Using Point-of-Sale Marketing to Drive Impulse Buys

  • By Danielle Dixon
  • Jan 2, 2024
  • Upselling Tactics
Point-of-Sale Marketing

What’s one of the fastest ways to increase average basket values in your shop? It’s point-of-sale marketing.

When your customers wait in checkout lines, you have a captive marketing audience. If you provide the right products or right deal, you can encourage your customers to make unplanned purchases – so-called impulse buys.

Point-of-sale marketing works by transforming the checkout counter. There are many strategies you can use.

You can use visual merchandising to make impulse purchases more attractive. You can use cashier prompts to prompt upsells and limited time offers. Or you might try digital signage and customer-facing displays to promote the latest offer and trigger your customers’ FOMO.

In short, driving impulse buys is a strategy retailers can’t forget. So, how do you do it? Keep reading to learn how point-of-sale marketing works, strategies you can use, and tips and tools you need to do it right.

Why Impulse Buying Matters in Stores

Imagine your customers walk into your store to buy groceries. But you use attractive displays to draw their eye to new products, promotional deals, and related products.

Chances are, they weren’t planning to buy these products.

However, your strategy encourages them to make an unplanned purchase – an impulse buy.

In retail, impulse buying offers numerous benefits. It leads to unplanned purchases, makes your customers spend more, and adds value to your customer’s shopping bag!

And here’s the thing: You can use them throughout your store.

Some of the best locations to promote impulse purchases are:

  • Near customer lines
  • Near cash registers or checkout counters
  • Close to items you want to cross-sell
  • At the entrance to attract shoppers

Let’s look at a few of the statistics:

Factors Influencing Impulse Buying Behavior

Are you trying to work on an in-store sales strategy and effectively promote your store’s products? Don’t miss out on point of sale advertising!

Here are a few of the factors that you need to weigh:

1. Emotional Triggers

Emotional triggers drive impulse buying behavior. Use triggers like FOMO, relationships, and rewards to drive these sales.

Identify emotional triggers to use by checking your customer’s purchase history.

2. Limited-Time Offers

Discounts, offers, and limited-time promotions are a highly effective trigger for impulse purchases. You can drive sales by discounting in-demand products.

Review your POS sales reports to identify products to feature. Look for related products, seasonal items, or product bundle ideas in your reports.

3. Product Placements

Shoppers notice two things when they enter your store:

1. The aesthetic

2. Navigation

Product placement helps with navigation. (And it can also be used to drive impulse sales). Place items that you want to promote at eye level or in highly visible areas, such as at checkout.

Strategic product placement is one of the best ways to drive impulse sales.

4. Pricing Strategies

Competitive pricing, discounts, and offers trigger your customers’ impulse for spontaneous shopping. In fact, a “great price” is a top driver of impulse buys. What’s the best price to charge?

Test different strategies. Buy 1, Get 1, % off, and volume discounts are all strategies you can test.

Quick Reminder:

If you haven’t yet invested in a point of sale system, you should do it now! It has numerous benefits and goes beyond serving as a cash register.

How Does Point-of-Sale Marketing Work?

Point-of-sale marketing is one of the best ways to drive impulse buying.

Point-of-sale marketings refers to using offers, product displays, and customer-facing displays at checkout to drive sales. Here are some of the ways it works:

1. Encourages Spontaneous Buying

Your customer approaches the checkout counter, and you’ve displayed new products at a special limited-time price. Bam! They add an extra item to their cart.

Groceries do this by placing gum, candy, soda and magazines at checkout. Therefore, point-of-sale marketing works by providing the right offer (or product) at the right time.

2. Looks Good, Stays in Mind

Visual merchandising can significantly make a difference. Use visual merchandising at the point-of-sale to drive sales by

  • Creating eye-catching displays
  • Using bright and vibrant signage
  • Keeping the best-selling and new launches at checkout
  • Using cashier prompts to upsell customers

3. Grab the Deal Now

Point-of-sale (POS) marketing integrates with digital signage to create on-the-spot digital advertisements. Promoting instant deals, such as ‘One in a Lifetime Offer’ and ‘An Offer Just for You’ creates a sense of urgency.

