How to Design Effective In-Store Visual Marketing

Design Effective in Store Point of Sale With

A point-of-purchase ad for Heineken Premium Light beer lies on display in a grocery store

Tim Boyle / Getty Image


In-Store Point of Sale, or as the food industry calls it, POS, are all marketing efforts at the store level to get the shopper to stop, look at a brand and hopefully buy it. It is part of the larger movement called Shopper Marketing, and that is striving to understand how we shop, why we shop, when we shop, and where we shop.

Point of Sale Displays, which are part of the larger arena of Visual Marketing, are peppered throughout the supermarket such as end displays, free-standing corrugated shippers and the like. POS also includes all of the signs, called shelf-talkers, that grab your attention for items on sale, like Buy One - Get One of 10 for $10. Digital electronic signs are creeping into the aisles and may replace printed point of sale in the not too distant future.

The 4C's are Tried and True

The Four C's are the critical factors in selling more merchandise at a retail supermarket or specialty store. The Four C's are:

  • Command Attention
  • Connect with the shopper
  • Convey information
  • Close the Sale

Individually, each of the 4C's represents a cognitive step the shopper experiences when engaged with the point of sales materials. It starts with becoming aware of a product or offer and ends with choosing to buy. You can think of it as a mental path-to-purchase that occurs at the point of sale.

Retail Brands Have One Second to Grab Consumers Attention

We interviewed Richard Butwinick, Founder of He has created a most innovative business that evaluates the effectiveness of In-Store Point of Sale (POS). Your retail promotional strategy needs to address this statistic as:

You have just 1 second to grab the consumer's attention.

POS is critical to getting the consumer's attention in a busy and overcrowded environment. We like to refer to the Pretzel Crisp Brand In-Store Promotional Plans. Their focus is being big, colorful and straightforward for shelf-talkers, your food packaging design, and in-store shipper displays.

Butwinick explained:

We simply connected the dots. Brands were spending time and money for inconsistent POS results, retailers were at risk when committing space, and we had a proven process to improve results for both.

Sell Check was designed to help marketers create and evaluate their shopper communications. It allows brands to get to the good stuff faster and less expensive. According to Butwinick:

We wanted to develop something that was authoritative and rooted in metrics and available to anyone inexpensively.

Measuring and Increasing Promotional Lift

Does Sell Check work? According to Richard, they apply their 4 C's principles so that brands can expect substantial promotional lift that gives a 40:1 return on investment.

Promotional Lift is best described in the book Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance as "the incremental sales generated by specific marketing activities over baseline sales."

This baseline typically has other influences, such as seasonality or competitive promotions removed to determine the effectiveness of your promotion.​

How SellCheck Improves Your POS Materials Using The 4 C's

4C's was meant to be a foundational language. The Path to Purchase Institute adopted the 4C's as their criteria for their design contest. It also adds science and academics to shopper behavior and POS design.

Command Attention

A piece that is not noticed will never be effective! The first step in the 4C process is to ensure your POS is noticeable in the retail or online environment.

Connect With the Shopper

Once your materials command the shopper's attention, you must ensure the shopper recognizes what it stands for, but you don't have much time - usually 1 second or less. If your POS doesn't register as recognizable and relevant, the shopper moves on without a second thought. Maybe that is why you are not generating sales that get your products off of the retail shelf?

Convey Information

Now that the customer has stopped at the shelf and is evaluating your food product, how effectively can you convey a clear, compelling message to the shopper that gets them from considering to closer to buying your product!

Close the Sale

You've commanded the shopper's attention, connected with them, and conveyed initial information. Now, what does the piece have to do to close the sale and get the product into the basket? This is where SellCheck creates superb value in recommending effective materials that get your product off the shelf and into the shopping cart.

Shoppers deselect before they select, cues tell us how to convey a message and how to close. They also offer ways on how to optimize POS design.

Using the 4 C's in Your Retail Promotional Strategy

One way is contacting Sell Check to see what they can do for you. "Oh that is too expensive, " you say. Well, it is more expensive to spend $5000 on ineffective shelf talkers and shipper displays. Don't think that number is correct? Get some quotes and see.

It is too expensive to launch your new product with a food broker that will charge you $1250 a month retainer for six months to travel around and make retail buyer presentations.