Point-of-Purchase Advertising Trends: Retailers Seeking New Ways to Convert Shoppers Into Buyers

Point-of-Purchase Advertising Trends: Retailers Seeking New Ways to Convert Shoppers Into Buyers.

Ads can get consumers into stores but it usually takes some point-of-purchase strategies to get them to buy a product.

Retailers must now compete with the Internet for impulse purchases, putting more pressure on the sales environment in their stores and increasing the need for innovative point-of-purchase (POP) media, materials and techniques.

Paul Pizzini, vice president and director of design at Miller Zell (MZ), said design is all about understanding the consumer and how purchasing decisions are made. Miller Zell is a research and design firm.

Retail is Theater

Pizzini added: “Retail is theater and should deliver an entertaining experience.” That concept introduces new dimensions to in-store marketing.

Here are a few generally held research findings that will likely drive in-store marketing in the near future. They come mostly from studies and surveys conducted last year by MZ, Point-of-Sale Advertising International (POPAI), and Valassis, a retail marketing firm.

  • The 2008-09 recession affected female shopping more than male shopping.
  • Women are now more price-conscious. Men are more benefits conscious.
  • Two-thirds of retail shoppers take a list with them, but six out of ten make brand purchasing decisions after they enter the store.
  • Shoppers can identify a brand from five feet in less than five seconds.
  • Up to 60% of the MZ survey respondents indicated they were researching products online before going shopping.

Point-of-Purchase Advertising International

As noted in a special report by Point-of-Purchase Advertising International (POPAI), retailers are also realizing that advertising and in-store marketing should be on the same page and focus on the same messages, raising the question: Which comes first: In-store advertising or traditional ads outside the store?

In the report, Author Richard Westllund says the emphasis in point-of-sale marketing today is “on actionable content, easy-to-read signage, attractive displays and an appealing store environment to drive shopping.” However, Westlund adds that finding the “right marketing combination remains a moving target since consumer behavior is constantly changing.”

Retailers Will Use More Digital Signage

John Anderson, chairman of POPAI told Westlund that retailers will use more digital signage in the future because they can “change the message as needed.”

Customers have noticed major store changes in chains like Walmart and Rouse. They’re using bolder signage, widening some isles, rearranging product shelves, and generally giving the stores a cleaner, more organized look. Some of the changes have been so radical that customers are having trouble finding products in their new locations.

End-of-Aisle Signage

A separate MZ survey indicated that end-of-aisle signage “engaged” more shoppers than other in-store media. The percentages:

  1. End-of-aisle signage – 70%
  2. Merchandising displays – 62%
  3. Department signage – 58 %
  4. Shelf strips – 55 percent)
  5. Shelf blades – 50 %


  • Bringing Brands to Life, by Richard Westlund, Ad Week, January 2010
  • Behavior Survey Provides Insights into Consumer Buying Behavior, by Miller Zell

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