One of the best ways to increase your sales might already be in your store, point of sale marketing leverages your transaction space and POS system to help you improve the customer experience while maximizing your units per transaction. If you already have an effective POS system, you're well on the right way to boosting business.
Let's discuss POS marketing - what is it, what can you gain from it, and how to execute it for great results.
What is POS Marketing?
POS (Point of Sale) marketing is the product displays, promotions, and other advertising materials you encounter as a consumer at the checkout counter. The goal of this tactic is to increase sales by making the most of a customer's final moments in the store, and it's certainly effective - 84% of shoppers have made impulse purchases, with 8 of every 10 impulse buys occuring in a physical store, according to Invesp.
Of course, POS marketing amounts to more than just encouraging small impulse purchases. Effective POS advertising can improve customer expereince, foster loyalty, and encourage return visits that often lead to higher sales. As a vendor, you don't want to miss out on this important transaction opportunity.
Point of Sale: The Environment vs The Device
We often use POS to refer to point of sale devcies, but in a discussion of POS marketing, the term often refers more broadly to the whole environment in which a sales takes place - the checkout aisle is the most familiar example.
You should make sure you're using your checkout or ordering area effectively - and we'll provide some tips on that, too. It's critical to remember that your POS device is a powerful tool for driving sales. Chances are that you're familiar with many of the best practices for setting up a checkout environment - displaying cheaper, common carry items like gum, magazines, candy, and bottled water - but you might not be aware of all you can accomplish with your POS system.
Point of Sale vs Point of Purchase Advertising
Another important distinction to make before we dive into strategies is between point of sale and point of purpose (POP). POP is broader - it may refer to an entire convenience store, for example, and can cover all the signage, floor decals, and other advertising material up and down the aisles. Point of Sale advertising is much more specific, applying only to the actual site of transaction (the counter, checkout line, or, in some cases, a digital kiosk).
It's an important distinction to make, since you might see these two terms used interchageably elsewhere. When it comes to effective POS advertising, it pays to get advice specific to the point of sale.
Strategy 1: Use Product Displays Wisely
The main strategy of the physical POS environment is to make sure you're using the surrounding space efficiently. Many grocery stores share a fairly standard setup - magazines, gum, chapstick, candy, beverages - and these items are tried-and-true. They sell well at checkout, and it's a good bet to include them in your store.
Adding something beyond the old standards, though, can capture attention and drive sales. The right angle for this will vary. Some grocery stores, for example, place scented candles at checkout, a good fit for a customer who is entertaining and, often, a diversion for customers waiting in line. Browing and sampling scents can kill time often resulting in a purchase. There are an enormous number of options for stocking your point of sale, but planning for your specific audience can make a major difference in your success.
Strategy 2: Set Up Enticing Signage
If your POS can support digital signage, setting screens up at checkout can be another strategic form of advertising. Imagine standing in line, waiting to cash out your order. If there was a sign displaying dynamic and interesting content, you would probably be happy to read along as you wait. This sort of signage is the perfect opportunity to display brand messaging, alert about upcoming promotions and feature particular products.
Strategy 3: Incorporate Product Images and Descriptions
POS systems with integrated product catalogs are most common in self-service stores, where customers can use them to ring up items and place orders directly. This is naturally a great way to boost efficiency, but the advertising benefit is critical, too. A POS with this feature gives customers a way to actively and comprehensively see what you offer, and it can be especially effective if you combine product pictures and short descriptions to provide a complete view of your offerings.
Strategy 4: Play with Discounts and Promotions
Integrated discounts and promotions are one of the major benefits of a good POS and they can play a large role in driving repeat visits. A simple step up you can take is to ensure your POS displays relevant discounts and promotional messaging and keep this up to date as your offerings change. Simple awareness of an upcoming deal can go a long way in getting a customer back in the door. Another strategy you can use is to make the interface for applying discounts easy to use. Displaying information about a discounted transaction for the customer to see as it occurs can also be a reward reinformcement that doubles as a checkpoint for the customer ot ensure they're getting their deal
Strategy 5: Make Your POS Helpful and Accessible
If you're looking for a new POS system, make accessibility a priority. Customer-facing systems should be easy to read and use, providing helpful options and information, and account for customers with a diverse range of needs.
Once you have a great POS, you can also use it to provide helpful content to customers while they wait to check out. You might choose to alert customers of an upcoming holiday, for example, and point out where you stock relevant items, if it's appropriate in your industry, you can try providing tips or suggestions, too.
Strategy 6: Keep Gift Cards Top of Mind
Gift cards are a perfect fit for featured display at your POS, both for customers who are actively ready to buy, and customers who might make note of your selection and return later when they have an occasion to purchase one. When it comes to your POS system, make sure you can use a tool that makes cashing out with a gift card as simple as any other form of payment to reduce friction to the customer.
Strategy 7: Advertise a Loyalty Program
Advertising a loyalty program via your POS can go beyond simply making customers aware - you can also provide the opportunity to sign up or activate a membership right from your POS while showing the benefits of joining. Once customers are enrolled, you can continue to demonstrate membership value by showing them how their status saves them money.
Strategy 8: Use Your POS Behind the Scenes
The power of advertising with your POS doesn't only come from direct device-to-customer messaging. POS systems are often equipped with data collection and analytics programs that make them an even more valuable tool for assessing your marketing success and making plans for your future efforts.
A good POS will let you track sales, automatically update inventory info to keep you informed of high-value and low-value products, and identify demographic and seasonal trends that can help you further refine your ongoing marketing strategy
Strategy 9: Get the Right POS to Support Effective Marketing
Marketing at checkout is a smart way to boost sales, but if your POS system can't help you accomplish all you need to, the impact of your efforts will be limited. To go beyond optimizing just the sale environment, you'll need a system that's built to make these strategies easy. A few important questions to consider:
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