You may have heard predictions that online shopping will eventually overtake traditional brick and mortar stores. While “e-tailers” may continue to gain ground, consumers still enjoy touching and feeling a physical product in stores. In fact, according to a Pricewaterhouse Coopers 2015 annual survey, only 27 percent of consumers shop online weekly. This means 68 percent of consumers stated they intentionally browsed products at a store but decided to purchase them online, while 73 percent say they have browsed products online but decided to make the purchase in a store.

To influence consumers while they browse the aisles, marketers must pay special attention to the in-store experience. The way a brand’s product is packaged, including the color and content, can catch a consumer’s eye as they scan the shelves. Once that attention is caught, shoppers may stray from their typical shopping list, try new products and even give new brands a chance.

Additionally, how the products are displayed can sway a consumer’s decisions. Point-of-purchase (POP) displays are in-store marketing materials that spotlight promoted merchandise. Whether in-aisle or in the checkout area, brands can deploy various types of advertising depending on how they want to engage the customer. Some examples include:

  • shelf displays – either attached at the end of an aisle or at walkway product stands
  • floor stands – stand-alone product displays, large signage  or cutouts with calls to action
  • endcaps – end-of-aisle signage or displays that vary  in size
  • floor mats – signage adhered to the floor, pointing shoppers to product shelf placement or displays
  • counter displays – smaller POP displays that sit on the store counters, holding products in a container

The visual elements of these displays are equally important to the packages themselves. If the colors, text and content are relatable to shoppers, they will take notice—potentially making a purchase decision on the spot. When the displays are poorly executed, they can negatively impact a consumer’s decision.  The next time you’re in a retail store, try to notice the POP displays. Are the large stand displays set up properly? Is merchandise on them? Are floor stickers aligned with the products to which they correspond? Do any of the counter displays look damaged? Did a display catch your eye? What made you want to take a closer look?

Unfortunately, displays are all too often not deployed or are set up incorrectly. POPAI’s Compliance Initiative Study notes that 58 percent of POP displays are not installed properly to satisfy a brand’s standards. As a result, ROI is diminished while valuable marketing dollars are wasted on ineffective materials that are not deployed correctly. Furthermore, improperly installed displays hinder the relationships between brands and retailers, as product sales are damaged and valuable store real estate goes unused.

Much to the dismay of marketers, it’s almost impossible to determine if POP displays are executed correctly. Brands rely on store employees and display installation companies to follow their instructions, but are unable to monitor every store nationwide. Instead, they end up comparing program costs to net sales gains, or not tracking displays at all.

To ensure no marketing dollars are wasted, brands must overlook in-store efforts with a display management solution that tracks the entire lifecycle for each POP display in real time. This solution would allow marketers to:

  • Quickly organize materials for each display and provide clear setup instructions
  • Validate that each display is installed in the correct store location
  • Confirm that displays are properly installed and maintained throughout the campaign
  • Send notifications when it’s time to tear down the displays

Efficient management solutions also allow the monitoring of the development, shipping, installation and deactivation processes of POP displays. With seamless transparency from beginning to end, brand executives can have full confidence that their correctly-installed POP displays are boosting consumer awareness and engagement.

The competition for shoppers’ attention is at an all-time high today, and brands must consider the entire path-to-purchase journey. A positive in-store experience, which fits with the brand’s standards, is something that no longer can be overlooked. By using logistic platforms that help marketers assess effectiveness and understand challenges of in-store campaigns in real time, brands can improve their promotional efforts, increase company revenue and meet their target ROI. Therefore, they can influence consumer purchases with attractive packaging and well-executed POP displays.