How to understand POS jargon used in various BTL advertising activities

Danglers for ADF SOUL by LycodonFX
A-Board – Double sided sign normally situated freestanding outside the retail environment on the pavement or mall walkway. Features can include facility to interchange the advertising message. Designed to be weatherproof with central message carrying section usually allowed to turn or swing in the wind to aid stability. Also known as a swing sign or pavement sign.

Aisle Jumper – An overhead wire that reaches from aisle to aisle, jumping the space between. Flags and pennants announcing advertising messages are draped over the wire. Differs from an arch in that it is just the frame.

Animated Display – A display which has one or several moving elements (either battery operated, mains electric or solar energy driven motor) in order to attract the customer’s attention.

Arch – A display designed to go from one gondola to another, over and above the aisle.

Artwork – The original design, including drawings and text, produced by the designer. All elements of the design from which the printing plates are made.

Assembly – The process of erecting display component parts into a single, integrated display unit. A group of materials or parts that have been placed together for bonding or that have been bonded together.

Assembly Sheet – Printed instructions giving directions for setting up a display.

Audio Shelf Talker – A device that attaches to a shelf and attracts attention to the product through graphics as well as a customer audio message. The message can be push button activated or motion sensing activated.

Audio Video Display – Custom display that utilises computer electronics to convey audio and or video messages to the consumer.

Backing Card – A card unit attached to the back of a dump bin, FSU or counter merchandiser that projects above the merchandise and presents the advertising message at eye level.

Banner – Large advertising message usually suspended in windows or in-store. Can be printed on paper, card or plastic.

Bin – A holder for bulk merchandise. Can be made of wire, wood, corrugated, sheet metal, plastic etc. Also known as a dump bin.

Blister Pack – A card containing an item covered with a transparent casting or cap attachment. Usually a non-food item or premium with a packaged food. Facilitates stacking and displaying and deters pilferage of small items.

Bottle Glorifier – A display designed to fit on a bottle, or to serve as a background for the bottle, usually having a cut out area to recess or hold the bottle in place.

Bottle Topper – A small display designed to circle the neck of a bottle and carry an advertising message. More modest than a bottle glorifier.

Bus-Stop Sign – Shelf projecting sign highlighting a specific product or category.

Bunting – Small triangular banners strung together over aisles etc. to provide a ‘carnival’ atmosphere.

Case Card – Header that is attached to, or inserted into, a case containing the actual product.

Case Wrap-Arounds – A decoration or sales promotion sheet designed to wrap around a case of merchandise. It’s usually made of singleface corrugated with printing on the flat or fluted side. Used as a display or as the base for a display. Also called a pallet-wrap.

Category Management – A joint retailer/supplier process for evaluating and managing categories as separate business units on an item by item basis, focusing on delivering consumer value and developing and monitoring targeted strategies for profitable growth.

Change Mat – Small advertising mat placed on a shop’s counter for change. Usually made of rubber or plastic.

Compliance – Degree to which P-O-P advertising displays, signage or in-store media are erected in-store.

Conceptual Renderings – Typically art boards with a multitude of ideas for structure or graphics or both. Used in first stages of design to better understand design constraints. Usually computer or marker renderings.

Copy Master – Final instructions on the precise printed wording for a display or any printed item from which artwork is prepared. Ideally the copy master should be typewritten for clarity.

Counter Dispenser – Advertising material placed on the counter with several products displayed to the consumer for self-service.

Crow’s Feet – A pair of metal brackets that fit into pole slots at right angles to each other and form feet for a pole display. May also be constructed from corrugated board.

Crowner (or Header) – A message board projecting above the display and giving the headline or the advertising message.

CTN – Acronym for Confectioner, Tobacconist or Newsagent.

Cut-Case – A shipping carton designed to be cut into shelf trays, each tray carrying product and a product message. The outer shipping container can be shipped with a tear tape or perforations to aid in the display’s set-up.

Dangler – A display panel that is suspended from the ceiling or one that snap-fits into a price channel strip. Either style moves with air currents and store traffic.

Decal – Printed sticker usually sited in windows and on glass entrance doors (see Self-Cling Sticker).

Demonstration Stand – A display stand that offers facilities for showing the practical use of the product, e.g. vacuum cleaner and attachments are demonstrated in cleaning dirt off a rug, electric juicer squeezing oranges, etc.

