What Is a Point of Sale Display?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
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A point of sale display typically refers to any type of display used to advertise or sell products directly at or near a point of sale. “Point of sale” refers to the area in a retail location at which purchases are actually made, such as the checkouts and registers used by most retail businesses. While people have typically made their decisions and have already found what they want to buy before approaching this location in a store, there is still the possibility for last minute decisions. A point of sale display is used to provide customers with an opportunity for such a decision and often includes products usually purchased as “impulse buys.”

The term “point of sale” can be used to refer to a retail store in general, but it is more commonly used within the retail industry to indicate the location where an actual sale is completed. This typically refers to wherever cash registers or similar pieces of equipment for processing a sale are located. A point of sale display, therefore, refers to any type of display set up near this location in a store. It can be as simple as an advertisement for a product located elsewhere in the store, especially when such a display is at the store entrance.


A point of sale display can also provide an opportunity for creating new sales. As customers approach a cash register, they usually have the products they intend to purchase with them. Other products that are actually located at a point of sale display are usually intended as impulse buys for a customer. An impulse buy is a product that someone typically does not come into a store to find, but chooses to purchase on the spur of the moment.

In a grocery store, for example, candy, gum, and magazines are often part of a point of sale display, as these items are often purchased on a whim. Someone waiting in line to purchase his or her groceries might start reading a magazine, become interested, and end up buying that magazine when he or she would have otherwise not done so. In hardware stores, on the other hand, while some magazines are often found at a point of sale display, other items such as carpenter’s pencils, tape measures, flashlights, and gloves can also be found at these displays. These are often intended less as impulse buys and more as last minute purchases that a customer may want but has otherwise forgotten about while shopping for other items.


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