Types of spontaneous deals are:

  • Limited time offers
  • Exclusive discounts
  • Buy 1, Get 1 (BOGO)
  • Loyalty deals
  • Product upgrades

These POS offers create a sense of urgency, and the fear of missing out on a limited-time deal often drives sales and fosters a great shopping experience.

4. Guides Shopping Choices

Point-of-sale marketing can influence your shoppers’ choices by placing products at an eye level and promoting related or complementary products near the checkout counter.

Moreover, by integrating a POS system and digital signage software, you can create appealing product information, such as product, price, ingredients, etc. Such product displays also encourage customers to explore new products.

5. Instant Info and Updates

Digital signage rules the retail sector with its ability to share information quickly. POS marketing and interactive displays at checkout counters and shelves provide instant information and updates, such as promotions, new launches, loyalty programs, etc.

This real-time communication helps customers make informed decisions, keeps them engaged, and creates a seamless customer relationship and a unique shopping experience.

6. Positive Shopping Experiences

A positive experience goes beyond a transaction! It makes a long-lasting relationship that involves trust, loyalty, and the joy of shopping each time a customer walks in.

Using POS marketing to drive impulse buys can help you stick in customers’ minds and offer value just before they leave your store.

Strategies and Tactics in Point-of-Sale Marketing

Here are a few tactics that can help your point of sale (POS) marketing leave a lasting impression on your customers:

1. Ensure a Smooth Shopping Journey

Your point-of-sale marketing strategy should be seamless. POS system, for example, ensures the checkout process is smooth, swift, and generates a positive experience.

Moreover, placing promotional items near the checkout counter can enhance the shopping experience as customers can quickly pick last-minute additions while waiting their turn.

2. Arrange Displays at the Checkout for Quick Access

Every customer must pass through the checkout counter, making it the prime location in the retail industry. Understanding how to utilize this space optimally is essential as it can significantly impact sales.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Placing small and daily essentials (nail clippers, lighters, chips)
  • High-margin items (earbuds, phone chargers, Bluetooth speakers)
  • Items that customers can quickly grab (household items, chocolates, soda)

When customers are waiting, these items encourage impulse buying.

3. Set Up a Sampling Zone

Sample stations attract shoppers to stop and try a new product. These stations can also motivate customers to make a purchase. Moreover, it engages them while they are waiting at the checkout counter.

The most common types of sampling zones are:

  • Food and sauces (company launching a new line of pasta sauces)
  • Beverages (launch of new energy drink)
  • Cosmetics and makeup (new shades of lipstick)
  • Bath essentials (baby bath combo pack)

4. Use Big Bins for Special Deals

Large bins attract customers. They want to search the bin for an incredible deal! And generally, they’ll purchase products they find in the discount bin.

A few examples of big bin deals are:

  • Sanitizers and wet wipes were a common sight during COVID
  • Stale inventory you want to move
  • Overstock items
  • Out-of-season seasonal items

5. Grab Your Customers’ Attention

Visual representation is essential in the retail ecosystem. The better the representation, the better the chances of quick sales.

The best way to ensure an attention-grabbing design is:

  • Eye-catching displays
  • Choose vibrant colors
  • Develop a well-designed and clear message
  • Add effects and graphics to make the signage attractive

6. Deals, Upselling, and Cross-Selling Techniques

Turn your customers’ routine purchases into a more substantial shopping experience. Offering effective deals is the best way to ensure a better shopping experience deal.

Upselling and cross-selling are two proven techniques to enhance impulse buying. A few of them are:

  • Bundle related products
  • Offer discounts on additional items
  • Suggest complementary products that go well with their purchases

Point of Sale Marketing Examples

Some of the most implemented and proven examples of point of sale (POS) marketing are:

  • Interactive Display Screen Features
  • Endcaps and Display Stands
  • Special Offers and Giveaways
  • Loyalty Cards
  • Immediate Discount Coupons
  • Cardboard Cutouts and Signs
  • Recommendations for Cross-Selling

These examples show an effective form of boosting sales and enhancing the overall shopping experience.

Benefits of Point of Sale (POS) Displays

Point-of-sale (POS) displays are instrumental in boosting sales, capturing attention, advertising products, and influencing buyer behavior. Here are some of the key benefits of point-of-sale retail displays:

1. Capture the Attention of Customers

A well-designed retail POS display can draw attention and act as a first point of contact, making it an appealing way to welcome shoppers. Its vibrant colors and attention-grabbing copies can display new arrivals and deals.

