What is the difference between pop and pos?

Even if you are only vaguely familiar with the world of retail and design you have probably heard people talking about POP and POS. But what do the acronyms stand for and what is the difference between both concepts?

Keep reading to learn more about these marketing devices that have become a staple of advertising for all kinds of products thanks to their versatility and their power to grab the attention of consumers.

A Matter of Location

POP stands for Point of Purchase while POS stands for Point of Sale. These are visual materials of varying sizes and shapes located inside a business to encourage customers to make a purchase or interact in some other way with a product.

The difference between POP and POS is that a POP display is located near the merchandise it promotes, while a POS display is placed in the specific spot where the exchange of goods occur. For example, the Point of Purchase for a chocolate bar is located in the candy aisle, while the Point of Sale is the area near the checkout counter, the place where the transaction to get the product takes place.

A note on usage: POS (also meaning Point of Sale) may also refer to a credit card terminal of the type usually found in many stores. It’s important not to confuse the two meanings, especially considering that both are relevant to the world of retail and commerce.

When to Use POP? When to use POS?

The decision of opting for either POP or POS depends on many factors, but these guidelines will give you a rough idea of the variables you should keep in mind when making your choice. However, remember that these are only general recommendations; every case is unique and there is ample room for exceptions.

While both POP and POS will raise awareness of your brand, consider the following to define your strategy.

Use POP for:

  • Larger quantities of products.
  • Temporary sales or special promotions.
  • Pushing different packaging versions of the same product.

Use POS for:

  • Smaller products.
  • Single-packaged products.
  • Last-minute buys.

The difference between POP and POS resides in the location and function of the displays inside a store. With the right assistance both options can be visually striking, becoming key components in your strategy to increase sales and brand awareness.