How to increase retail sales with POP displays

The effectiveness of POP displays is commonly known in the retail industry. They build brand equity and position products to stand out from others in a category. And with six out of 10 retail purchases classified as impulse buys, customers also prove they're open to in-store influences.

But did you know there is research to back this claim? A 2014 Compliance Initiative Study by Shop! states retail displays in the mass merchant channel contributed to a 32% increase in product sales.

The 2014 Mass Merchant Shopper Engagement Study, by the former Point of Purchase Advertising International association, or POPAI, states an even higher return, with a sales lift index of 1.4 when a display is present in the store.

And while POP displays help generate sales lift, they also increase brand awareness, too. Merchandising displays provide an opportunity to showcase more than just your product — it can serve as another touchpoint to amplify your brand logo, colors, voice, and more.

And the beauty of it? Staying consistent with brand presentation across platforms increases revenue by up to 23%.

Which POP displays perform better than others?

So, you're sold on the value of merchandising displays. But did you also know there is research showing certain types of retail displays may perform better than others?

In the research journal called "Impact of Different Types of In-Store Displays on Consumer Purchase Behavior," the authors find displays closer to their main product category have impact. In fact, front end cap displays show the largest impact on category purchase while shelf displays have the largest influence on brand choice.

In addition, the study said that, even with other marketing variables like price and promotions, store front displays would have "a stronger positive impact on category purchase incidence than store rear or secondary displays."

Another study, "A 'Wide' Variety: Effects of Horizontal Versus Vertical Display on Assortment 

Processing, Perceived Variety, and Choice," found horizontal displays are easier to process than vertical alternatives due to our field of vision being left to right. Because eye movements process horizontally, people can scan information more efficiently from a horizontal display. This increases the customer's perception that there's more variety.

At the end of the day, selecting a retail display type comes down to your needs and branding objectives. However, being aware of the influence of positioning and design style can help guide your decisions.

The value of brand equity

Something that's harder to measure is brand equity, but any good marketer knows the value of customer awareness. Deciding on a temporary or permanent display can play a role in this assessment.

For seasonal or lower cost products, a corrugated cardboard display makes sense. Not only are they more cost-effective due to cheaper materials, but they are easily replaced for new marketing campaigns or promotions.

Temporary displays can give shoppers a positive impression that a product is affordable, accessible, and easy to justify as an impulse buy.

Permanent displays can paint a different picture for consumers. If you're selling luxurious baby items or high-end headphones, investing in a permanent POP display extends the belief that your brand has value. Shoppers would feel suspicious of a cardboard display merchandising laptops or brand name shoes, of course.

While this seems obvious, it can be tempting to pinch pennies on in-store marketing. Making sure you choose the right avenue for displaying your products will affect brand perception, and in the long term, product sales.

While the type or design of a display will vary based on your needs, it's evident POP displays have a strong influence on product sales at retail. Next time you consider your in-store marketing needs, make sure store displays are top of the list.