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July 10, 2020

The 5 Key Strategies for POS Marketing

Point-of-sale (POS) marketing refers to the approaches used at or near the checkout to entice people to buy more or take another desired action. Getting results isn’t always easy, but these five tips will boost your chances of success.

1. Target Your Online Shopping Cart Flow for Increased Impulse Buys

You may initially believe that POS marketing only applies to in-store transactions. However, that’s an incorrect assumption. One of the benefits of successful POS marketing is that it encourages impulse purchases. People see something as they’re about to check out and conclude they may as well pick it up, too.

Recent research looked at how Americans shopped during the stay-at-home orders associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It showed that impulse purchases went up by 18% compared to before the global health threat began. The statistics showed they’d spend $2,100 per year on average when purchasing products in that category. 

When you consider online shopping also became more popular during this period, it makes sense to figure out how to entice people as they purchase things through the internet. One common way to do that is to alert people that they need to spend a bit more to qualify for a perk like free shipping. Retailers can then show a small assortment of possible additions that people can peruse before proceeding to the next checkout stage. 

2. Address Customer Pain Points in Your Messaging and Product Choices

A customer pain point in marketing is a likely issue people have that a retailer or brand can solve. Examples include:

  • A display of painkillers accompanied by signage reading “Conquer that headache and make the most of your day.”
  • An assortment of lunchbox-sized snacks and a display saying, “Healthy back-to-school treats your kids will love.”
  • A range of sunglasses, sunblock and portable fans placed in high-traffic areas during heat waves.
  • A cooler of cold drinks with a sticker on the front reading, “Grab a bottle and quench your thirst.”
  • A shelf or rack near the checkout containing frequently bought, low-priced items, like breath mints and pens.

As the last example on the list shows, you don’t always have to encourage customers with phrase/product combinations. It’s often enough to make the items visible and within easy reach. When people see them, they’ll think, “Oh! I meant to grab that when I was browsing” or “I may as well pick that up since it’s right here, and I need one anyway.”

3. Assess How to Urge Passersby to Take Notice 

Temporary, customized point-of-sale displays are a cost-effective alternative to permanent fixtures. You can move them around the store for maximum visibility or switch out the product offerings based on the time of year. Many retailers also have them designed to fit within their available spaces. After settling on the design for a POS display, you’ll need to explore how to make it stand out so people can’t help but look at it. 

We live in a world where people get bombarded with messages and media every day. Many also have their smartphones with them, so if something doesn’t grab their eye, content on their handheld gadgets most likely will. Effective ways to catch attention include:

  • Bright colors
  • Lifesized cutouts
  • Easy-to-read fonts
  • Charity involvement

Sometimes, the way to get people to take notice of a POS display relates to the products themselves. Consider the approach of Innocent, a bottled smoothie brand. It started a project in 2008 to raise money to help older people stay warm in the winter. The company launched a campaign by asking people to knit tiny hats that ended up on the beverage container caps. 

When a person bought one, a portion of the sale went to an older adults’ charity. In Ireland alone, people have made 490,000 knitted items, resulting in more than €150,000 raised for charity. Seeing the tiny knitwear on the caps makes people curious. It also ties into POS marketing since many grocers display the products near checkouts. 

4. Use the Checkout Process to Encourage Loyalty Program Participation

Many POS sale marketing techniques aim to get people to take part in loyalty programs. For example, the screen a customer interacts with during a transaction might read, “Want to save 25% on today’s purchase? Enter your email to sign up for our valued customer program.”

People often think about loyalty program memberships in passing, such as, “I really should sign up for that soon. It’d be nice to get a discount since I shop here regularly.” However, when a merchant gives them the chance to do it immediately and get an instant benefit, people are more likely to take that action. 

Of course, getting people to sign up is only one of your goals. You also need to make the program appealing enough so customers want to keep participating. For example, offer a variety of rewards for those who remain members. Help them feel like part of an exclusive club, but don’t ask for so much information that taking part becomes too time-intensive. 

It’s also crucial to periodically ask customers how to improve the loyalty program. What do they wish you offered, and what parts do they like best? Would people recommend that their friends sign up? Why or why not? Learning those opinions helps you understand how to make the loyalty program continually appealing. 

5. Show Transparency With the Cost of Extra Items 

When your POS marketing approach includes encouraging people to buy more, consider making pricing tweaks. The goal is to bring more convenience to people as they decide if they can afford the additions. 

Event arena and ticket websites commonly ask people if they want to add parking passes to their orders. Then, purchasers know they have that necessity taken care of in advance and don’t need to bring extra cash with them. Using wording such as “Add parking pass to order for $10 — Save $3 off the normal rate” leaves no uncertainty about why it makes sense to make this purchase. Giving people the option to pay for parking right away without telling them how much it costs or the amount they’d save causes hesitation. 

Cashiers can also play an integral role in promoting products, particularly if they have displays next to them. Before an employee tells a person their total, they could ask, “Would you like to add a pack of our new flavored coffee for $5?”

If you’re still trying to figure out how to appeal to the most customers, examine the data from your overall POS system to see what it reveals. It can give insights about the top-selling items, the times of day when certain products sell the fastest and how frequently your repeat buyers stock back up on the things they need. Apply those tidbits when determining how to get people on board with buying more.

Discover the Payoffs of POS Marketing

These five strategies will help you start strong while exploring how to benefit from POS marketing. Bear in mind that it takes a while to see the results of some approaches, but staying dedicated is usually worthwhile.

About the Author:

Lexie is a digital nomad and web designer. When she’s not traveling to various parts of the country, you can find her at the local flea markets or hiking with her goldendoodle. Check out her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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