What Is the Point of Sale (POS)?

The point of sale, or POS for short, is literally the place of sale, i.e. the place where the sale takes place. For example, the cash register in retail outlets such as supermarkets. Basically, the POS is always the place where customers can come into direct contact with the goods. Generally speaking, the POS is the interface between the company and the customer. This is often prescribed offline and in stationary retail, but it can also be presented in the form of an Internet website, both digital and mobile.

The point of sale is always viewed from the perspective of a seller. From the buyer’s point of view, one would speak of the Point of Purchase (POP). In addition, there are also some links to digital marketing and e-commerce, or the POS of a company and sales in the digital world can support each other, e.g. through advertising campaigns.

At the point of sale, methods, tactics, and measures are often used to promote sales. These forms of measures are generally summarized under the term Point of Sale Marketing. Overall, POS marketing promotes impulse purchases with targeted measures.

Advertising Methods at the Point of Sale

Various measures are taken at the point of sale to increase the stationary sale of products. These measures include product presentation, product display, visual incentives, product visualization, product placement, and some other measures.

POS product presentation

For the presentation of goods, displays with advertising messages or eye-catching discount campaigns are placed between two aisles or next to several products. These catch the customer’s eye more often than the products on the shelves and thus increase the probability of purchase.

POS daily offers

Another well-known measure that one often encounters in point of sale marketing daily offers. For example, restaurants often recommend daily dishes or supermarkets offer the product of the day. Often the latter is also additionally advertised by the seller at the checkout. Daily offers at the POS give the customer the feeling that he is missing the opportunity if he does not take action immediately, which increases impulse buying.

POS Product Presentations

Products must be skilfully placed. If a product is not present and placed in a conspicuous way, the customer will pass by and the product will probably not be bought. The product should, therefore, be placed in a highly visible but not too obtrusive position so that the customer does not feel urged to buy. Furthermore, the products should be logically structured at the point of sale. Stoppers, such as the presentation of goods, are also part of the product presentation and increase the sale of the products.

POS Visual incentives

When buying a product, the first impression is often decisive and this is supported by visual incentives. Optical incentives at the point of sale are created, for example, by a sensible sorting of products according to categories, such as colors, sizes, or other affiliations, or by conveying relevant information, such as the basic benefit of a product, at first glance. However, not only the product should be designed to be appealing, but of course the point of sale itself. In this way, an atmospheric, appealing image should be created that is anchored in the minds of consumers. This is achieved, among other things, through pleasant lighting, appropriate background music, unobtrusive colors and other impressions, such as to scents or materials. Ideally, the overall picture should, therefore, be emotional and coherent in order to increase the likelihood of purchase.

POS Visualization of Products

The visualization of products refers to the placement of goods and products, also known as visual merchandising. Visual merchandising, i.e. visualization at the point of sale, includes everything that can support the sale of products. For example, a visualization tailored to the target group. In the case of a rather young target group, the colors can often be a bit more upbeat and the music a bit louder. In addition, the brand should match the respective design, because a very classic brand tends to sell more calmly and stylishly in the best case.

Visual merchandising is so important because images get into the minds of consumers faster and thus support customer loyalty. But the product and the visualization of it only sell well if the whole thing is accompanied by the optimization of loading areas. This can be achieved, for example, through specific color styles or theme worlds, especially if specific target groups are to be addressed.

POS Product Placements

The products at the point of sale (POS) not only have to be presented in an appealing way but should also be placed in an appealing way. This includes, among other things, that the products should not be placed too close together and that not too many products should be placed in one place so that aisles may even be blocked and the customer cannot get an overview of all the products and is therefore overwhelmed. In addition, the strategic placement of low-priced articles near cash registers is also important, as this can lead to further, unplanned impulse purchases if the customer has to wait for a long time at the cash register.

Point of Sale and Digital Marketing

Point of sale and digital marketing or digitalization nowadays go hand in hand at best. The red thread from visual merchandising can be easily followed up in digital marketing. It can also be seen as good advice to create a shopping experience in the future from a combination of online and offline. Through marketing measures such as geolocation, beacons, or augmented and virtual reality, offline purchases at the point of sale are increasingly being marketed digitally. Geolocalization and beacons are used to send precisely tailored advertising for the shops and offers in the area. But digital measures are also increasingly being taken at the point of sale. For example, the use of augmented and virtual reality glasses to facilitate the purchase decision is likely to become standard in the future. Equipping sales staff with tablets is also no longer a special feature these days. These gadgets offer the customer more information and also open up further possibilities. Campaigns that are purely offline can hardly be successful today without integrated online measures.

Point of Sale and E-Commerce

The movement in recent years has been away from the stationary point of sale to e-commerce. But basically, e-commerce is also to be seen as a point of sale in the digital environment, because e-commerce shops are the interface between sales and customers. The point of sale and e-commerce basically function in the same way. In addition, stationary POS can also stimulate digital POS as soon as the right advertising measures are taken. So in the future, it is actually a must for the stationary point of sale to expand to include digital facets, so that a company can continue to consider it as successful.