Dioramas – Elaborate colour displays of a scenic nature that are almost always three-dimensional and illuminated. Motion is often included.

Direct Shipment – Shipment of P-O-P advertising materials directly to the retailer, either automatically, as part of the complete merchandise order, or at the special request of the retailer. This type of shipment is employed extensively by smaller advertisers with limited sales forces.

Dispenser – A sign or display containing a literature pocket or a tear off pad, or stock of merchandise for active selling.

Display – A device or an accumulation of devices which, in addition to identifying and/or advertising a company and/or product, may also merchandise, either by actually offering product for sale or by indicating its location. A display characteristically bears an intimate relationship with the product whereas a ‘sign’ is more closely related to the name of the manufacturer, the retailer, or the product.

Double-Sided Display – A display with a sales message on both the front and back.

Dummy – Preliminary drawing or layout or mock-up. Also a simulation of a printed piece using paper specified for a job.

Dummy Merchandise – Empty packages, or bottles filled with coloured water, etc., used instead of the live merchandise for purposes of display.

Dump-Bin – A holder for bulk merchandise. Can be made of wire, corrugated, sheet metal, etc. Used in a random order arrangement of product.

Easel – Free-standing floor unit of wood, plastic or metal to support signs, large cards and frames, or a support attached to a display card to enable it to stand.

End of Aisle Display – Display at the end of a store aisle or gondola in big supermarkets. (Also known as an end-cap display.)

End-Cap – A display built for placement at the end of a store aisle which accommodates a large group of product units.

Facings – The number of packages of an item on the front line of the store shelf or in a merchandising display.

Fixtures – Components that are designed and manufactured from combinations of wire, sheet metal and tubular steel to provide a merchandising position for products at retail.

Flasher – A light that flashes on and off at timed intervals to attract attention.

Floor Mat or Media – Advertising printed on a material which is resistant to wear and tear, non-slip, hard-wearing but removable.

Floorstand – A P-O-P advertising display that is placed on the floor.

FMCG – Fast Moving Consumer Goods, e.g. grocery products.

Footfall – The number of shoppers entering a retail area or space.

Footprint – Base area of a display unit. Space is always at a premium in-store therefore units with small footprints are desirable.

Frequency – In point-of-purchase exposure, the number of times an individual sign or display is exposed to individuals within a specified time period

Giant Size Dummy – Not-for-sale enlarged reproduction of an object or a product.

Gondola – A (free-standing) shelved unit for displaying goods in a supermarket, etc.

Gondola End – A display designed to be used at the end of a gondola (set of shelves). “Gondola ends” are usually large displays.

Gondola Topper – A two-sided display to rest on the top of the gondola in such a way that it can be seen from numerous aisles, or coming and going in both aisles.

Gravity Feed – A merchandiser designed to use the force of gravity to bring more merchandise into view. This can feed a single unit or a quantity in succession.

Hanging Sign – A sign that hangs from a mounting bracket that usually projects from a wall, ceiling or post. It usually features copy on both sides.

Header – Top fascia of a display or merchandising unit giving the brand name and/or advertising message.

Highlighter – Printed device (usually card or plastic) designed to bring attention to a particular feature of a product within a display.

Hotspot – An area of high density of customer flow within a retail environment that motivates a shopper to stop or interact with a shelf or display or that part of a display to which particular attention is drawn by the use of graphics and design

Illuminated Signs and Displays – Any signs or displays with light in any form.

Imprint – Discrete reference to the ownership and/or designer/ manufacturer usually positioned on the reverse of a display.

Impulse Buying – Making an unplanned purchase.

Impulse Items – Those products that have a high appeal to the consumer and cause him/her to make an unplanned purchase. Items are described as ‘high’ or ‘low’impulse.

Impulse Purchase – Purchase which is not planned before entering the shop and often initiated by POP display, special offer or good product presentation.

Inflatable – A plastic creation that assumes three dimensions when filled with air or gas. May be used as a premium or an integral part of the display. Can be an oversize product replica.

Installation Service – Service offered by a company that contracts to place displays in retail outlets for the advertiser at a per unit cost.

In-Store Media – Form of advertising located in the retail environment reinforcing the display promotion, e.g. radio.

