Marketing and advertising professionals use the term ‘POSM’, an acronym for ‘Point of Sale Materials’. 

What does that mean?

Point of Sale Materials is advertising materials used by brands to convey their message or communicate information to the consumers at the point of sale. It is usually adopted by the ‘Below the Line’ or BTL marketing campaigns. BTL marketing focuses and targets a specific segment of people- for instance, dropping leaflets in a particular area or putting up a banner at the bus stop.

But before we dive into understanding POSM, you need to be familiar with two other terms- POP and POS.

POP, ie. Point of Purchase is anything that the customers interact with while deciding whether to buy the product or not. When brands place their products in the stores, in the aisles, on the shelves that customers use to choose what they want to buy- it is the Point of Purchase, whereas POS, ie. Point of Sales is where the transaction/ sale occurs- the cash counter or the checkout area at the retail store. 

POS (Point of Sale) refers to interactions between the product and customer. These interactions could be at the time of transactions and exit. Remember the chocolate, mint, and candy shelves placed around the billing counter? Well! These same candies are available in the chocolate and munchies section of the store (POP). But putting a few pieces of the candies right before the exit is a part of the brand’s marketing strategy incorporated in a robust merchandising system at the store. 

Similarly, have you ever wondered why magazine racks get conveniently positioned at the checkout area? Well, that’s POS marketing! POS displays are exceptional for pushing products that shoppers buy impulsively. Magazines or mouth fresheners are usually not a planned purchase. Therefore, placing them at the Point of Sale is wiser than displaying them on the racks for purchase. 

Both POP and POS work towards drawing customer attention to a product and brand. The most suitable display gets chosen depending upon the brand’s requirements and its goals. Brands usually carry out a study of consumer behaviour and associate it with the nature of the brand to choose which Point of Sale Material will work best for in-store promotion. Some examples are posters, danglers, shelves, leaflets & leaflet dispensers, hangers, wobblers, etc. These materials are appealing and informative and are capable of stimulating purchases even at the Point of Sale. 

Let’s categorise these Point of Sale Materials based on their application:

– Posters

These are well-known products of the advertising world. They are stuck on flat surfaces, i.e. walls, display shelves, etc. Some widely used poster sizes are Large (60cm x 91cm), Medium (45cm x 60cm), Small (30cm x 43cm) or A4 (21cm x 29,7cm). Posters can be a product at the Point of Sale and even as a POP display. 

– Danglers

Contrary to the idea of hangers that hang off the shelves, danglers hang off the ceiling or the roof. These are attractive and hold the advantage of being placed in a unique position that one cannot miss easily. It could be a simple thick paper cut out with SALE or impressive discounts on it, or it could also be a three-dimensional model promoting any product. 

– Standees

Standees are used in promotional campaigns to attract consumers and make them aware of the product. These are pop up boxboards that are self-standing displays used mainly in grocery stores and pharmacies. Standees are available in various types, including rollup standees, cut out standee, canvas standee, floor standee, LED standee, etc.

– Buntings

Buntings are a Point of Sale material put up usually on the doors and windows of the store. They are small ribbons or stickers and even flags stitched together, maintaining equal distance from each other. These have writings and graphics giving a subtle yet promotional message, sometimes the brand logo printed. 

– Other POSMs

Some other materials used as the Point of Purchase advertising are stickers, wobblers, LED window displays, levitating units, acrylic highlighter displays, etc. Like the others, these too communicate the brand’s message and promote sales of their products. These products are designed to attract customers’ attention and lead them to make a purchase instinctively. These materials are found in-store and work wonders as advertising agents in both- POP and POS displays. 

By now, we can conclude that POSM is a great tool to increase brand sales. When executed efficiently, customers enjoy shopping, which motivates them to buy the products. This also helps businesses profit, which is a win-win for all. When information is available quickly and attractively, shopping becomes a smooth experience.