POS displays for in-store marketing

POS (Point of Sale) displays emerge as powerful tools for driving last-minute impulse purchases and enhancing the overall shopping experience. Positioned strategically at checkout counters these displays cater to customers on the brink of completing their purchase. Unlike their broader counterparts, POP displays, POS displays focus on compact, single-packaged items, leveraging the immediate buying impulse of shoppers.

 Their ability to captivate customers in high-traffic areas, coupled with real-time data insights and customization options, positions them as a dynamic and effective solution for brands seeking to boost sales and engage customers at the critical point of purchase. As technology continues to advance, the integration of innovative POS displays, such as Tokinomo, underscores the evolution of these tools into indispensable components of modern retail marketing.

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