Ensure Your Retail Success with a Comprehensive POP Display and Visual Merchandising Strategy

One of the biggest challenges for any CPG brand is capturing the attention of a consumer in the overstimulating aisles of Target, Walmart, Kroger or other retail stores. But, before you even get your product onto shelves, it’s critical to have a retail merchandising plan that will captivate your potential buyers. 

Most shopper marketing programs will include point of purchase (POP) displays and other visual merchandising components. These merchandising strategies can face various limitations such as expense, timing and retailer buy-in. By partnering with a shopper marketing agency, like Cliffedge Marketing, brands can overcome these obstacles and assist with successful sell-through to retail customers. 

Your POP displays and visual merchandising programs should include a sell-in strategy for retailers, a logistical plan to create any deliverables and a cohesive campaign that will engage your consumers to drive in-store purchases.

The Role of POP Displays in Shopper Marketing

As we highlighted in our shopper marketing strategy guide, today’s retail requires an omnichannel approach. You must engage your target shopper across their entire buyer’s journey – in-store and online. POP displays, paired with in-store signage, not only accentuate your brand messaging at store level but also play a crucial role in the final phase of the consumer’s buying journey. Acting as bridges, these displays meld the digital with the physical, offering interactive experiences, such as AR interactivity, coupon dispensing, recipes and more.

The Difference Between POP Displays v. POS Displays 

The point of purchase (POP) is essentially where a shopper comes into contact with your product within the store. Going beyond mere interaction, POP displays are specially designed structures or placements that diverge from the regular aisle shelves, strategically positioned to intersect with a shopper’s in-store path.

When deciding on your product presentation strategy, it’s important to know the difference between POP (Point of Purchase) and POS (Point of Sale) displays. While both aim to enhance brand visibility and entice customers, their placement within the store sets them apart. POP displays can sprawl across the retail space, while POS focuses strictly around the checkout area – the final point before a purchase is made. 

Why are POP Displays Crucial for Your Brand?

Support Your Retailers

POP displays help retailers move your products. In order to sell-in to your target retailers, focus on what each individual retailer cares about – whether it’s enhancing the shopping experience, adapting to in-store seasonality, or championing wellness and philanthropic drives. These displays, bolstered by shopper data, are persuasive sales tools that can help you drive sell-in.

Engage Shoppers In-Store

Even with the rise of online shopping, a 2019 survey revealed that 84% of internet users favor buying food, beverages, cleaning products, cosmetics, clothes and small appliances in-store. People value the tactile experience of products before purchasing and the immediate access to items. 

Reinforce Other Advertising

POP displays amplify other advertising channels, threading a cohesive narrative throughout the consumer journey. By transforming campaigns into tangible in-store experiences, they make pivotal contributions to the final purchase decisions. Since many shoppers arrive at stores uncertain of their exact needs, POP displays can highlight your brand effectively, guiding customers to swift decisions.

How POP Displays Drive Customers to Your Brand

POP displays play a pivotal role in steering customers towards your brand. By crafting a harmonious array of displays that truly resonate, you not only engage but also leave a lasting impression. 

Pushing beyond the conventional, innovative designs and unique “hooks” can capture attention more effectively. Integrating compelling calls to action, like sweepstakes or exclusive giveaways, can further pique interest. Additionally, forming collaborations with renowned brands or sports sponsorships can elevate your brand’s equity. Even championing philanthropic causes can profoundly enrich your brand’s image and appeal.

Three Questions to Ask When Creating a Strategy

When crafting a strategy for POP displays, there are three pivotal questions to consider, inspired by insights from a detailed guide on Repsly:

  1. How Can You Optimize Speed to Market? To stand out, it’s vital to hit the market promptly. This requires streamlining logistics and planning processes to ensure everything runs seamlessly. Comprehensive knowledge of the program’s intricacies and execution requirements aids in adhering to set timelines and budgets.
  2. Are You Prepared for Varied Implementation Requirements? Effective strategy development necessitates outlining clear lead times and schedules. This spans from creative production to printing, shipping, and finally, fulfillment. It’s not only about speed but ensuring every phase of the project is handled proficiently.
  3. How Adaptable is Your Strategy to Retailer Needs? Retailers’ preferences vary. While some might lean towards tailored, unique display options, others prioritize quick, hassle-free solutions. Recognizing and addressing these distinct needs and potential challenges can greatly enhance your strategy’s efficacy and success rate.

Other Key Elements of Your Merchandising Strategy

Your CPG merchandising program should include various elements and strategies to effectively showcase and promote products in retail environments. Here are the main components that a comprehensive program should encompass:

In-Store Signage and Messaging

In addition to POP displays, effective in-store signage plays a crucial role in guiding and engaging customers with signage, banners, posters and other visual materials strategically placed throughout the store. This will help communicate your product’s benefits and promotions. 

