POP vs. POS Displays: What’s the Difference?

If you’ve dipped your toe into the world of retail displays, you’ve probably heard the terms POS and POP before. These abbreviations, short for point of sale and point of purchase, are often used interchangeably. We’re here to dispel the confusion and explain exactly what sets these display styles apart so that you can choose the best one for your needs.

Table of Contents:

Point of Sale Display - POS Display

What Are Point of Purchase (POP) Displays?

Point of purchase displays are structures located where a customer is making a purchasing decision. In other words, POP displays are found in a product placement zone, such as a retail entry point, the end of an aisle or the middle of the store. At a POP location, customers can learn about current promotions and a product’s unique selling points. By definition, a point of purchase display features a product through special shelving, point of sale signage or stands.

Because POP displays appear throughout the store, they offer a wider window to promote your product. Your POP display is the ideal space to educate customers, cultivate brand awareness and encourage shoppers to choose your product. As a result, these displays can help you:

  • Increase revenue
  • Promote deals and highlight new products
  • Attract impulse buyers
  • Reach marketing goals at a low upfront cost

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What Does POS Stand for in Retail?

In retail environments, POS displays are an acronym for point-of-sale displays. Point of sale displays are specialized structures found at the checkout point of a retail location. At the point of sale, shoppers have made their decisions and are ready to complete their purchase.

You can think of a POS display as a more narrow version of a POP display. While POP displays refer to general product displays throughout the store, POS displays refer to just one area — where customers are making their final purchase. In most retail locations, the POS is the checkout counter or cash register. For online retail, POS locations can also refer to a digital checkout page.

Unlike POP displays, which usually take up floor or shelving space, POS displays are often smaller. Think prepackaged candies, energy bars and small seasonal items. At this stage, shoppers are done browsing — and they’re ready to buy. As a result, a point of sale product display is an invaluable opportunity to drive last-minute impulse sales through attractively designed displays and conveniently placed products.

Point of Purchase Display - POP Display

Which Display Style is Best for Your Products?

With a clear understanding of the difference between point of sale and point of purchase displays, it’s time to unpack which style best suits your products. The answer generally depends on your objective. Either POS or POP displays can be the right fit if your goal is to:

  • Stay versatile: By nature, POP displays offer more flexibility than POS structures. They can be placed throughout a store and range from endcap shelving and hanging point of sale signage to large dump bins and eye-level floor structures. You’ll have a wider range of opportunities to mix and match your display strategy throughout a retail location with this type of marketing. POS displays, on the other hand, are more limited in their location and scope.
  • Promote your brand: Focused on garnering some attention for your brand? POP displays can be spread throughout the store for maximum brand awareness potential. However, don’t neglect the importance of a POS display. This high-traffic area means every single customer who makes a purchase will be in close proximity to your display, raising your odds of getting their attention.
  • Increase revenue: At the end of the day, businesses want retail displays that will work. The good news? Depending on your product, both POS and POP displays may be able to offer an effective sales strategy. If your product is small enough to promote near the checkout area, a POS display can lead to higher impulse sales. POP displays will let you take advantage of the full scope and size of a store and maximize your potential to be seen in high-traffic areas.

Many businesses choose to use a combination of POS and POP displays. If you do the same, you can make sure your products are front and center throughout a store — when customers are browsing and buying.

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Want to learn more about POP displays and point of sale display design? Read our Beginner’s Guide to POP Displays for more information.

With a clear POP and POS display definition in mind, it’s time to take advantage of both styles for yourself! Reach out to Creative Displays Now to request an estimate for your custom displays or call us today at 1-866-244-2214!

Posted in Display and Packaging Design, Retail Display Examples

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