A Beginner’s Guide to Point of Sale Marketing

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Ines Maione

Ines Maione brings a wealth of experience from over 25 years as a Marketing Manager Communications in various industries. The best thing about the job is that it is both business management and creative. And it never gets boring, because with the rapid evolution of the media used and the development of marketing tools, you always have to stay up to date.

Point of Sale Marketing

The checkout experience is extremely important to ensure long-term success for your business. Be it a restaurant or a retail store, the right checkout experience can allow you to retain your customers. Not just that, but it also presents an opportunity for you to increase your sales.

You can use it to connect and engage with your customers, helping your business grow. But for that, you need to have the right Point of Sale marketing strategy. Having the right Point of Sale (POS) marketing will allow you to drive more sales.

There are different ways you can leverage the space around the POS. However, the space is limited, so you want to capitalise on the space in the best way possible. So, what is POS marketing all about? And how can you make the most out of it? This idea will give you a comprehensive idea about it.

Table of Contents

What is Point-of-Sale Marketing?

Point of sale marketing is about the efforts that can help you maximise your sales when the customer is checking out. Usually, it revolves around the cash register, where customers pay for their purchases.

However, a POS for businesses can be a meeting table or the checkout page on their website. Nevertheless, POS is a critical element of retail businesses and restaurants. The most popular tactics that businesses use for POS marketing are:

  • Displaying merchandise
  • Suggestive selling
  • Use of signage

The retailer can choose either one of the above tactics or come up with their own to engage their customers. But it should be engaging enough to convince customers to buy that particular product.

Which Businesses Usually Implement the Point of Sale Marketing?

Different businesses throughout various industries take advantage of POS marketing. Restaurants and retailers commonly use the POS marketing tactic to attract customers and influence their decisions to make last-minute purchases.

Since retailers mostly sell products from other manufacturers and businesses, it is important for every company. You’ll find most grocery stores placing merchandising shelves in between each cash register. They can have different items such as candy, batteries, etc.

Small refrigeration units are also at the end of displays to sell sodas. Items close to the POS sell much more quickly than on store shelves. According to statistics, 70% of all in-store purchases are unplanned. It shows how valuable assets POS marketing can be for a brand. Let’s go over some other businesses that leverage POS marketing.

Tobacco Companies

Tobacco companies greatly emphasize promoting their products at the point of sale. However, it can depend on the legal regulations and laws regarding the advertisements of cigarettes or other products.


One of the best POS marketing examples is Starbucks. You’ll find low-ticket merchandise at their checkout points. Furthermore, there is also easy-to-use software that will encourage customers to try new products through suggestive selling.

Retail Businesses

Retail businesses, such as auto parts shops, car washes, hardware stores, etc., also use POS marketing. They’ll promote different products at the last point to encourage customers to buy different products.

Non-Profit Organizations

NPOs and NGOs can offer their paper plaques at the cash register. They are usually a visual representation of a donation appeal from the customers.

Gas Stations

Gas stations also display different products at their register counter that customers might want when traveling. They’ll usually offer energy vitamins, drinks, or other items that you’ll find at the grocery store registers.

Fast-food Restaurants

Most fast-food restaurants and hotels will offer customers gift cards or desserts at their point of sale. Dine-in restaurants will have desserts or sweet items at the checkout counter to encourage customers to try different desserts.


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Store Checks

Three Factors to Keep in Mind for the POS Marketing

While POS marketing greatly benefits retail stores, you need to utilize it correctly. You won’t be able to reap the benefits it offers if you don’t position the products correctly. Here are the three critical factors to know when it comes to POS Marketing.

Selecting the Right Products

Choosing the right products is critical to driving growth. You have to be thoughtful of what your customers would like to buy at the last point. The primary goal of POS marketing is to encourage customers to make last-minute purchases.

So, you want to keep items that are budget-friendly and small. Go through your store inventory and highlight all such items.

Next, you can decide which item would be more attractive and engaging for your customers. It is best to have visually appealing items— particularly if your store receives a lot of shoppers with children.

Positioning and Designing

Another critical factor to keep in mind is the designing and positioning of the products at the POS. There will be different checkout-area product designs available for your store. So, you can choose the one suitable for your store vibe and type.

For example, you might have a mobile shop store. You can have a free-standing floor display that displays chargers and headphones for the POS. Or, if you have a jewelry shop, you can have an appealing counter showing different pocket-friendly accessories and items.

Regardless of your display type, it is a wise decision to have the most attractive POS products. That way, your customers won’t have to put in additional effort to see the display.

Easy Accessibility

If the products aren’t able to access the products easily, then they wouldn’t be effective. In order to get optimal results for your POS marketing efforts, you need to ensure easy accessibility to the products. You might want various items in front of the customers at the cash register.

However, you don’t want to overcrowd the area around the POS. If you want to make the most out of it, you need to bundle similar products and offer discounts. Bundles are an attractive option for customers.

Best POS Marketing Tactics for Your Business

Now that you know what POS marketing is and what to keep in mind, you might wonder how to make the most of it. You can employ different tactics depending on your customer base. We’ll discuss them in more detail to give you a better idea.

Offer a Loyalty Program

There is nothing better than a loyalty program to retain your existing customers. Most businesses in the retail sector focus too much on acquiring new customers. However, they don’t realise their existing customers are the backbone of their business.

