Utilizing Your POS For Impulse Sales

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Utilizing Your POS For Impulse Sales

If you own a retail store, then you’re aware that in-store promotional displays encourage sales. Shoppers often act on deals and special sales when promotions are prominently displayed, especially at the checkout registers. These last-minute purchases are referred to as impulse sales.

Your Point-of-Sale system, or POS for short, is where the majority of impulse sales take place. Displaying affordably-priced items along your customers’ journey to the checkout register can boost these last-minute impulse sales.

Smart marketers structure a portion of their retail displays around their POS, and even use customer-facing POS screens to advertise to customers right up until the moment of processing payments.

How can you, as a retailer, utilize your POS to generate impulse sales? There are many strategies you can implement to use your Point-of-Sale system to market additional items to shoppers. In this article, we will examine the most beneficial point of sale marketing methods, so stick around.

Point of sale


Point-of-Sale marketing refers to displaying low-cost products near the POS where shoppers can add products to their shopping cart. Placing low-cost, relevant products is also commonly used in aisles and on end-caps to nudge shoppers into buying add-on items, which is how retailers know this type of marketing can be effective.

Nowadays, POS marketing includes two strategies. These are: strategically displaying items near the POS registers and integrating item recommendations into the actual POS displays, which of course is only possible when a digital POS system has been installed at your store.

In order to understand why Point-of-Sale marketing works, you first must understand the benefits of installing a digital POS system at your retail location. Long gone are the days of processing cash payments with literal cash registers. Retail POS systems are now fully digital.

On the cashier’s side, a display with a user-friendly touch screen interface can automate the transactional process as the cashier scans items and collects payment. The cashier-facing POS screen also offers a built-in system to support the cashier as they upsell and cross sell to boost impulse sales. Equally advantageous are customer-facing displays that recommend additional products as shoppers go through the checkout process. 

Regardless of the specific industry, retail shoppers who make impulse purchases at the register far outnumber those who don’t, but this only succeeds when suggestive selling tools are in place, both physically and digitally. What does this mean in practical terms? POS marketing works when POS display screens, either cashier- or customer-facing, are able to recommend relevant add-on items that are physically within reach, i.e. these low-cost products are displayed on nearby shelves, aisles, and end-caps.

What POS marketing displays have you put in place at your retail store? Have you integrated your POS marketing strategy with your digital POS system? Does your POS provide customer-facing display screens in addition to the cashier-facing ones? These are important questions to ask as part of your effort to assess your current in-store marketing. 

POS marketing displays


The more shoppers you have at your store at any given time increases the possibility of congestion at the registers. We’re talking about lines, which are a great indication that business is picking up, but lines can negatively affect the shopping experience of those who have to wait to reach the POS registers.

The wait doesn’t have to be boring, painful, or discouraging for your customers, however. Long lines are actually an opportunity to enhance your customers’ experience while you increase sales. This can be done by presenting your in-line shoppers with inexpensive add-on items they might like to buy.

There are several POS marketing display techniques that you can physically structure leading up to the POS registers. If these displays present “why not” items, shoppers won’t see a downside to tossing one or two into their carts. What kinds of products are considered “why not” items? It depends on the retail industry your store falls under, but an auto repair shop might display tire pressure gauges, motor oil, and car air fresheners alongside the lines for the POS register. Hair salons could display hair products such as mousse, hair spray, and accessories; and convenience stores can’t go wrong displaying gum, candy, and lighters.

