The Power of POP Displays on the Path to Purchase
For decades, marketers have been trained to think of the path to purchase as a linear progression, leading from awareness to familiarity, consideration, purchase and finally loyalty. In accordance with this philosophy, marketers often believe they can influence consumers’ decisions by reaching them at just one or two stops along the way.
However, today’s path to purchase is no longer a straight line. Instead, it's a web of interwoven arrows moving in all directions, as a result of the multitude of online and offline variables that now factor into shoppers’ final purchasing choices. In order to adjust to the new retail landscape, marketers need to expand beyond the one- or two-channel programs of the past. Brands must evolve alongside shoppers and develop multifaceted campaigns with consumer touchpoints throughout the retail journey.
Digital, broadcast and print campaigns are essential tools to boost product awareness and drive positive brand perception. However, marketers must not overlook the importance of in-store materials, which can have a big impact when it comes to closing the deal.
Despite the growth of online shopping, many consumers still want to see and feel products, and view this as an integral part of their shopping experience. In fact, according to PwC's 2015 annual survey, only 27 percent of consumers shop online weekly. With the majority of consumers still shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, brands must capitalize on this opportunity to catch shoppers’ attention in the retail environment with effective point-of-purchase (POP) displays.
To get the most out of in-store POP displays, consider the following design and deployment tips:
1. Understand your target audience’s preferences. Who are you trying to reach? Young females? Older men? Keep your target audience in mind when making all design decisions, from colors and fonts to graphics or videos. POP displays are meant to increase in-store sales, so understanding your audience’s preferences is essential to attracting their attention.
2. Engage the consumer and appeal to their emotions. It’s no secret that effective advertising appeals to a consumer’s emotions, and POP displays should be no different. The display itself as well as the graphics, words and elements on it should be humanized so shoppers can relate to the brand and understand the message and why they should buy your product.
3. Demonstrate how the product works. Demos via photos or an interactive screen can help a brand differentiate itself from the competition. The demos should be easy to follow, short and engaging so the choice becomes instantly clear on which product is best.
4. Make it easy for consumers to pick up the product. POP displays can come in the form of signage, floor mats, stickers or various shelf units. While all can be effective, it's ideal to have a display that hosts the product on it so it's easy for customers to grab and go, instead of searching for it in the aisles. Consider also deploying a floor mat or stickers leading customers to additional in-aisle products that are complementary to the product displayed.
5. Design for durability, both in packaging and installation. Unfortunately, there are a lot of hands that handle your displays from when they leave the design shop until they're deployed in-store. Ensure the packaging is durable so the display isn't damaged and the installation instructions are simple. Furthermore, the display itself should be made out of sturdy materials to withstand consumers or store staff members potentially bumping into it.
6. Track the entire life cycle of each display. Remember, no marketing campaign can be successful and help change consumers’ minds in-store if the displays aren't installed correctly. Brands must use a display management solution to track the entire POP display life cycle in real time for each of their unique displays. These solutions ensure no marketing dollars are wasted on displays that are installed incorrectly or sit in storage and never make it to the sales floor.
The key to a successful marketing campaign is to look at the big picture and allocate budget across multiple channels, creating a mix of traditional advertising, digital campaigns and effective in-store materials. However, remember that the in-store experience is the home stretch. Well-done POP displays can help shoppers choose between your brand and a competitor, so don’t lose the sale because your marketing campaign stopped at the store door.
Andrew Levi is the founder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer and chief technology officer of Blue Calypso, a company that develops and delivers location-enabled mobile engagement solutions.
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