Moreover, customers can also place orders or have an interactive session with these interactive retail displays. All these displays are integrated with a POS marketing system, making it a crucial point for attracting potential buyers.

2. Target Impulse Buyers

Retailers can target impulse buying behavior by releasing instant offers and discounts and creating a sense of urgency.

Impulse targeting is possible with a point-of-sale marketing system as it records all the information about a customer’s buying behavior and product information.

Here are a few ways a POS system can trigger the customer’s buying impulses by showcasing:

  • Tempting deals
  • Limited time offers
  • One-time deal
  • Complementary products
  • Buy one, Get one (BOGO)
  • Personalized offers

3. Enhance Your Packaging

Have you ever purchased a product just because its packaging was good? This is the reason why retailers are focusing more on selling attractive packaging. They are eye-catching with engaging visuals.

A POS display offers additional opportunities by constantly showing these products on a loop. These displays can add value to the shopping experience by providing product information, demonstrations, offers, etc.

4. Place Your Products Strategically

Strategic product placement is an art. Thankfully, POS displays allow you to master it. The POS reports and digital signage presentations will enable you to place products strategically.

For instance, you can place high-margin or slow-moving items near the checkout counter. This will help boost sales.

Moreover, promotional or seasonal products can be placed near the checkout counters for easy accessibility.

Point-of-sale retail displays allow you to change your displays and product placement strategies based on current trends and shopping behavior.

5. Assist Retailers in Merchandising Your Products

Point-of-sale marketing displays are a valuable tool for retailers as they give an idea of what products work and what do not. Thus, product placement strategy has become more accessible and much more effective.

For instance, your POS reports suggest that certain products are not doing well. You can immediately check the reason and find the placement way above eye level.

Hence, you make the changes, place it at eye level, and observe its performance.

Hence, you make the changes, place it at eye level, and observe its performance.

FTx POS is an all-in-one retail system. Our platform helps you launch a point-of-sale marketing program that drives results. Here are a few ways we can help:

  • Fast checkouts with integrated credit card processing
  • Programmable upselling prompts for cashiers
  • Integration with customer-facing displays
  • Digital signage at checkout
  • POS and customer loyalty reporting (to find opportunities)

Launch your program today. Contact FTx POS today to learn more about our retail solutions.


Point-of-sale marketing refers to promotional strategies at checkout that drive impulse buys. Common POS marketing strategies include customer-facing displays, upsell prompts, and checkout merchandising that drive sales during checkout.

Impulse buys can instantly increase average order values and grow your revenue. Generally, the marketing strategy is very effective, because you can market the right products and offers at exactly the right time.

Impulse point of sale marketing focuses on:

  • Influencing spontaneous purchases
  • Boosting sales by adding more products
  • Encouraging customers to try new products
  • Ensuring product visibility and urgency

Other marketing strategies work from a broader perspective, from brand awareness to product launch campaigns.

No, impulse purchases are essential in both retail and online stores. A few examples are exclusive sales, limited-time deals, offer ends at midnight, etc.

Yes, POS marketing can be integrated with loyalty programs to drive sales and encourage internal staff to participate by offering incentives.

Every customer has to pass through the checkout counter. Moreover, it is a place where customers queue up to complete their transactions. At this stage, customers are more likely to make additional purchases and spontaneously buy as the products are ‘right in front’ of them.

Get weekly expert insights from retail strategy secrets, right to your inbox.

Business Experts & Contributors

A New Solution Coming To FasTrax

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.

Danielle Dixon

Content Writer
A New Solution Coming To FasTrax

Matthew Davis is a content marketing specialist for FTx POS. With experience in marketing, brick-and-mortar retail, and ecommerce, Matthew enjoys writing about strategies and technology retailers can use to grow. Previously, he managed retail operations for a sports/entertainment facility and worked in marketing consulting.

Matthew Davis

SEO Specialist/Content Writer

Looking for an article or guide on a specific topic? Get in touch and we’ll dive into creating expert insights
and successful strategies tailored to business success!

Suggest A Topic

Related Articles

Learn more about this topic. See these related posts on the FTx POS blog.