When you think of ways to market your store, you’re probably drawn to big campaigns and vague dreams of a spot at the Superbowl.
Which is fancy and glamorous and…very, very expensive.
While we’d all love to have massive marketing budgets, the truth for most independent retailers is that you have to make every cent count. And while you’re probably already doing as much as you can for your store, you may be neglecting one important area. Point of sale (POS) marketing.
What is POS marketing?
You’re already familiar with your POS; no doubt, you’ve spent many hours stood in front of it.
It’s your cash register or a cloud POS such as our partners Lightspeed, Vend, Square or Clover.
It’s the very spot where the magic – and money – actually happens. In terms of marketing, it’s that sweet spot but it’s also the area around your POS – so the aisle, products, and floor space around it.
Point of sale (or point of purchase) marketing, then, is where you strategically utilize this space to drive more sales and revenue for your store. No doubt, you’ve thought long and hard about the space around your POS and the items that occupy it, but can you say once and for all that it’s pulling in as much revenue as it could be?
Optimize your POS for impulse buys
Encouraging impulse buys is an under-rated retail marketing tactic, but it could mean the difference between a good or bad day in takings.
Sure, you want your customer to come in, buy what they want, and leave to get on with their lives, but if you can encourage them to make a couple of additional purchases while they’re in-store, you’re onto a winner.
For many customers, brick and mortar shopping is about convenience: they can get what they want fast. This means it’s a fine line for retailers and their in-store marketing. You want to keep customers in-store and browsing, but you don’t want them to feel like they’re trapped forever in a maze of endless aisles and products.
Instead, think about the path of movement around the store. Be strategic with which items go where and plot it all out in your POG (a mapped-out plan of your store space by aisles/sections, etc.).
Pay particular attention to items that can be cross-sold, paired, or upsold – for example, displaying surround speakers and TV brackets near TVs, or creating a ‘lunch deal’ shelf in a grocery store with soup, a sandwich, and bottled water.
Be prepared to stack the area around your POS with lower-priced ‘quick grab’ items: chocolate is a popular fixture in these areas, but think industry-specific. A bookstore could place bookmarks or book-related knick-knacks around the POS, while a pet store could stock dog treats or particularly cute toys or clothing.
Utilize the space around anchor products too: if you know certain products sell really well, bundle them with lower-priced complementary items.
Ultimately, impulse buys need to be low consideration and low commitment: your customer has to be able to make that decision quickly, so keep it simple and sensible. Oh – and if you have a loyalty or gift card scheme, the POS is the place to keep it – so make sure it’s there with visible signage.
Effectively market your POS with retail merchandising
POS marketing materials are vital to your POS marketing. They’re the materials you’ll use to shout about your products and advertising campaigns. They’ll grab your customers’ attention and nudge them that bit closer to spending more of their hard-earned dollars with you. POS marketing materials come with an abundance of interesting names, not least of all:
- Price tags.
- End-cap displays.
- Promotional stands.
- Hard posters.
- Rail talkers.
- Danglers and mobiles.
Are the names a little ridiculous? Absolutely. Does that affect their effectiveness? Absolutely not. No doubt, you’ll already be familiar with POS marketing materials, but let’s take a look at some of the more niche among them.
POS marketing materials
POS wobblers are tags that are stuck to shelves or other surfaces to grab your customers’ attention as they walk by. They can be hooked, hinged, or fixed in many different ways. Go big and type/text heavy with your wobblers. Short and sweet and to the point is key.
In retail marketing, an endcap is a product display placed at the end of an aisle.
Danglers and mobiles
As the name suggests, a dangler is a POS marketing material that hangs/dangles from the ceiling. Don’t be afraid to get inventive with some of your retail merchandising.
German superstores Aldi and Lidl are well-known for their middle aisles (known in-store as special buys), which typically stock a variety of seemingly random items for a grocery store – everything from pet gifts to hiking gear or beauty items.
Consider updating your cash register to a cloud POS
If you’ve been in business for a long time or if you’ve inherited your brick and mortar store from family, chances are that some of your technology might be a little outdated.
Raise your hand if inventory management is a series of spreadsheets or if your cash register is literally just a cash register.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that – but you could be missing out on insights, tools, or apps that could help you run your business much more efficiently and drive sales for your store.
Essentially, a cloud POS is a point of sale system that connects to the internet. It’s much like a regular cash register but with the added benefits of a computer. A good cloud POS will give you access to inventory management, sales tracking, and data forecasting for a start.
Client-server POS systems will get the job done, absolutely, but cloud POS systems win out in several areas:
- Say goodbye to the days of buying your hardware, licensing the software, and paying terminal or maintenance fees. Cloud POS merchants pay a monthly subscription fee.
- Most cloud POS systems can run from a variety of devices: you can run all the data from your smartphone if you want.
- All the extras. Lightspeed, for example, allows the bog-standard ringing up of a sale alongside customer account profiles, discount management, gift card management, loyalty programs, returns management and more.
If you are planning on making the switch to a cloud POS, make sure to read reviews (Capterra is a great starting point) and to ask around with other retailers to make sure you’re getting value for your money.
Unlock new opportunities for your store with POS apps
As a cloud POS is akin to a computer (or even the smartphone in your pocket), it’s safe to say it comes with one final MASSIVE benefit: the ability to install and run apps.
This is the true differentiator between a client-server POS and a cloud POS.
On the Lightspeed app store, for example, retailers can access free or paid apps that offer extra functionality in everything from e-commerce to social logins and inventory management. Likewise, Vend offers add-ons including QuickBooks, Xero, Timely, and Marsello, a loyalty program app.
Pointy, a retail tech that turns online searches into sales for local stores, is available to download for free on many POS systems too, including Lightspeed, Square, Clover, and Vend. Install Pointy onto your POS and Pointy puts your products onto your own Pointy page on Google.
When a nearby person makes a search, for example ‘bookstore near me’ or a product you stock and your location, for example ‘biotrue multi-purpose solution bronx’, they can see the Pointy page in the result.
If they click it, they can see stock availability, opening hours, and directions to the store. Essentially, they’re taken from a search to your store to make the sale – which is a powerful tool for independent retailers.