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    The Valley Group

    Retail marketing group creating powerful in-store solutions, driven by insight, knowledge and creativity

    How not to Fail with your Point of Sale

    Viewpoint Lite | 05/02/21

    Don’t order a single FSDU or retail display until you’ve read this:

    We’ve taken our 125 years of experience, working with global brands and retailers to share some of the secrets of creating effective point of sale that delivers the best sell-through and ROI.

    1. What makes for a good Shopper marketing brief?

    As projects progress, it can be easy lose sight of what you are actually trying to achieve; i.e. what do you actually want the shopper to see, feel, experience and do. Project briefs can be long, complex and often contain too much information. Therefore we recommend you write a short, memorable statement of ‘anchor definition’ which sums up the project and the ultimate objective i.e. “what are we trying to achieve here?.”

    It’s also important to have a clear idea of the expected deliverables, as well as a well formed budget, timing plan and clarity on the decision makers who will need to approve, review and sign-off along the way.

    Here at Valley, we go beyond just following the retail guidelines; we adhere to them whilst creating a display that will work hard for you, delivering the ROI you need in-store.


    2. What are the practical considerations?

    Over the years, you’d be amazed at how many clients have approached us with highly creative concepts that didn’t take into account the necessary practicalities of being in-store with the sometimes unexpected behaviour of shoppers. A critical issue is health and safety and fitness for purpose. Will your units take the weight of the stock once fully merchandised and for the life of the promotion in-store? Will your display withstand bumps from shopping trollies and are ‘glorifiers’ and other creative embellishments stand up to inquisitive toddlers who try and break pieces off? Will it remain stable and not fall over. Wherever possible, supply real product for accurate testing, particularly if you plan on pre-filling displays.

    Practical issues don’t need to remove any of the inspiring creativity. You can achieve incredible experiences that don’t compromise on performance and impact.


    3. How to make brand activations more sustainable and responsible? 

    Together with our brand and retailer clients, we’ve been working on making displays and activations more sustainable for a number of years now. In reality, over 90% our our production is made from recycled cardboard, printed using water based inks. 

    An activation might only last in store for a few weeks, yet plastics can take hundreds of years to break down. A display’s lifecycle and end of life should be mapped from the start of the process. Sustainable solutions are key to a reducing the impact of P-O-P on our future. Ease of disassembly, enabling components to be placed into readily available recycling channels, is one consideration; refreshing, repairing and reuse/repurposing are others. Remember also that it’s not just the display you need to think about, it’s the entire activation. Valley can help reduce the impact of distribution and really reduce that carbon footprint.


    4. Reduce waste and failure by making units easy to assemble

    Whilst many temporary displays go to store pre-assembled, there’s still a a large proportion that need at least some on-site assembly by store colleagues. Inevitably, given the need for speed to shop floor and the sheer variety of different components, units can get damaged and ruined even before a single shopper has seen them.

    This is where it pays to work with an experienced partner, who designs units to be easy-to-assemble, and who foresee the potential problems that can occur at the assembly stage.


     5. Reducing lead times and prototyping costs

    Technology can help to relieve two of the pain points when producing point of sale materials. That of tight lead-times and the expense of prototyping costs.

    The most agile brands respond fast to emerging opportunities; that can mean the need to deploy activations in record time, allowing for strategy, design, creative, production and distribution. This often doesn’t leave time for the crucial prototyping stage. Valley uses sophisticated 3D software giving clients realistic and fully-artworked proofs that give a 360 degree ‘spinning’ visual preview. This eliminates the need to build mock-ups that are sent for store approval. This reduces cost, lead times and waste.

    Valley works with global brands of all sizes, and smaller emerging startups with tighter budgets especially appreciate the opportunity to remove the cost of producing prototypes. 


    6. What are the pros and cons of fully built, flat-packed and pre-merchandised units? – and what about fulfilment?

    Your POS supplier should work with you to identify the most cost-effective and practical solution on a project by project basis.

    A fully built unit, pre-merchandised with stock often delivers a lower overall cost than displays being sent in component form for in-store assembly and execution. This leads to faster activation in store and 100% compliance. It makes things quicker and easier for store colleagues who are already under pressure; they just need to place in the correct place.

    • With a pre-filled unit despatch (rather than sending out a collection of parts for stores/a third party to build), there is no need to consider the on-cost of fulfilment and distribution.
    • A fully built unit, delivered direct,(within carrier delivery guidelines) combined with a saving on the cost of fulfilment, is more efficient and cost effective (i.e. achieves a saving per unit so means a lower overall project cost).
    • Implementation in store can be considerably quicker; units just need to be removed from their outer cartons or transport packers and their headers can be slid into place.
    • With the product pre-loaded, merchandising compliance is 100% – you can have assurance that the right product is already in the correct standing display unit for Kami

    7. How to improve store compliance for promotional display units?

    Display compliance continues to be one of the great challenges facing brands. According the Shopper Marketing, Activation and Trade Marketing Managers, on average only 50% of displays make it to the shop floor and achieve their brand-building and sales objective. In real terms, that means that brands are missing out on half of their potential promotional sales and results in waste. Working closely with brands and retailers, Valley developed the TapScan platform, that combines digital unit activation and opportunities for rich digital interaction with consumers at the point of sale. TapScan gives stores colleagues an incentive (e.g. a Coffee Voucher) for each unit they activate. It’s easy to do – simply tap the NFC tag or scan the QR code and the store colleague is prompted to confirm where they have assembled the unit and take a photo. This provides real-time geotagged data for brands, who can monitor and measure compliance. In addition, there is clear visibility of units that have not been activated, allowing prompt follow-up with the individual stores to get units in the right place as soon as possible.

    The TapScan platform is also a fantastic opportunity for interaction at the point of sale. Shoppers can tap or scan the display to enter a competition, access brand storytelling and other video content or to activate social components. 


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