Interactive Display – A display requiring the consumer to actively participate in the selling process by supplying information about needs and preferences through the use of a computer keyboard or a touch sensitive screen. The computer, in turn, processes the consumer’s needs and the product attributes, and makes a recommendation.

Island Display – A display designed to stand alone with merchandise available from all sides.

K.D – Acronym for ‘knocked down’ display. A KD display is assembled at the spot where the display is to stand.

K.D. Display – A display that is shipped partially assembled for reasons of economy in shipping, storage, or actual production. The degree of KD varies.

Kick Band – Strip at the bottom of a floorstand, usually dark in colour, that withstands accidental scuffs, kicks, mopping stains, etc., when in use in the retail outlet.

L.C.D. – Acronym for ‘Liquid Crystal Display’. A display device using liquid crystals that can selectively become opaque or clear when exposed to a controlled voltage; commonly seen in calculators and digital watches.

L.E.D. – Acronym for ‘Light Emitting Diode’. A display device using a material junction that glows a characteristic colour (red, green, yellow) when exposed to a current.

Lead Time – Production timetable between receipt of a formal customer purchase order through manufacturing and final delivery to customer.

Leaflet Dispenser – Usually made of plastic or cardboard to hold free leaflets for self selection by the consumer

Light Box – A box-shaped display unit in which a transparency forms one face of the box and is backlit.

Light-Thief – A display that has no illumination of its own but gives a lighted effect due to the use of illumination from another source and amplifies it, usually through the use of reflective surfaces or fluorescent inks which trap and focus light.

Line Drawing – Similar to conceptual renderings, in line form for quickness to show structure only. Typically done in black and white.

Literature Holder – A display that holds customers’ products or service brochures at the point-of-purchase.

Live Merchandise – The actual product on display.

Logo – A graphic, usually consisting of a symbol and/or group of letters, that identifies a company or brand.

Media Support – Schedules in television, radio, magazine, newspapers, etc., that back up display promotion.

Menu Board – A P-O-P display that enables the retailer to list offerings and prices.

Merchandiser – A display containing merchandise for immediate sale.

Mobile – A display consisting of several counter-balanced pieces suspended in such a way that each piece moves independently in a light current of air.

Mobile Floorstand – Floorstand or display that has wheels or other devices so that it can be moved from one area to another.

Mock-Up or Dummy – A preliminary hand-made representation of a new design of packaging, display or merchandising unit. Can be white or coloured-up to show graphics.

Model – Scale miniature of a display.

Modular system – Elements that can be assembled in various permutations and sizes according to the space available.

Motion Displays – Any signs or displays with moving elements by battery or electric to attract attention.

OMA – Acronym for POPAI’s Outstanding MerchandisingAchievement Awards Contest.

OMA Statuette – A metal replica of wooden cigar store Indians placed outside tobacco shops in the early 19th century. These wooden figures are the earliest known forms of P-O-P advertising used in America in the early 19th century. The OMA Statuette is given to bronze, silver and gold winners in POPAI’s Outstanding merchandising Achievement (OMA) Awards contest. The OMA Statuette is a symbol of a company’s excellence in P-O-P advertising, and serves as a reminder of the intimate connection that P-O-P advertising has with consumer products.

Overrun – Displays or elements that exceed the number ordered. This is necessary whenever more than one operation is required to produce the final product. The producer must estimate how many pieces will be required to offset damage in each intervening process so that the required order quantity will be met.

Pack-Shot – Photographic term to describe the photo of a product in its packaging.

Pallet Display – A mass display of product built on a pallet and contained in corrugated or other structural components on the retail floor ready for display by just removing the protective shrouding.

Pallet-Wrap – See Case Wrap.

Parasite Unit – A small display or merchandising device designed to be attached to a store’s fixture or another advertiser’s display material.

Pencil Rough – Pencil drawing of the proposed sign or display usually in the preliminary stages and in a loose style.

Pennant – Same as banner but pointed at the bottom.

Permanent Display – A display with an intended length of use of six months or more.

Personalised Display – A display that carries a specific retailer’s name.

Placement – Use and acceptance of the display offered by the advertiser.

Plan-o-gram – A schematic drawing or other depiction describing the relative shelf placement and number of facings allotted for each SKU. Usually limited to a particular product category or display.

