Be Prepared to Answer These 20 Questions before Starting Your Next Point-of-Purchase Display Project – Part I of IV

Prior to starting any POP display or retail store fixture project, it is important to think carefully about what you are trying to accomplish. Taking the time to think through your objectives and requirements will go a long way toward helping you approach your project strategically. The benefit of investing time in planning upfront is that the design process is likely to be much more efficient and you are more likely to achieve a successful outcome.

Before starting discussions with a point of purchase display firm, you should have a pretty good idea of how to answer 20 basic questions. We’ll look at the first 5 questions in this blog post and save the remaining 15 questions for subsequent blog posts. So let’s consider the first 5 questions:

1. Are you looking for a temporary display or a permanent display?

If you are looking to do an in-and-out or promotional program and are not concerned about maintaining retail space going forward, then a temporary display might be the right answer for you. However, graphic-intensive corrugated displays at low quantities can be expensive once you amortize the die-cutting fees and plate charges so you need to ensure you have a sufficient quantity to make a corrugated display cost effective.


Many customers gravitate toward a corrugated display to start out since they think it will be a cheaper solution, but it almost never makes sense for small quantities like 25 or 50 units, particularly if maintaining an ongoing presence in the retailer means you have to provide another display once your product sells through.

Permanent displays are generally a good solution if you can get a retailer to commit space to your product for a reasonable period of time so that you will be able to amortize the cost of the display over the projected sales during that period.

2. Are you interested in a floor display or counter display?

This sounds like a pretty basic question, but more of our customers than you would think are not really sure if they want a floor or counter display. This is somewhat understandable if they are offering a new product, and they are not really sure about their retail placement options. In general, counter space at retail is fairly limited so the majority of display requests we get are for floor displays. Counter POP displays can yield great results, particularly if you can get close to the register. However, competition for limited counter space is fierce so it is important to understand your options before engaging in the design process.

3. How much product would you like the display to hold?

It is important to determine upfront how much product you want the display to hold. This will affect the size of the display, the strength, materials, etc. POP displays that serve as product glorifiers generally hold no product except for possibly a demo product or an unpackaged product that enables the shopper to see the product in more detail. But, most retail store displays are designed to hold product and not just serve as glorifiers. Finding the right balance regarding the amount of product you are trying to fit on your display is important. If you don’t put enough product on the display, you may be losing out on sales, and your presentation may suffer as a result of having a display that looks partially empty. Too much product can also be a problem since the display may take up too much floor space relative to the sales turnover the display can generate.


Trying to predict sales turnover can be tricky, but it is worth going through the exercise to ensure you are making an intelligent choice about the amount of product you decide to display. It’s also important to consider how your product is packed. If you pack your product by the dozen, it probably makes sense to consider a multiple of 12 for the total product count. Remember that for permanent displays you always want to consider how the display will be reloaded once your product starts to sell.

4. Are there any height restrictions or dimension requirements for the display?

Display dimensions are a very important consideration at the front-end of the design process. Most retailers are very focused on sales per square foot so keeping you display to the smallest footprint possible is generally well advised. Providing the POP design team with general or not-to-exceed dimension guidelines will save everybody a lot of time in the design process.

In addition to overall footprint specifications, knowing what retailers will and will not accept with regard to the height of your fixture is really important. Height allowances are likely to vary by retailer. Some retailers have very strict requirements on display height, and their line-of-sight police are vigilant. If you don’t know exactly which retailers you will be selling, then it is better to be cautious and make your display a little shorter. The trend over the last few years has been toward shorter POP displays.

5. What are the weights and dimensions of your products?

Gathering the weights and dimensions of your products prior to engaging in the POP display design process will save time. Be sure to get all dimensions, including width, depth, and height of the product. If you have a hanging product, be sure to let the design team know the hanging length and if the hole in your packing is for a single peg or if it is a butterfly hole that might require a wider OSHA hook. It is also helpful to tell the design team how many of your packages can hang on a certain length hook.

For products that will be displayed on shelves, if you have a vertical height clearance requirement, it is helpful to communicate that to the design team in the beginning. Similarly, it is important to know the weight of the product so the designers can ensure that the materials they specify are strong enough to support the weight. For both hooks and shelves, it is important to specify the right gauge of wire or sheet metal, for example, so the hooks or shelves don’t bend when fully loaded. In addition, this will enable the design team to calculate the total load of the display so the correct castors and other materials will be strong enough.

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