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What’s the point?

It’s easy to assume that the majority of customers walk in to a wholesaler with at least a firm view in their mind of what they want. They will know style of product, they may even know the brand or the exact model number. Richard Scott asks how far can good point of sale marketing go towards influencing their decisions?

Certain areas of the electrical product market are particularly well suited to point of sale marketing and have been well exploited over the years.

Batteries, lightbulbs, tools all lend themselves perfectly due to their size, relative low cost and general ubiquity. They are products that people like to buy on a whim even if there isn’t a specific urgent need for them, something to ‘stick in the basket’ with their other purchases.
We know that point of sale marketing material works and good proof of this is the fact the tobacco industry has invested millions in the medium.

Obviously, many of the industry’s other areas of marketing have been blocked, but still, the likes of Phillip Morris and BAT are not likely waste their budgets. One positive outcome of the tobacco industry’s push towards point of sale is that, consequently, an awful lot of effort has gone into researching its effectiveness, mainly by anti-smoking lobbies.

So far, research has indicated, among many other findings, that point of sale methods have a strong impact on brand loyalty and the ability of customers to recall the name of a particular brand. So, this would suggest that good displays have the potential to help retain customers and create new ones.

But what makes a good point of sale display? As with many things, it’s all about positioning and timing. Whether the display is from a manufacturer or independently arranged by the wholesaler, the need is universal for careful location and ensuring the contents of the display are right for the time of year.

The majority of point of display stands are designed to be temporary, and actually only serve their purpose when used temporarily. Tired looking displays and ones that have not been moved for months on end will either go unnoticed or be noticed for negative reasons. Neither a good thing.

Some manufacturers are extremely proficient at producing attention-grabbing point of sale material and have the resources to put a lot of time and money into it. Walking around an electrical trade show is probably the best way to see what they’re up to, so while you’re looking at products, take time to look at what they are displayed on too.

Current trends for audio/visual accompaniment to point of sale products are likely to progress and become more impressively executed and widespread, but will still conform to the same rules that govern the effectiveness of any marketing media. Drawing people's attention is only 50% of the job, and more traditional formats can be just as effective at doing that.

Good displays will have the ability to tip the balance of interest in favour of the product on show and drive sales for particular product lines.

Whether the point of sale material is supplied from the manufacturer or not, these are key tools for the wholesaler which are not always used to their best potential. With even a small amount of extra attention, their power can be increased significantly.

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Electrical Products