Point of Purchase Advertising – Any form of advertising, signage or communication within a retail environment that is designed to influence or assist the consumer in locating and purchasing a product or service.

Point-of-Purchase Advertising Campaign – All advertising materials produced in support of a product or a range of products at the point of purchase.

Point of Purchase (POP) – The location, usually within a retail outlet, where the customer decides whether to purchase a product or service.

Point of Sale (POS) – The location, usually within a retail outlet, where the customer pays for a product or service.

Pole – Round cardboard tube to hold display above a stack of merchandise, usually in several sections. Also a metal pole on which display or sign is erected.

Pole Display – A display mounted on a footed pole designed to be used with massed merchandise, and to be seen above it. The pole is mostly hidden in use.

Pole Sign – Single or double-faced sign, attached to poles at petrol stations, and other outlets.

Pole Topper – The part of a pole display that carries the advertising message.

POPAI – Acronym for ‘Point-of-Purchase Advertising International’, which is the only international trade association of the point-of-purchase (P-O-P) advertising industry. POPAI is dedicated to: 1) advancing the evolution of P-O-P advertising as a strategic, measured medium to be integrated into the marketing mix globally, and 2) ensuring that P-O-P advertising is known as an effective advertising medium. POPAI is dedicated to serving its more than 1,800 members globally in the P-O-P advertising industry.

Portable Display – A display that is easily transportable due to its ability of breaking down to a small size.

Portfolio – Collection of best work by a company for showing during meetings with prospective clients.

Post Testing – Store audits or other research techniques employed after a display has been installed to determine the rise in sales and/or brand awareness brought about by the use of the display.

Poster – A printed plastic, paper or cloth banner or sign for window or interior use.

Premium – An item of some value used to attract attention to the displayed product in a secondary manner. An item of interest that can be received through the mail at a discounted price, free with purchase of primary (displayed) product, or as a cash-back offer. Also, a premium container (such as a decorative glass jar or tin box) that is reusable by the consumer.

Pre-Pack – A display designed to be packed with merchandise by the advertiser and shipped as a unit. This type of display is often favoured by retail management because little time is required to assemble the display in the market, and little or no handling of product is required.

Pre-Testing – A few display samples are tried in store locations to determine their effectiveness before the entire order is placed. Can be misleading if sites are not carefully selected; a test market.

Price Channel – The metal strip on the front edge of retail store fixtures or shelving that is designed to hold price and weight/size information about the product located at that spot on the shelf. Usually these plastic or card pieces will snap-fit into the channel and they can slide easily to adjust to product spacing.

Promotional Display – In the broad sense, all displays are ‘promotional’, but ‘promotional’ is also used to indicate a display that is designed to be used only for the duration of a particular promotion, as opposed to those pieces that are designed for use for an indefinite period. (See Permanent Display and Semi-Permanent Display.)

Prototype – 3-D same-size replica of the original design utilising the same specification materials as proposed for a production run. Used to prove functionality, aesthetics, etc.

Rack – A floorstand featuring shelves, pockets or hooked arms, usually of wire, designed for special display of a group of related items – sometimes a sub-department – for customer self-selection. Racks may or may not also carry an advertiser message.

Rough Drawing – Preliminary stage of a proposed design in a loose style.

Scratch ‘N’ Sniff – Generic description for a coating of encapsulated fragrances that releases a fragrance when scratched.

Secondary Placement – The additional placement of a product or display within a retail environment that is above that of a standard on-shelf position.

Self-cling Sticker – Printed flexible plastic (clear) which will adhere to a glass surface without the need for adhesive, sometimes called a ‘DECAL’.

Semi-Permanent Display – A display with an intended length of use of more than two months but less than six months.

Sequencer – A set of lights on a display that follows a set flash pattern. Other terms often used interchangeably include marquee lights or chaser lights.

Shelf-Extender – A display in the form of a small tray, designed to be fastened or clamped to a shelf and to project from it, thus extending the space of the shelf. It is usually used for related item sales or introduction of new products.

Shelf Fittings – Special decorative shelf edging which highlights a product range and differentiates it from the rest.

Shelf-Miser – A small display designed to fit on the shelf and to hold more units in the same space than would ordinarily be on the shelf. These frequently have a spring or gravity-feed arrangement to keep the front of the facing full.

