The most common materials used to create point of purchase displays are metal, wood, and plastic. Within the category of plastics, the most common types are acrylic, PVC, vacuum formed plastic and injection molded plastic. Vacuum formed and injection molded plastics require an upfront investment in molds and are therefore most commonly used for larger production runs that allow for the mold cost to be amortized across the larger number of units produced. Acrylic and PVC are typically manufactured in 4’x8’ sheets of varying thicknesses. Acrylic is considered a higher-end material and is more expensive than PVC, but it has the advantage of being available in clear which enables better product visibility.
PVC (including sintra and other varieties of expanded plastic products) is an opaque material that is most widely available in white and black, but it also comes in other colors. The 5 primary advantages of PVC are:
(1) It is more cost-effective relative to other sheet goods like acrylic; (2) It is lighter weight compared to acrylic and other materials like MDF so it can be shipped more cost effectively; (3) It works well with graphic applications such as direct printing or printing on vinyl and adhering it to the PVC; (4) It is relatively strong and durable, particularly compared to lower end options such as corrugated; and (5) It is versatile from a manufacturing standpoint and can be curved, cut on a CNC machine, grooved and folded, and easily glued.
Let’s take a look at 11 practical and affordable point-of-purchase display examples that utilize PVC to create effective retail merchandisers.
(1) Zone Perfect Energy Bar Display– We designed this simple 2-shelf counter display for energy bars. The display has a small footprint and features strong brand-building graphics. It’s just one example of how PVC can be used for shelf displays.
(2) Sengled Smart Lighting Display– The Sengled display below is meant to show an example of how PVC can be easily curved and also how it is a good material for incorporating digital media players. In many cases we will embed the digital media player, but it this case we used PVC to create a bezel around the monitor for a different kind of look. We direct printed all of the graphics on the PVC before creating the curve and folded front lip.
(3) Basu eAlarm Display– The Basu counter display shown below is another example of direct printed graphics. This example is designed to illustrate how easily PVC can be die-cut to create different header shapes, for example, while also creating the precise hole locations needed for the hooks. The back panel of the display detaches so that the display can ship in a relatively small box.
(4) appbot Link Robot Display– This is another super simple example of how PVC can be used to create a structurally sound and graphically intensive counter display which is both affordable and visually appealing. This example also shows how easily a product can be mounted to PVC to enhance shopper engagement.
(5) C.Crane Radio Display– The C.Crane radio display shown below was also direct printed and cut on our CNC machine. Like the example above, it includes mounted product, but it this case rather than gluing the product to the surface of the PVC, we used pull boxes to tether the radios.
(6) Norweco Singulair Green Display– The counter display shown below includes many of the features described in above examples, such as direct printed graphics and mounted product. This display also incorporates an acrylic brochure holder.
(7) Amplifi Home WI-FI Mesh Technology Display– The Amplifi display shown below utilizes black PVC (sintra) with 2 types of graphics: (1) vinyl graphics for the back panel, and (2) front panel magnetic graphics which include a protective overlaminate. The display also incorporates live electronics with electrical outlets that enable the product to power on and light up.
(8) iKeyp Smartphone Connected Safe Display– Similar in construction to some of our previous examples, we created this display to introduce the world’s first smartphone connected safe display. The display features direct printed graphics on white PVC, a digital media player, and a mounted safe.
(9) Watershot Underwater Camera Display– PVC was a natural material choice for the Watershot underwater iPhone camera display because the customer had a relatively low budget but wanted to show its product in the context of the amazing and vibrant underwater world. We used direct printing on curved PVC with a mounted camera and aluminum standoffs to attach the back panel.
(10) Survivor Catalyst Underwater Case Display– In keeping with the underwater theme, we designed the underwater camera case display shown below to demonstrate that the product works and to accommodate product inventory. On the right side of the display, we utilized a curved PVC panel with informational graphics and an enclosed clear acrylic cylinder with an iPhone case submerged in water. On the left side we used plastic hooks to hold 4 facings of boxed product. We also added branding on the front lip.
(11) Sony Endcap– Our last example is intended to show that PVC can also be used for more than just signs on floor displays. We built the entire SONY endcap shown below using PVC. The endcap included digitally printed back panel graphics, clear plastic tag molding on the angled front panel, PVC product risers, and a lower product storage area with PVC dividers. Not only was this display light to ship, but it was really strong and could easily bear the weight of a 200 lb. person.