According to a study by Bain & Company, customers who return to your stores spend around 67 per cent more than first-time ones. This shows how important it is to get return customers for your business. And the best way of doing so is by starting a loyalty program.

The loyalty program is a great way to show appreciation for your existing customers and can help you increase your revenue. Also, giving a loyalty program to your existing customer is relatively cheaper than the cost you incur for acquiring new customers.

So, how can POS marketing help you increase your sales through the loyalty program? You can have signage at the POS to tell customers about the benefits they can get through your loyalty program. You must train your employees at the cash registers so they can provide relevant information about loyalty programs to the customers when they inquire about them.

Promote your Gift Cards

Promoting gift cards at the POS can help you get a wide range of benefits. It is optimal for your business to find and acquire new customers. People will usually buy gift cards for their friends and family members. Therefore, it can help you extend the reach of your business.

Not just that, you can also use gift cards as a way to up-selling. For instance, you can offer a free gift card for $10-$15 if the customer meets a specific price threshold. This will encourage the customers to buy more products to reach that threshold.

Plus, it will also help you get a new customer if they get the gift card— making it a win-win situation for your business. You can also display customised gift cards at the POS. That way, it is easier for customers to grab them when paying for their purchases.

Leverage on Impulse Purchasing

Customers mostly come to the POS intending to pay for the items they have in the cart. They have all the items they need, making it less likely that they’ll buy an expensive item. However, if you want to increase each customer’s average ticket, consider placing small, less costly items.

That will provoke impulse purchasing for customers. Consider putting items such as gum, candies, magazines, or other things near the cash register. You can also have a counter that offers low-cost accessories to customers.

Another way to leverage impulse purchases is by giving them a theme, depending on the time of year. For instance, you can offer decoration items during the Christmas season.

Inform Customers about Different Marketing Programs

The POS can also be a great place to advertise different marketing programs for different brands. For example, a brand wants to increase awareness through an upcoming event. Therefore, they can have a poster or signage at your POS to tell customers about the event.

Just like that, you can offer real estate to other brands for their marketing programs. It can help you generate good revenue for your retail store. But make sure that your POS isn’t too cluttered with different marketing campaigns for various brands.

After all, it is an important part of your store and greatly impacts the customer’s overall journey. Moreover, it is the last point when you can make an impression about your brand before the customer exists from your store. So, it is important to use that space smartly,

Tell People about Different Products

A few products might be selling well, while others won’t be doing so great. So, if you want to move a certain product or a group of providers, consider advertising them at the point of sale. You can also offer some discounts on such items to increase sales.

Or another way to get the product out of your store is offering it in a pair with a product that is doing well. Create signage at the place of your POS to promote the special offer so customers can know about it.

Different Types of POS That You Can Choose From

There is a variety of POS displays that you can choose from, depending on your store’s look and vibe. As mentioned earlier, the design and the position are the most important factor in the success of your POS marketing efforts. So, you should choose either one of the following most popular POS display types below.

  • Shelf Talkers: Also known as shelf-edge displays, it is signage in attractive colors to attract customers’ attention.
  • Posters: It is a great option to make the most out of the wall space at the POS. You can have posters on the wall to promote different types of products.
  • Pallet Displays: POS pallet displays are great for improving seasonal product sales. For instance, you can use it for advertising Easter eggs, Christmas decoration items, etc.
  • Free-standing Display Units (FSDU): While free-standing displays might take up more space, they are visually appealing. Hence, the FSDU is the optimal choice for your POS display.
  • Dump Bins: Also known as dumps or floor displays, they allow you to put the sale products at the cash register.
  • Digital Signage: It is a high-tech solution that can help you display your message or advertise any products.
  • Countertop Displays: These are usually small displays where you can place small items like lip glosses, candy gum, etc.


Point-of-sale marketing can be really helpful in increasing your overall sales. You can use it as real estate for other brands to run marketing campaigns. Either way, you should have the right strategy to make the most out of your POS marketing efforts.

FAQs on Point of Sale Marketing

What is POS marketing material?

POS marketing material is any type of physical or digital advertisement that is placed in a retail setting to promote a product or service. This could include items such as posters, flyers, counter displays, window decals, in-store digital signage, and more.

What is an example of POS marketing?

An example of POS marketing would be if a grocery store placed flyers for a new type of cereal at the check-out line, or if a clothing store put up signs advertising their newest arrivals near the entrance.

What is a POS strategy?

A POS (point of sale) strategy is a type of marketing that focuses on selling products in physical stores. This can include things like product placement, store layout, and staff training. The goal of a POS strategy is to increase sales by making it easy for customers to find and purchase products.

What is the difference between Point of Sale marketing and Point of Purchase marketing?

Point of sale (POS) marketing refers to marketing efforts made at the location where the sale is made, such as a checkout counter or a sales counter, with the aim of promoting additional sales or purchases.
Point of purchase (POP) marketing refers to marketing efforts made at the location where the product is being displayed or promoted, such as a store shelf, with the aim of influencing the customer's buying decision at the time of purchase.
In summary, POS marketing targets the checkout area to encourage additional purchases, while POP marketing targets the location where the customer makes the initial buying decision.