Temporary vs. Permanent Displays: Which Is Right for You?
Retail point-of-purchase (POP) displays have proven over and over to be worth the investment when it comes to boosting sales and getting your brand message across.
However, brand managers find themselves forced to decide if it's worth the money to spring for permanent displays for long-term durability and convenience, or to go with the more budget-friendly and flexible option of temporary displays. So, which is right for your products and budget?
Permanent displays provide several unique benefits for brand managers. While they cost more, they are built to last longer than temporary displays. They are more resistant to in-store damage by customers or employees and their sturdier construction gives them a more upscale look. They are designed to look like a permanent part of the store rather than a disposable piece of signage. They can be customized with visually dynamic graphics, lighting, video or sound.
Before starting to design a permanent display, the Brand Manager will need to determine the following criteria before going to the expense and time to develop a new permanent display:
- Length of time display will be installed at retail
- Total retail value of products to be displayed
- Expected # of turns – how many times per quarter or year display will be refilled.
- Who will refill display?
- Determine budget by calculating:
- length of installation x number of turns x retail value of one full display x the contribution margin
- Example: 2 years x 8 turns x $350 x 15% = $840 per display
While the upfront cost is usually why brand managers hesitate to purchase permanent POP displays, investing in a well-executed permanent display can be very cost effective. Bear in mind that, startup costs for a permanent display include initial conceptual design, engineering, prototyping and tooling, file prep, freight and any adjustments thereafter. This process can take 4 - 6 months depending on the customization of the components and features. Add another 2-3 months for mass production and shipping. Once a permanent display is installed, Brand Managers should plan on 1-2 years of product turnover in their return on investment (ROI) calculations.
Much like the permanent displays, temporary POP displays have a defined decision making path that will quickly help the Brand Manager in their decision making process. As the title suggests, temporary POP displays are made from disposable materials. Criteria that is helpful when considering a temporary POP display:
- Length of time in store
- Ships pre-packed or knocked down flat assemble in store
- Weight of product
- Type of product – glass, boxed, hanging, etc.
- Distribution/handling requirements
- Total retail value of fully loaded display
Depending on the retailer, temporary displays can be pre-packed with product or sent in knocked down flat (KD).
Temporary POP displays generally are used for a one time promotional period. This allows Brand Managers to calculate the contribution margin of the display in the order and ultimately define the gross margin and profit of a promotional order. The lower upfront costs makes this a more palatable option vs. permanent POP displays.
It is common for Brand Managers to settle on a structure and then alter the graphics and messages and for specific marketing campaigns. They are ideal for Brand Managers that desire flexibility, especially for seasonal items. Their temporary nature allows for variety and allows products and brands to remain fresh in the eyes of customers.
Temporary POP displays are ideal for distributors who plan to introduce new products or variations of older, more familiar ones. Customers generally enter stores knowing what they want; however, with temporary displays in the aisle they grab the eye of the consumer and capture their attention for both new and old products.
Finding the Right Answer
So how do Brand Managers decide on which option to choose? It starts with the retailer location, value of the product on the display, available marketing budget and demand/selling velocity of the product.
If you have a consistent brand image, do you want to invest in a permanent display that saves you redesign time and materials over time or do you want flexibility and want to keep costs down for each brand display and/or retailer iteration?
Would the time you save from designing a series of temporary retail displays be more valuable spent on developing new product, packaging and/or branding innovations?
Do you want retailers to simply unpack your display, perhaps with product already packed into the display (pre-packed displays), and throw it out once all of your product has sold, or will they have the time and interest to set up a permanent display and restock it as needed? Or would you like a semi-permanent display that could be restocked a few times and then be discarded?
Answers to these questions should lead you to the right answer. Let us know if you need help to answer these questions or would like a new partner.