We frequently work with customers who have misperceptions about creating custom retail displays. Five of the common myths we encounter with regard to custom POP displays include:
• Custom displays are expensive and are likely to be out of my budget.
• I will have to order container loads of a custom display to meet the minimum order quantity.
• The custom display design process is long and cumbersome.
• Custom displays offer little advantage over more generic in-stock displays.
• I have to have a good understanding of materials and options to create an effective custom point-of-purchase display.
There are many situations in which a stock display is the right answer for a particular merchandising program. However, many customers often don’t think about pursuing a custom retail display because they believe one or more of the 5 myths outlined above. In today’s blog we’ll address each of these myths and attempt to clear up some of the common misunderstandings regarding custom displays.
Myth #1: Custom displays are expensive and are likely to be out of my budget. Among all of the myths, this is the one that is probably most widely held. The thinking is that custom POP displays require an intensive product development process that is expensive relative to just ordering a stock display where the development costs have already been amortized. While this logic is sound, the reality is that the product development process is not that expensive, and most of the time the quantities being considered for custom displays are more than sufficient to amortize the development costs while also enabling customers to benefit from some volume pricing that might not be available when ordering small quantities of a stock display.
We find that in many cases it is equally cost effective or even cheaper to go the custom display route, particularly when you consider that stock display providers have to build in the cost of financing and holding inventory of stock displays, which in many cases exceed the cost to develop a custom display.
Myth #2: I will have to order container loads of a custom display to meet the minimum order quantity.
Minimum order quantities are likely to vary by display provider. If a display provider has long-term relationships with overseas factories, it is likely that they can offer lower minimum order quantities if they chose to. The reason is that they are relevant to their factory or factories, and they can often get the factory to work with them to meet the needs of a customer. Most factories are not wild about doing projects that involve less than 100 units, but it often depends on the type of display being requested, the factory’s production schedule, the likelihood of securing repeat orders, and a number of other factors. Producing 50 units overseas is often possible, particularly if the display provider has a constant flow of containers coming from overseas, and it is easy to add a smaller order to one of their existing containers. It’s often possible to order in smaller quantities for items that are being made domestically, particularly if they are millwork or acrylic items that do not require much of a tooling investment.
Myth #3: The custom display design process is long and cumbersome.
Although it generally takes more time to design and fabricate a custom display than it does to purchase an off-the-shelf display, the custom display design process can be relatively quick and efficient. A good design can be hammered out in a few days or certainly within a week for a majority of displays. Prototyping is typically a 2-week process. Overseas production and ocean transport time will vary by display provider, but the best companies can complete that process within an 8-10 week timeframe. Being prepared going into the process can help speed up the development process, and even if you are not totally prepared, the process does not need to be long and cumbersome.
Myth #4: Custom displays offer little advantage over more generic in-stock displays.
Stock displays have their place, but when you consider the categorical imperative of making your product stand out at retail, it is almost always easier to accomplish this with a custom display. Most of our customers want their display and their products to look unique- and rightfully so. The name of the game is standing out from the sea of other products and displays in the store, and often the best way to do this is with a custom display. Therefore, in most cases there are very significant gains to be realized by going with a custom display.
Myth #5: I have to have a good understanding of materials and options to create an effective custom point-of-purchase display.
This myth is simply not true. You actually have to know very little about materials and options for how to build a display. You should have some general ideas of what you would like your display to look like or what size and functionality requirements you would like, but leave it to your display provider to present material and construction options to you. If you are working with the right POP display firm, they should know a lot about this, and the good ones will educate you on your options so that you can make an informed decision.