A buoyant industry
The point of sale (POS) market is one of the most diverse sectors in the sign and display industry. Today, it continues to grow at a tremendous rate due to the competitive nature of today’s high street and changing promotional offers. The main contribution to this can be seen on a daily basis when walking into any retail store, leisure centre or entertainment environment as new branded promotions are implemented almost on a weekly basis. Retailers in particular are changing and updating displays regularly to reflect store offerings and to stay competitive in this challenging sector.
By Chris Holmes, Category Manager, Spandex UK
With the increase of online and mobile purchasing, the role of POS has changed over the years. Rather than simply to spend, consumers nowadays are going instore to research and be inspired and then go away to buy online. Therefore, POS needs to attract customers instore and provide them with additional information on products to tempt them into purchasing. This can be done using QR codes, touchscreen, NFC etc.
The recent growth is also down to the recovering economy. Customers are spending more freely again so marketing budgets are on the rise, and so is the demand for visual merchandise and shop displays. However, this is one sector that didn’t suffer immensely due to the recession, as retailers and brands needed consumers to spend, therefore they continued to tempt customers in with eye-catching displays.
Over 70% of purchasing decisions are made instore, so brands place measurable value on POS as this sector continues to progress. Whether visual merchandising, seasonal offers or shorter promotions, there are numerous POS options to help brands promote their message including: roll ups & pop ups; pavement signs; paper; canvas & textile frames; LED & illuminated; banners; poster cases; free standing; menu & brochure stands and sign fixings. With multiple opportunities available, just how can companies stand out from the competition and how can one retailer ensure their POS display is more eye catching than the next?
A growth market
There are numerous opportunities, systems and substrates available for graphics producers today to create eye-catching and creative POS displays.
Roll ups and Pop ups still make up a significant amount of the POS market and although have been part of Spandex’s portfolio for a while are continuing to experience significant levels of growth. In addition, pavement signs are also a growth area, as retailers compete for footfall.
The more traditional paper and poster frames are also still popular, but we are starting to see a shift from conventional POS display towards textile solutions. Textile presents a huge opportunity for the POS market and customers are actively moving from paper frames to canvas. Canvas creates a stylish high-end finish for interior use. Flags are also a growing application to attract customers’ attention.
Another technology starting to come to the forefront of the display market is LED, with more and more retailers and brands adopting it. LED and illuminated displays are a big focus for Spandex in POS. Illuminating your sign gets it noticed and offers a completely different dimension to the display altogether while also giving it an altered appearance from day into night. The LED trend is particularly strong in retail outlets and the leisure industry such as pubs and clubs.
New technology = new opportunities
Of course, as the market evolves, so does the technology to accompany it, as seen with the advent of digital and interactive displays.
Digital signage and touchscreens are starting to appear, especially in the retail and leisure industries. There is broad agreement on the advantages of this technology, particularly the fact that it provides a greater interaction with the end user. However, at the same time, these solutions require a larger investment.
Brands are also looking for something bespoke to engage with the customer and mobile technology is presenting new creative possibilities. This is noticeable in the growing use of QR Codes, augmented reality and NFC on POS displays.
The diversification of the POS sector creates numerous opportunities for signmakers to expand their products, and is relatively easy for them to do so especially with companies like Spandex who can supply a display system for next day delivery, allowing customers to change their displays more frequently while also not having to keep a lot of stock stored on shelves.
The move towards textile will make further progress over the next 12 months, as brand owners continue to embrace the look and feel of textile POS, as will the adoption of LED technology. Additionally, the growth of touchscreen and interactive displays will continue for those looking for customer interaction.
With the growing demand from retailers there is no doubt that the POS market will continue to evolve. All it takes is a trip to your local supermarket or high street to see the volume of material on show, and as retailers go ‘omni-channel’ the challenge to make the physical retail space more appealing and engaging for shoppers will create more opportunities for innovative POS.
With a wide range of solutions and materials at customers’ disposal, at Spandex we can advise on the best format, presentation systems and substrates for suit any POS brief.
 Pos-media.eu, July 2015, http://pos-media.eu/homepage