You might consider using the following… 

Types of POS Marketing Displays

  • Freestanding Units–These stacked shelving units are non-intrusive and can be used to differentiate one POS line from the next. Make sure the items you display here are very low-cost and also relevant to your brand. A clothing retailer, for example, could display socks branded with their company logo.
  • Counter Displays–These displays which literally sit atop the POS counter can be very effective so long as they do not clutter the counter space. Try offering experiential and complementary items such as chocolates, gift cards, or branded keychains, reusable bags, and coffee mugs all with your company logo.
  • Dump Bins–True to their name, these types of displays are actual bins that most commonly contain small items such as candy, cold drinks, or other brand-relevant consumer products. Try using dump bins as part of your line-to-the-POS structure.
  • Sampling Areas–While putting sampling areas near a POS might not work for every retailer depending on their industry, offering free samples and providing stations where customers can test products as they wait in line can really boost sales, especially for cosmetic and perfume retailers.
  • Checkout Displays–In terms of enhancing customer experience, so long as you avoid a “cluttered look”, you can place all kinds of impulse sales displays throughout the POS line and checkout registers. Even if shoppers don’t buy those items today, it will plant seeds in their minds for next time. Unsure of what specific items will become best sellers when displayed as part of your POS marketing? Though retail items vary from industry to industry, you can consider the following tips to help you make decisions that will benefit your business. Tips for Enhancing Your Customers POS Experience
  • Touch & Feel–Assess your low-cost products to identify which are the most fun to touch and feel. When shoppers can interact with products in entertaining ways, they will be more likely to impulsively buy those products.
  • Visual Clarity–Avoiding a cluttered-looking display area cannot be overstated. Visual clarity is vital so that your shoppers are drawn towards products rather than pushed away due to feeling disoriented or overwhelmed. Keep your displays tidy and product quantities low. When shoppers believe there are only 5 items of a kind left, they’ll be more likely to buy one than they would if there are 30 items of a kind on display.
  • Brand Presence–Remember that your POS displays are a great opportunity to reinforce your brand. Offering reusable bags or mugs with your company logo on them can ultimately become a form of free advertising when shoppers wear your branded bags around town, for example.
POS displays


At the beginning of this article, we mentioned how proper POS marketing includes two strategies. Now that we’ve covered the first strategy that addresses the physical displays you set up in your store, let’s examine how your digital POS system can powerfully promote impulse sales to your shoppers during the checkout process.

Your current POS system may only have cashier-facing display screens. If this is the case, there are software tools you can install that will assist your cashiers with scripts to help them upsell and cross sell add-on items to your customers. FTx Uplift is a great example of this tool, and we’ll look at the benefits of using Uplift later in this article.

In addition to cashier-facing POS screens, your current POS system might also provide customer-facing screens, which can suggest relevant impulse products directly to your shoppers as a final checkout step just before their payments are processed. Whether you have both of these hardware technologies or only cashier-facing displays, you will first need to identify which inventory items are appropriate to upsell and cross sell.

One of the biggest benefits of having a digital POS system is that you can group relevant items together within the software program itself, and set triggers. For example, you can group windshield wipers with windshield wiper fluid so that when your cashier scans windshield wipers for a customer at the POS register, they see an Uplift script that recommends the customer also buy windshield wiper fluid. Likewise, if a customer is about to buy a small container of windshield wiper fluid, your POS can suggest that they buy a large container instead, which provides savings.

Once you group items for upselling and cross selling at the POS, the POS’s automation can handle the bulk of the heavy lifting for you, and you will soon see impulse sales rise. 

FTx POS Solutions and FTx Uplift software work together to provide a powerful strategy to increase impulse sales. Our POS is fully customizable, which means that you can customize each screen to support your cashiers’ sales efforts. Because our software enables you to nest multiple items in a single button to make processing transactions simple and efficient. And with Uplift, your cashier will be provided with the exact phrasing to say to customers to encourage impulse sales.

The customer-facing displays that come with FTx POS Solutions let you take advantage of prime marketing real estate that is too often ignored. Our customer-facing display interface grabs customers’ attention while they’re viewing their virtual receipt, which affords the perfect opportunity to suggest upsells, promote current sales or specials, or simply thank them for their patronage.

FTx Uplift Features

  • Create added value for your customers by educating them about money-saving offers.
  • Design special promotions in the Control Center that automatically trigger discounts when the UPC codes you enter into the Uplift module are scanned at checkout.
  • Craft sales pitches for your associates that will pop up on the POS when the UPCs you designate are scanned.
  • Ensure that quality, consistent messages are delivered to all of your customers at each of your retail locations.
  • Gamify your upsells by creating fun, friendly competitions among your sales staff. When cashiers have the chance to “win” or “lose” monetary incentives, they will strive to generate as many impulse sales as they can! Interested in finding out what FTx POS Solutions and Uplift can do for you? Contact us to learn more about how our software solutions can maximize impulse sales at the checkout register no matter what industry your business falls under.

This article was written by FasTrax Solutions, a software solutions provider specializing in Retail POS, Warehouse Management Systems, Digital Marketing Solutions, and Customer Loyalty and Reward Solutions.

Danielle Dixon

Danielle is a content writer at FTx POS. She specializes in writing about all-in-one, cutting-edge POS and business solutions that can help companies stand out. In addition to her passions for reading and writing, she also enjoys crafts and watching documentaries.

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