Promotion at the point of sale is a practice that has long been recognised as important in retail, but like any form of marketing, its success hinges on how switched on the manufacturer is to ever-changing consumer trends. When talking about sustainability, however, there is a bit more at stake than just the customer's opinion of the brand - and a question of ecological and social responsibility comes into play.
Corporate responsibility has become a major influencer in the purchasing decisions of the critical consumer. As a society, we expect products to have been cultivated, manufactured, packaged and sold in a sustainable manner that will help to ensure the planet's survival. Outrageous headlines appear when big brands are judged to have failed in this duty.
Corporate responsibility has become a fixed evaluation criterion for consumers - there's no getting away from it - and point of sales displays are not excluded from this national conscience. As such, it is important to consider how the display is going to meet this expectation on first sight.
Meeting the customer's requirements
It's important to go for the subliminal. Often, the consumer might not be consciously thinking: "If this product is responsibly manufactured, then I will buy it" - instead, the use of certain materials around a display can help to suggest this thought. For example, sales displays made of corrugated cardboard have the great advantage that many people immediately associate this material per se with recyclability and environmental protection.
More prominent methods of drawing attention to display sustainability include the use of certifications and seals to communicate confirmation from external agencies and sources. Approving bodies such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) grade products according to a set criteria for each individual stage in the entire product chain, making sustainability in point of sales displays only more essential. While certification remains necessary in a world where consumers value external analysis, it's also important to consider more innovative methods of ensuring that point of sales displays fulfil their intended purposes while also communicating their sustainability.
Innovation to the extreme
Innovation is common on point of sales displays - their unique requirements encourage clever solutions to meet requirements that aren't needed in other areas. Solutions that allow for customers to be tactile with the products without disrupting the displays will inevitably win through, particularly if they combine ease as well. Ever-developing new technology continues to push the boundaries in point of sales displays - those products still affixed with zip ties or wrapping wire are gradually being replaced with innovations that use but a trace of the same packaging. And since such developments are happening in response to consumer appetite, it is only in the seller's best interest to embrace this new trend of sustainability.