Point of sale design for beginners.

All your hard work has paid off and you’ve secured a spot on the shelves for your new product. Great point of sale design will help your wares stand out from the crowd.

What is point of sale design?

Point of sale design (POS design, what is this?) covers a wide range of promotional items designed to make a product or brand stand out in store. It includes shelf edge labels, promotional stands, leaflet holders, countertop mats, stickers and ‘wobblers’. As retail space is always at a premium, it’s important to carefully consider your product and your marketplace before getting to work.

Location, location, location

POS materials are there to grab shoppers’ attention in-store, encouraging them to buy more or take notice of specific products. The biggest consideration for a POS design, at least initially, will be the space you have available. There’s no point in designing an all-singing, all-dancing freestanding display unit (FSDU) when your promotional material occupies a small space by the till.

The positioning of your display is also important. For example, there is no point in advertising your product at the till point, if, to purchase it, the customer would need to leave the queue and go across the shop to pick it up. Till point displays work brilliantly for low-value impulse purchases, like chocolate bars and sweets.

If your display is in a less busy area, it’s even more essential to attract customer attention with bold messaging and clearly listed benefits.

Choosing the right POS display materials

Crafting a successful point of sale display also involves choosing materials to support your product weight, design and purpose. The materials that you choose will come down to a number of factors, including price, durability and location.

  • Metal is robust and professional but is usually an expensive option. You can build lightweight structures from aluminium or opt for studied materials like steel and copper.
  • Glass is often associated with premium, high-end products. Glass displays can be pricey, aren’t suitable for areas where the display could be bumped in to, and require more dusting and cleaning than other options.
  • Plastic and perspex are lightweight and durable but might not achieve that high-end finish to complement luxury products.
  • Cardboard displays are easy to distribute and assemble and allows you to get creative with printing options. It’s cost-effective but not suitable for anywhere that it could get damp.
  • Wood is the perfect natural material for eco-friendly brands that want a rustic look. It’s also highly durable for the retail environment but can be more susceptible to humidity.

Great POS design needs to reflect your brand, products and ethos. Visiting a large store can be an assault on the senses, with multiple products vying for a shopper’s attention. You need to ensure that your point-of-sale items attract the right people, directing them specifically to your product and inviting them to make an immediate purchase.

If you’re a new brand or product, this is even more difficult – potential customers might not be familiar with you yet, and need to be reassured of your quality and values to encourage a sale.

Marketers have been suggesting for decades that if you can get a potential customer to pick up your product, they’re more than likely to buy it – that’s the job of good POS design.

Know your shopfloor lingo

Knowing your POS from your POP is only the beginning. Merchandising is a sea of tricky acronyms and unfamiliar terms, and here is a glossary of some of the most common ones:

Point of sale

Point of purchase

On-shelf display

Electronic shelf labelling

Freestanding display unit

Gondola end
A shelving unit at the end of an aisle

Shelf wobbler
An adhesive strip that sticks to a shelf edge displaying a sign

Clip strip
A vertically hung display unit for small products on the edge of a shelf

Need help with your point of sale design?

Straightforward, right? The experienced design team at Toast are the experts in standing out from the crowd. We’ve designed everything from eye-catching pricing labels to full-scale display units to help our clients get their products on the radar. Not sure where to begin? It’s time to talk to Toast.

See our POS work

Kelly Dudley

Kelly Dudley

Kelly looks after copy and content at Toast. She's a professional copywriter with a Degree in Journalism and over 15 years experience producing effective copy for a wide range of clients.