How Your Business Can Benefit from Point of Sale Marketing

Monday, July 4, 2016 - 19:00
 How Your Business Can Benefit from Point of Sale Marketing

There’s always some element of waiting at the point of sale.

Maybe customers are making a decision on what to buy, maybe there’s a queue, or maybe there are some final questions before making a purchase.

All this activity means that your customers spend a lot of time near the till. What a marketing opportunity!

Around your till you can strengthen your brand, encourage impulse sales, or shift your overstock. In short, important marketing objectives can be fulfilled even at the very end of your customer’s buying journey.

This is Point of Sale Marketing, and if you haven’t yet considered how you might implement some strategies in your own business, maybe now is the time.

Why should you think about Point of Sale Marketing?

Your point of sale is often the highest traffic area of your store. Not only this, but your customers are about to make a purchase, so they’re qualified buyers ready to spend their hard-earned cash at your business.

These people are your loyal customers in waiting.

Point of Sale Marketing encompasses the strategies that will help you to perform specific marketing objectives that centre around the till area.

Common objectives include:

Increasing transaction value
Building your brand
Highlighting a profitable line
Giving visibility to new products
Shifting overstock
Offering seasonal items
We’ve all seen chocolate bars on sale next to the till, but there are many more imaginative tactics that your business can pursue in order to take your business up a level.

What are some Point of Sale Marketing approaches that can boost your business?

Branding - use the area around your till to build brand recognition and loyalty.
When there is a pause at the till people will look around and read your materials if they’re in sight. Anything is better than staring at a stranger’s back.

You can take advantage of this to build recognition and associate your store with specific trends, consumer behaviours and ideas. This might include some bright, energetic displays if you’re a gym, or muted, earthy banners if you’re a health food store.

Impulse buys – offer items that customers find hard to resist.
Offering impulse items is probably the best known PoS marketing strategy. These items shouldn’t need much explanation – they need to sell themselves as customers will quickly grab these items and add them to their purchase.

For this reason, it’s best that your impulse buy items are small and cheap; things that don’t demand too much consideration.

Another approach to consider: consumers are proven to buy more when shopping with friends (Friends tell friends to ‘treat yourself’). Is there a way to encourage people to shop with their friends at your business?

Fun fact: the top impulse buy in the UK? Bananas!

Promotional marketing – highlight ‘new items’, ‘item of the week’, or ‘our best offers’.
If you have a new product, or perhaps a profitable item you want to highlight, then you can use your till area to promote it. This doesn’t have to be obtrusive, but enough to be visible and encourage questions.

Depending on the nature of your business, a great tip is to ask your product supplier for their promotional marketing suggestions. It’s likely that they already know the best performers in their product range, as well as proven methods to sell them at the till.

Upselling – is there a way to increase the transaction value at the till?
Upselling is another classic PoS marketing strategy. Think: ‘Do you want fries with that?’

Are there items that are commonly paired together? Or will certain products perform better when combined with others? This is a chance to be helpful to your customers and display your product knowledge.

This is also a cost-effective method that doesn’t require new displays, banners, or stock. You can programme your PoS software to suggest these items to your employees.

Loyalty - with an EPOS, a business can identify its most loyal customers.
It’s easy to track your best customers with a loyalty programme. Customers appreciate a personal touch, and you can offer them this by tracking purchases and frequency of visits.

Your staff can then recognise this loyalty and offer these customers rewards and/or discounts to encourage further repeat visits. Small businesses are often built around a core of loyal customers.

How to be strategic with your Point of Sale Marketing

What’s the best way to improve the performance of your PoS area? Trial and error. Track your data and observe your customers. Don’t lurch from one idea to the next. Instead, make an effort to understand how your customers respond to your initiatives.

It’s important, however, that you don’t over-do it.

PoS marketing offers abundant opportunities, but don’t let a particular till promotion ruin the feel of your store if it doesn’t fit in with your overall brand. Your store environment is a vital part of the customer experience, so don’t undermine it in pursuit of marginal gains.

Undoubtedly, PoS marketing is a powerful way to encourage repeat purchasing and to increase the average transaction value in your business. From branding to impulse buying, there are many ways you can use the till area to improve customer service and build your business.

As with any marketing campaign, there is no single, ‘best’ solution. You need to decide what your customers appreciate and be responsive to their actions. The key to success is to use your own experience to drive initiatives that you think your customers will like, and then do more of what is proven to work.

Bonus reading: Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill

Nick Blackbourn