5 point-of-sale marketing tactics

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Whether you run a retail shop or a quick-service restaurant, the checkout experience plays an incredibly important role in the success of your business. Apart from being the point at which purchases are made, it’s also an opportunity for customers to engage with your brand and for you to grow your business.

Once you have the right point of sale or ‘POS’ system in place to enable you to take payments smoothly, it’s time to think about a point-of-sale marketing strategy that can help further engage your customers and drive more sales.

What is point of sale marketing?

Point of sale marketing is a type of in-store marketing campaign that takes place in and around the point of sale. This would usually be a till or checkout within a retail environment like a shop or restaurant. POS marketing can be an effective way of upselling to customers and increasing their spend-per-visit in a natural way without being invasive. When done well, a point of sale campaign can be used to build positive customer experiences, create brand awareness and keep customers coming back.

There are a number of ways to capitalise on the space around your point of sale, but space is often limited. So how you use it depends on what kind of business you run and what you want customers to do when they’re paying for their items. Do you want them to buy more items? Do you want to make sure they return for repeat purchases? Do you want to ensure you get their contact information?

We’ve put together five POS marketing tactics that address different goals. Each of these can be extremely effective for your business, but don’t feel that you have to use all of them. Remember, keeping things simple is better. Sixty-four percent of consumers are willing to spend more for a more straightforward experience, according to the Global Brand Simplicity Index.

So think carefully about your goals and then test one or two strategies at a time to see what works.

Five POS marketing tactics

Capitalise on impulse purchases.

If your goal is to increase a customer’s average spend, you might think about placing small, less expensive items — impulse purchases — near the till. Think about a corner shop that puts sweets, gum, and magazines near the till. Or a clothing shop that displays low-cost accessories where customers queue to make their purchases. You could theme your impulse purchases according to the time of year or holiday. Or maybe you can set up a bin of £1 only items.

Showcase special promotions.

If you’re looking to move a particular product or group of products, think about promoting them at your point of sale. You could identify a product that isn’t selling particularly well and then discount it. Or you might pair a product that is selling well with one that isn’t. Then you could put signage at your POS to promote the special offer.

Start a loyalty programme.

Many businesses tailor their marketing to acquire new customers, but your regular customers are the backbone of your business. Studies show that repeat customers spend 67 percent more than first-time customers when they return and, over their lifetime, they’re worth 10 times as much as their first purchase.

One way to get more regulars is to start a loyalty programme. It’s a great way to show that you appreciate your customers and to increase your revenue. Customers who participate in the Square Loyalty rewards programme, for instance, return in half the time it takes non-participants to return. Which means that, over the same period of time, these customers come in twice as often.

Put signage near your point of sale that promotes the benefits of your loyalty programme. And make sure you train your employees to ask people if they would like to join the programme.

Advertise your gift cards.

If you’re looking to find some new customers, gift cards are a fantastic marketing vehicle. Your customers can buy gift cards for their friends, extending the reach of your business.

But gift cards are also a great way to upsell. If you throw in a free £15 gift card when customers spend a particular amount, for example, they’re more likely to grab a few more items. And, again, if they end up giving the gift card to a friend or family member, that’s a new customer for you.

Make sure to display your customised gift cards at your point of sale so it’s easy for customers to add them to their purchase.

Tell customers about other marketing programmes.

Your point of sale can also provide space for other types of marketing. If you’re looking to engage your customers with your brand, you might want to put up a sign that encourages customers to attend an upcoming event you are hosting, or to sign up for your newsletter. Just make sure you don’t overwhelm your point of sale with too many signs.

Your point-of-sale area is a valuable piece of real estate in your shop. And it’s often the last place where you’ll be able to make an impression before your customer leaves. So make sure you take advantage of the space by using the best technology and by advertising promotions and programmes to engage your customers more deeply.

This article was written by our friends at Square.

About Square

Square creates tools that help sellers of all sizes start, run and grow their businesses. Square’s point-of-sale service offers tools for every part of running a business, from accepting credit cards and tracking inventory to real-time analytics and invoicing. Square also offers sellers’ services such as small business financing and customer engagement tools.