Definition of Point of Sale Marketing

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Interior of large retail outlet
Interior of large retail outlet (Image: moodboard/moodboard/Getty Images)

Point of sale marketing is a technique that encourages consumers to purchase products when they are in a retail outlet. Traditional POS marketing tools include shelf signage, banners and display material situated close to the checkout. Mobile phone technology now enables retailers to use smartphone applications to create interactive POS marketing tools that gather data and stimulate purchase.

Role in the Marketing Mix

Point of sale marketing tools form an important part of the overall marketing mix. By reminding consumers of the product and sometimes offering incentives to buy, POS marketing tools reinforce the messages of other marketing communications, such as advertising or public relations. In an integrated marketing campaign, companies might create consumer interest and awareness through product advertising in the press or on television, encourage retailers to stock the product with trade incentives, and stimulate purchase by placing display material in stores and offering promotional coupons on the shelf or at the checkout.

Benefits of POS Marketing

The availability of POS marketing materials can act as a retail incentive, encouraging stores to stock a product. Retailers can use the POS materials to increase their own sales and revenue. Placing marketing communications and incentives to buy at the point of purchase can persuade consumers to make a final decision in favor of the promotional brand if they have a choice of competing products. This type of incentive is important when companies are launching new products or trying to stimulate sales in a competitive sector.

Mobile POS marketing

Retailers are taking advantage of smartphone technology to create a new generation of POS marketing techniques. Consumers can use smartphones to check product prices on comparison websites, read product reviews on social media or contact friends and family for opinions on the product. Retailers can use the same technology to offer consumers more product information on their phones, as well as personalized offers, based on their purchasing history. That history is available to retailers that use mobile apps to capture information on consumers’ browsing and purchase decisions.

POS Marketing and Customer Loyalty

The availability of customer data from mobile POS marketing can also help to build customer loyalty. Retailers can use the data to identify cross-selling opportunities or increase long-term revenue by offering customers a continuing series of personalized promotional incentives.

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