If you are considering a corrugated display for your next POP merchandising project, there are 7 key things you should be evaluating to ensure a successful program. We find that many of our customers fail to take a proactive analytical approach in creating a display program which leads to suboptimal decisions and program results.
1. Merchandising Purpose - There is a time and a place for a corrugated display. In general, corrugated displays are best suited for promotional or in-and-out programs. In addition, they are often appropriate for test programs to enable a retailer to evaluate the performance of a new product. In all of these situations, in-store real estate for the display is temporary, and a permanent display is not warranted.
Some customers are inclined to go with a corrugated display because they have a low budget and think it is cheaper. But, some customers fail to calculate the full replacement cost of the corrugated display once the initial product sells through. So in the case where there is an ongoing program, it may be more cost effective to go with a permanent display that does not require frequent replacement.
2. Order Quantity - The cost of corrugated displays is much more sensitive to volume than permanent displays. The reason is that there are fairly hefty “tooling” fees such as plating fees, die cutting fees, etc. These upfront costs need to be spread across a given quantity. So for small quantities like 100 units, the per unit cost tends to be relatively high. For larger quantities such as 1000+, the price tends to get much better since there are more units that can help to absorb the upfront costs.
3. Display Graphics - The amount of graphics is a big determinate of the cost of a corrugated display. If you have a low budget, it probably makes sense to consider just a plain white display with a 4-color header. That is probably the cheapest option which still offers the opportunity for some branding. If you spend a little more, you can have a 1-color flood coat for the body of the display complemented by a 4-color header. This gives the display a bit more of a finished look compared to a raw white corrugated display. The last option is full-color graphics on the entire display. This is the nicest presentation with the biggest impact, but it is also the most costly.
4. Display Capacity - It is important to think through how much product you want you display to hold. Based on pure economics, it generally makes sense to fit as much product on the display as possible. This helps to drive down your display cost per unit and also helps to reduce per unit shipping costs in most cases. However, it is important to consider your projected sell-through rate. Most retailers want to see good sell through so a counter display that only holds 6 products is likely to be perceived as more successful if it sells out quickly rather than a 12-product display which lingers on the counter for months.
5. Assembly - There are 3 basic options when it comes to assembly: (1) Send the unit to the retailer fully assembled, (2) send the unit partially assembled, or (3) send the unit unassembled. Each of these options requires different tradeoffs. Most retailers prefer a fully assembled unit or a partially assembled unit where the body is assembled, and the retailer just need to assemble the base and the header, which generally can be done quickly. Be sure to let your display provider know which approach you plan to take since the size of the outside shipper box will be larger for the completely assembled unit compared to an unassembled flat-packed box.
6. Fulfillment - Another decision that needs to be made is whether or not you will ship your product already packed in the display or if you will be shipping your product separately. In most cases retailers prefer to get assembled or partially assembled displays with product pre-loaded. It makes their job easier. There is a lot of analysis to be done in this area since you can have your display provider assemble, fulfill and ship or you might have that done at the place where you produce your product. If you make your product in China, you can either send it flat packed on a container and have it assembled and fulfilled at your location or possibly at your display provider’s location if they offer that service. Alternatively, the corrugated factory in China might be able to assemble and fulfill for you. This option tends to make good economic sense as long the container shipping economics are not too burdensome.
7. Shipping - Shipping is another big cost to consider. The ideal option from a cost perspective is to send the displays disassembled to a distribution center. However, in a lot of cases that is not an option. As part of your economic analysis, you should look at the cost of shipping flat packed vs. partially assembled vs. fully assembled. It is generally advantageous to ship the display with the product loaded since it enables you to ship your product in the same box as the display at only a modest shipping cost increase in most cases. The other option to consider is having your display provider or fulfillment provider drop ship to individual stores for you. This is typically more expensive that shipping on pallets to a distribution center, but it’s less expensive in most cases than bulk shipping the displays from your display provider to you if you then plan to drop ship to stores.
There are many variables to consider in a corrugated display program so taking a thorough analytical approach is well advised.