The hard work of attracting customers doesn’t end with convincing them to visit a retail location. Once they arrive, the store’s presentation determines what they purchase and how much they spend. Elements worth considering include lighting, shelving, and decor.

Another important consideration? The various displays that inform customers of the products or services in which they can invest. Known as point of purchase (POP) displays, these enrich the customer experience within the retail store while also promoting sales.

What Are Point of Purchase Displays?

How Are They Different From Point of Sale (POS)?

Point of purchase displays are often confused with point of sale (POS) displays, but the two hold decidedly different functions.

Simply put, POS involves the checkout process; this is where the customer completes the act of buying an item. A carefully designed POS display can ensure that sales go through.

Meanwhile, an effective POP display influences the decisions customers make long before they arrive at checkout. These displays can often be found in shelving areas, where they educate and promote a variety of products.

The acronym for point of purchase adds extra meaning: these displays should pop! Creativity is encouraged, as it takes compelling visuals to snap customers out of their typical retail habits. A little effort can go a long way towards getting consumers excited about top products — and about the retail experience in general.

What Is the Function of POP Display in Retailing Today?

While the most obvious benefit of POP displays involves the prospect of increased sales, these features can serve many other merchandising functions. They are some of the most practical options for driving consumer interest. Key benefits seen in the retail sector include the following.

Brand Awareness

If you’re eager to create positive feelings about your brand, you’ll find few visuals more inviting or memorable than creative POP signage. These can produce a strong impression among consumers, reminding them why they’ve chosen to visit your location and what they stand to gain during their retail experience.

Build brand awareness with a POP display.

Displays that effectively promote brand awareness will influence not only immediate purchasing decisions but also, long-term interactions with repeat customers. Furthermore, they’re valuable for rebranding efforts, as they can drive home new logos and messaging to help consumers make the transition to your company’s new approach.

New Product Awareness

In addition to improving general brand awareness, POP displays should get customers excited about your latest and greatest products. They can be prominently featured near shelving to ensure that promoted products stand out, rather than blend into a sea of available items. Used in this context, displays can include compelling visuals or details about new products that customers might find helpful.


A prominent POP display can serve as a focal point, making any area in a store instantly more appealing to the eye. These displays should be designed in a way that draws customers in, convincing them to pause for a moment and absorb new information. Even if they only briefly glance at displays, customers will find that their overarching store experience is more pleasant as a result of point of purchase efforts.

Engaging POP display asks customer to scan code.


Few in-store marketing solutions are as cost-effective as POP displays. Whether these are temporarily used to promote new products or kept in stores for longer periods oftentimes, these displays are capable of delivering an impressive return on investment. POP cardboard displays are especially affordable. Durable displays can provide months, even years of engagement without the need for recurring costs that accompany other marketing efforts.

Increase Sales

While the benefits cited above can play into improving sales and reducing expenses, POP displays are also helpful in that they encourage impulse buys among customers who might otherwise neglect to spend on certain types of items. Impulse buys are often situated near checkout, but there is no reason why they can’t also be prompted elsewhere in your store.

Efficient Use of Space

If you’re short on room, you might struggle to come up with creative in-store solutions that instantly stand out. While some POP displays are specifically designed to be sizable, it’s also possible to make these eye-catching features attract customers’ attention without taking up a lot of space.

Store displays can quickly be implemented in a variety of areas while still providing plenty of room for shelving and other features. These space savers are highly flexible and can be moved around as needed to create an effective, easy-to-navigate layout. Corrugated end cap displays are ideal for this function.

While many retailers attach POP displays to shelves or situate them at the end of an aisle, they also work as freestanding features. A floor display, for example, can assist with both directing traffic and driving sales. When space is even more limited, a counter display can be a viable solution at checkout or in customer service areas.

Creative POP Display Ideas

Point of purchase displays are as versatile as they are cost-effective. If you’re on the hunt for new ways to use store displays, consider giving the following ideas a try.

Offer Samples to Take Home

Customers love samples, but sometimes, they don’t realize that freebies are available until it’s too late. POP displays get the word out, enticing customers to stop by sample stations.

In addition to alerting customers, these displays can also provide supplemental information to teach shoppers what they’re sampling and why those products are worth buying. Depending on the nature of the samples, displays may complement staffed stations or serve as standalone kiosks where customers can help themselves.

Let Customers Test Products With Interactive Displays

Interactive POP display.
If there’s one thing customers love nearly as much as samples, it’s playing with products before they invest in them. This try before you buy approach can be enhanced with interactive displays, which give customers a better idea of how specific items function — and how they might fit into the shopper’s everyday life. Hands-on solutions are especially effective when selling electronics and video game accessories, but may also prove helpful for various recreational products or even software or app launches.

Distribute Coupons

In-store coupons are effective for driving sales among specific products, but they can be difficult to distribute. Strategically designed POP displays place these coupons next to the items they’re intended to promote. Shoppers can grab coupons for immediate use, as well as extras to take advantage of during return trips.

This is a great grocery store solution but can be effective in many other retail spaces. Feel free to use this approach for both manufacturer and in-house coupons.

If you prefer digital coupon distribution, add QR codes to displays. Customers can scan these with their smartphones to obtain instant access to discounts via mobile apps or loyalty programs.

Provide Answers to FAQs

If customers consistently ask employees the same few questions, it may be worth your while to develop a store display that addresses these common concerns. After all, for every customer who speaks up, several others may be confused or even frustrated. Place Q&A kiosks throughout the store, complete with simply-worded questions or phrases that instantly convey essential information.

POP display that answers frequently asked questions.

Create a Sanitizing Station

Customers who are worried about hygiene will be relieved to see displays highlighting and providing directions for sanitizing stations. These should include free hand sanitizer dispensers that people can use on the go, as well as Clorox wipes for sanitizing baskets, carts, and other objects with which they might come into contact while shopping.

Feel free to also provide complimentary face masks that customers can grab if they wish. These can provide an extra branding boost if they feature business logos or other personalized designs.

Learn More About Point of Purchase Displays

At Cardboard Cutout Standees, we strongly believe in the power of high-quality POP displays to drive brand awareness and engagement. We also understand, however, that many entrepreneurs are unsure of how to create and implement these marketing tools. To that end, we’ve provided a wealth of information on our website.

Our Point of Purchase page includes detailed information on the many types of POP displays that are currently available, as well as ideas for how to use them in a variety of settings and situations.POP display produced by Cardboard Cutout Standees

Custom POP Displays from Cardboard Cutout Standees

Durable, cost-effective, easy to assemble… point-of-purchase cardboard displays provide a range of benefits that make them a compelling option for many businesses and marketing initiatives. Not just any signage will cut it, however. It’s worth your while to develop creative point of purchase displays that make an instant impression.

We’re proud to provide the best point of purchase displays through Cardboard Cutout Standees. Like all of our products, these are designed to hold up to heavy use while still allowing you to make the most of your limited marketing budget.

Are you ready to get started with custom POP displays for your small business? We’re happy to help. Check out our resource on the POP industry to learn how our team at Cardboard Cutout Standees can help you make the most of high-quality displays.


  • Jason Frank

    Jason Frank is the Co-Founder and Vice President at Cardboard Cutout Standees. After 25 years of selling factory automation he started the company with one of his college roommates. The company has grown to one of the largest providers of large format custom printed products in the United States. Along with the namesake cardboard cutout standees, they also provide BigHeads, Point of Purchase Displays, Wall Murals, and Wall Decals to a diverse client base across the US and Canada. When not focused on the business, you usually find Jason either on the road biking or our in the woods and fields of western Wisconsin.

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