Picture this: you’re headed to the checkout at the local grocery or convenience store with your cart in tow.  You are determined to walk out with only the items you have already when something attractive catches your attention.

POS StandeeIt’s a brightly colored sign touting a new soft drink, candy, or gum. Giving in to impulse you decide to throw that extra purchase on the conveyor belt. Why not?

This common experience is a byproduct of point of sale (POS) marketing.  POS marketing is a sales promotion on, near, or next to the checkout area. Display stands, mobiles, posters, signs, and yes, cardboard cutouts, can all be classified as POS marketing.

At Cardboard Cutout Standees we work with many niche markets on their POS marketing strategies.  These range from small grocery stores and convenience stores, to gas stations and breweries. We have a long history of experience in developing and implementing various POS ideas.  We have seen firsthand how the right point of sale display can make all the difference in increasing sales.

Let’s take a look at what POS marketing is and show some concrete examples of how you can use these ideas in your own business.

What is POS Marketing?

POS Standee

POS marketing entices customers to make an extra purchase close to the cash register.  They are often used with items that a customer might not be planning to purchase upon entering the store.

Most commonly these signs, displays, and banners encourage customers to add on something small to their order.  POS marketing can be used for many types of products.

POS marketing often works best with shoppers who are in a hurry or apt to make impulsive purchases. They are also effective in sparking people’s interest in new products they haven’t tried yet.

POS Marketing Examples

Point of sale marketing ideas are as diverse as the places that use them. Below are a few different POS marketing strategies and how these tactics increase sales.

1) Endcaps and unique display stands

One of the most common ways that grocery stores and similar retailers employ POS marketing is with endcaps and display stands.

Photo by mmoz / CC BY

By using either cardboard cutouts or specially designed displays from the manufacturer, grocery stores highlight new products being released from different food brands nearby their original products.  Endcaps and display stands can be great for encouraging customers to buy complementary items based on a common theme, as in this grocery store that grouped all of its Non-GMO products together.

Display stands are also fantastic tools for suggestive selling.  For example, placing a marshmallows and graham crackers cardboard display right next to the Hershey bars can be a great way to get shoppers to buy s’mores materials.

Another option could be to place a unique or otherwise novel item to display your wares, such as an old-fashioned display cart to entice customers to pick up an extra item or two.

POS end caps and unique display stands in grocery stores help customers make expedient choices about extra food products to purchase when nearing the cash register.

2) Display screen add-ons

If you pay close attention the next time you are filling up your tank you might notice an ingenious method used to encourage sales on the payment screen.

Prior to pumping gas, gas stations such as Kwik Trip include a screen prompt that asks customers if they would like a car wash in addition to their gas purchase. With the simple touch of the “yes” button gas stations increase car wash sales.  Customers make a quick, impulsive decision when they already have their credit cards out.  This option can also be built into a larger strategy with loyalty cards.

This function works great at any POS that requires customers to click through at least a couple of screens. You could use this strategy to entice people to make a donation to a charity or add on a small purchase to their order too.

3) Loyalty Cards

POS Loyalty Card

Photo by Karen Bryan / CC BY

Retail businesses can also get in on the action of POS marketing through loyalty cards. A quick glance in your purse, wallet, or key-chain will likely showcase a variety of loyalty cards acquired through various shops that you patronize. Chances are they influence you to continue visiting that particular location for your purchases.

One simple option for a loyalty card is a punch card. If you run a coffee or ice cream shop, creating a “Buy Four, Get the Fifth Free” option  can be a great method to keep customers coming back to you for more.  The Starbucks Rewards program offers a great look at how a big company has employed this strategy.  As evidenced by case studies of companies who have done this effectively, it can really help maintain sustained patronage by customers.  ReplyCo has also put together this great list of ways to increase customer loyalty.

Similarly offering a free gift or trial sample at the register for signing up for a loyalty card encourages signups.

4) Instant Coupons

Should you have the technological capacity for something a bit more complex, creating a plastic, scannable card that can be swiped with every purchase to accumulate points or coupons is an option.  The attractive element of this method is individualizing the offer for each customer based on past purchases.

Pharmacies like CVS are notorious for the mile-long coupons and other printouts given to customers through their ExtraCare program that rewards frequent customers with coupons and discounts.

Similar to coupons you can achieve much of the same goal by creating a points accumulation system. At Rite Aid Wellness card members accrue points that eventually turn into dollars of savings that they can use when making a purchase at the register.

With this strategy you can also collect emails for the individuals who sign up, which allows you to conduct email marketing as well.

5) Contests and Drawings

Who doesn’t love winning a prize?

Business owners of many varieties can use this POS marketing strategy to garner more business. Using links on receipt printouts companies incentivize completing surveys by offering a gift card reward or a discounts. For instance, the Aldi Satisfaction Survey offers an opportunity for customers who fill out a survey to win a prize.

Offline implement this strategy by having customers drop a business card into a bowl for a raffle.

6) Cardboard Cutouts and Signs

Liquor Store StandeeWith a little creativity POS marketing can become a life-sized creative endeavor.

Companies can use thematic cardboard cutouts and signs to raise awareness of their products and set themselves apart from similar products.  Stores with limited floor space can use a cardboard cutout that is integrated into the shelving or an endcap.

This POS strategy is popular with breweries and liquor stores. Two common ways breweries use cardboard cutouts in their POS marketing is with face in hole stands and cutouts.  These options are great for new breweries.  They encourage interaction and fun with the brand (not to mention an easy social media share) and improve brand recognition.

You can see how some of our friends in the brewing business are using cardboard cutouts to increase their sales here.

Increase Sales with POS Marketing


Beer POS Standee

As you can see, there are many different options when it comes to POS marketing and displays. Depending on what kind of business you operate you may find that certain strategies work better than others.

It’s always a good idea to test and track your POS marketing strategies so you see what works best.

Cardboard cutouts can be a perfect option for your POS marketing plan. If you need some ideas or aren’t sure where to start, feel free to contact us for help. We are happy to provide ideas and give feedback on using a cardboard cutout in your POS marketing strategy.