Shelf Organiser – A device used to present products in an appealing, organised way. Lanes or channels provide specific areas for on-shelf display.

Shelf Setting – The height and distance shelves are positioned on a fixture.

Shelf Talker – Small signs affixed to the display shelf edge to call attention to the product.

Shop in Shop – A set of display elements for a brand or a product line creating a mini shop wihtin the store.

Showcard – Printed card supported by a back strut, usually for window display. (One of the earliest forms of P-O-P display.)

Sign – Any device that identifies a company or a product and/or carries an advertising or directional message. Signs may be separate entities, or an integral part of a display.

Slatwall – Any panelling material with specially fabricated linear slotting (usually ‘T’ shaped) that allows installation of appropriate brackets and hangers for use where maximum utilisation and ease of reconfiguration of wall space is required.

Sore-Thumb Display – A display designed to attract immediate attention by virtue of its size or unique style, usually shelf edge fitted.

Spectacular – A larger permanent outdoor sign equipped with special lighting and motion effects. Also, a large indoor display either designed to stand free or be used in free-standing stack of merchandise, often incorporating elements of light, audio and/or motion.

Sticker – The term applied to each unique variation of a particular brand, including, but not limited to, size, count, style, flavour, ingredients, etc., for which a different UPC (bar code) is required.

Spinner Display – A display with its components and product arranged around a central pole. The components holding the product rotate, allowing the consumer to shop the entire display while standing in one spot.

Spring-Loaded Unit – Means by which product is pushed to the front of the display through the introduction of a coiled spring ‘pusher plate’ device. Ensures disciplined facings and quickly reveals out of stock situation.

Sticker – A visual image or text printed on adhesive paper/ plastic. (See Decal)

Stock-Keeping-Unit (SKU) – The term applied to each unique variation of a particular brand, including, but not limited to, size, count, style, flavour, ingredients, etc., for which a different UPC (bar code) is required.

Streamer – A printed plastic, paper or cloth banner for window or interior use.

T-Bar – A T-shaped bar to hang two signs, or to hold a large paper poster that can be draped over it and thus seen from both sides.

Temporary Display – A display with a specific short life, measured in weeks. Sometimes card or corrugated and used for holidays, seasonal and promotional events.

Tent Card – Single fold card, set like a tent, for use on counters, bars or tables, carrying an advertising message. Frequently has messages on the front, back and inside of tent.

Test Market – Regional sales area chosen because of its specific location, where a product is tested prior to a possible national launch.

Test Store – A retail unit where product sales tests are made to determine buying and merchandising practices.

Theme – The central character or feature of a display programme which is present in all elements of a P-O-P promotion and which serves to tie them all together for better consumer identification. Can also relate to a single display such as a ‘Father’s Day Special’.

Thumbnail – A miniature or rough sketch.

Tie-In – Co-operative advertising effort between multiple products featured together on one display unit, usually at a money-saving combination price, e.g. toothbrush/toothpaste; razor/shaving cream/after shave lotion. Such products are sometimes manufactured by different companies.

Touch Screen – A computer display that allows for control of a computer program though the touch of a finger on the screen.

Traffic Count – The number of potential customers passing a display during a specific period of time.

Traffic Flow – The movement of shoppers through a retail environment.

Transit Testing – A series of tests done to a container or shipping box to see if damage occurs to its contents.

Tray – That part of a display that holds the merchandise or a change tray; may be integral or separate.

Turnaround Time – The schedule required to deliver a project from the time it arrives in the hands of a service provider.

Turn-Table – A rotating table to display all sides of a single piece of merchandise, or a selection of various pieces. May be turned mechanically or by hand.

Value Engineer design – Re-evaluation of the design and specifications of a display with the objective of reducing production costs (without seriously compromising the integrity of the original design).

Videowall – A large-format video display employing either picture tubes or rear-projection displays.

Wall Fixture – Merchandising unit for product display and stocking, single sided only.

Wobbler – A lightweight display that hangs over a shelf and bobs and turns with the air currents.

One Response to “How to understand POS jargon used in various BTL advertising activities”

  1. Thanks, i just joined as a marketing manager and these POS terms are really helpful, learned a lot!


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