Clear and engaging messaging helps capture consumer attention, and ultimately, drive purchase intent. Well-designed signage should be easily readable, visually appealing and consistent with the brand’s identity. This will ensure a cohesive shopping experience across all your retailers.

Product Packaging

Your product’s packaging is an integral part of the overall merchandising strategy. Designing visually appealing product packaging will help your brand stand out on the crowded shelves of big box stores.

The packaging should effectively communicate key product features, benefits and differentiation. Well-designed packaging that reflects the brand’s identity and resonates with the target audience can significantly impact brand recognition and customer loyalty.

Promotional Strategies

Incorporating various promotional strategies within the merchandising program can drive product trials and increase sales. Promotional strategies may include: 

  • Discounts
  • Incentives or limited-time offers
  • Coupons
  • Sampling programs
  • Loyalty programs
  • Special event-based promotions 
  • Cross promotional offers

Promotions are effective tools for encouraging customer engagement and driving conversion. By strategically implementing these in your merchandising strategy, brands can create a sense of urgency, encourage impulse purchases and foster customer loyalty.

Retailer and Vendor Collaboration

Collaborating closely with retailers is crucial for your merchandising strategy. Building strong relationships with retailers and vendors ensures campaign efficiency and optimal product placement. By understanding your retailers’ goals, brands can tailor merchandising efforts to meet specific requirements and leverage insights to drive sales. Regular communication and joint planning with your retailers and vendors can help you deliver long-term success.

With over two decades of experience in retail, CEM can help facilitate the relationships involved in merchandising. We act as a consultant and liaison, helping you establish and maintain strong connections with retailers. Our expertise in managing vendor relationships ensures smooth communication and cooperation. We work closely with brands and their retailer partners to align merchandising strategies, promotional calendars and marketing initiatives, streamlining the process and maximizing the impact of your merchandising efforts.

Shopper Marketing Metrics for Your Merchandising Strategy

When measuring the success of a merchandise strategy, it’s important to track various key performance indicators (KPIs) that provide insights into different aspects of the strategy’s impact. Here are some specific shopper marketing metrics to consider:

  1. Incremental Sales: Measure the increase in sales directly attributed to the merchandise strategy, comparing sales data before and after implementation to determine incremental revenue growth.
  2. Compliance Rate: As it’s used here, compliance refers to the percentage of stores that actually place / execute your display plan. Despite your best efforts some of your target stores will not get merchandised. Understanding this number can provide a valuable insight into your process and performance. 
  3. Customer Engagement: Track customer engagement metrics like customer interactions (i.e., QR scans) with displays or promotions to gauge the strategy’s ability to capture attention and encourage customer exploration.
  4. Retailer Feedback and Satisfaction: Gather feedback from your buyer on display effectiveness and clarity to assess the impact of the strategy on the customer experience.
  5. Return on Investment (ROI): Calculate the financial return on investment by comparing revenue generated or cost savings to the total costs of implementing the strategy, determining overall profitability and efficiency.
  6. Competitive Analysis: Monitor competitors’ market share, sales trends and customer feedback to benchmark the strategy’s effectiveness and identify areas for improvement or differentiation.

When measuring the success of your campaigns, also consider the scientific method and continuously test and measure the effectiveness of POP displays, packaging, signage and shelf placement.

Partner with Cliffedge Marketing to Accelerate Your Merchandise Strategy

As an extension of your marketing and sales teams, Cliffedge Marketing (CEM) provides invaluable support throughout the merchandising process. With expertise in program execution and vendor management, CEM empowers brands in decision-making and ensures seamless implementation.

CEM’s creative production capabilities create engaging materials that captivate consumers, while their logistics knowledge guarantees smooth execution of merchandising initiatives.

How CEM Enhances Your Merchandising Program

  1. Improved Sell-In: CEM’s shopper marketing expertise and industry connections improve negotiations and cooperation with target retailers, increasing the chances of successful sell-in.
  2. Engaged & Inspired Visibility: Eye-catching POP displays strategically placed in-store capture shoppers’ attention, increasing brand visibility and product recall.
  3. More Purchases: Well-designed displays like freestanding displays, dump bins, and banner stands create urgency and influence consumers to choose your brand.
  4. Cost-Effective Strategy: From POP displays to side-of-cart signage, CEM helps identify best-fit opportunities for your brand and budget. 

By partnering with CEM, your brand can accelerate its merchandising program, overcome barriers and achieve impactful results in the retail environment.

Retail isn’t an easy win for CPG brands; it requires long hours of campaign communication and planning, continuous testing and industry knowledge. In order for CPG brands to succeed in the modern retail landscape, they need to develop a comprehensive merchandising strategy. By collaborating with a shopper marketing partner like Cliffedge Marketing, your brand can gain a competitive edge. CEM’s expertise in sales support, program execution and creative production empowers brands throughout the merchandising journey.

To implement and execute a successful merchandising program that drives results, partner with Cliffedge Marketing. Learn more about our Shopper Marketing Services to see how CEM can help your brand achieve retail success.

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