November 9, 2022

What I’ve Learned: 1 Year at Ripple

POP vs POS | Expert Explains Industry Jargon

Ripple has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. Now, a year after the opportunity to head up the design team first came up, I’ve begun reflecting on the way my passion has driven me through this challenge.

Thrilling and a real learning curve, the opportunity to join the family business has brought to light my skills within the world of architecture, construction and the built environment.

‘Design and build’, is my passion and is familiar territory transferable to Ripple. There have been some very teachable moments, particularly learning about retail format, merchandising, display and creating a customer experience, this has been a steep curve and along with that a whole new vocabulary!

Soaking in as much information as I can in the last year has been incredibly enriching and has led me to find the answers to key questions that many have when first approaching Ripple for its expertise and services.

But it’s only through collaboration and consistency that I’ve gotten to this point. Understanding Ripple and all that it stands for, along with how to provide the very best results for every single business we work with.

I’ve picked the brains of the team here at Ripple who have been working within the retail and trade environments for decades to get a better understanding of the terminology in our industry, and as Marketing also comes under my wing what Point of Purchase, Point of Sale, customer journey, CX and even the word shopfitting means to us, our customers and the wider world is important.

Learning the difference between PoP and PoS

So, what have I learnt? What we now refer to as Point of Purchase or POP pre-millennium was primarily referred to as Point of Sale or POS and there are still many who interchange the two in the same context, which is quite logical when you think about both the retailer’s and the consumers’ perspectives. In 1996 POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising International) arrived from the US on our shores and started to influence the change. 
If you work within retail or consumer products, you are likely to understand the difference between POP and POS. However, as someone previously not massively exposed to the inner workings of a retail environment before starting my role at Ripple, I had the two confused and as it turns out, so do a lot of the people that I speak to, so for more clarification of my understanding, I will try to explain the differences.

What is Point Of Sale (POS)?

Point of Sale (POS) primarily relates to the point at which a customer purchases and pays for products, which applies to both physical locations as well as goods and services online.  The in-store environment also encompasses the area around the till or checkout where it crosses over with POP.

POS also closely relates to the evolution of EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale), which originated in the early 70s when IBM was leading the development of hardware and software for handling and recording transactions at the ‘Point of Sale.

Having said that there are still many who use POS in the same way as we would use POP and it is particularly common in and within the print and graphics industry to refer to their products as POS.

What is Point Of Purchase (POP)?

Point of Purchase (POP) is a term used by brands and retailers when planning the placement of consumer products in a store or sales environment, usually thought of as a physical location but again it also transfers goods and services online. 

How goods are strategically placed, displayed, promoted, and communicated to attract and motivate customers is achieved through effective visual merchandising, which is the process of planning, designing, and displaying products to highlight their features and benefits.

It relates to the entire store environment including promotional zones, windows displays and the POS to influence the Customer experience. The customer experience (CX) refers to how a retailer, brand and/or product engages with its customers at every point of their buying journey and all the interactions a customer has.

What is Shopfitting?

Another term I struggled to get my head around was Shopfitting, (thankfully there’s no acronym for that one!), it seemed to me to be a logical definition for the industry I had now embraced.

I was on the right track too, as the official Wikipedia definition of Shopfitting is the trade of fitting out retail and service shops and stores with equipment, fixtures, and fittings.

The trade applies to all kinds of outlets from small corner shops to hypermarkets. A shopfitter executes planning, designs shop layouts, and installs equipment and services. It turns out to be another anomaly with the semantics of our industry, as typically shopfitting companies are more closely associated with the construction industry.

They often have general building and joinery capability and are more closely involved in structural changes such as shopfronts, extensions, alterations and modifications to buildings.

How Ripple Brings Success To Businesses With PoP, PoS & Shopfitting

What Ripple does, there isn’t a word or phrase for, we describe it as Creative, Design, Manufacture & Realisation for Retail, Merchants, and Brands. 

It is POP, Visual Merchandising and many elements of Shopfitting, simply the things that go into creating the Customer Experience which connects the consumer with the product.

It’s about original creative design and goes on development, specification and manufacture of furniture, equipment, fixtures, and every element that goes into making a space into a place where consumers engage with the environment and products and services.

Ripple are ‘Store Experience Creators’, we design and manufacturer with pragmatic originality, hassle-free service and proven impact, that’s ready for you to access today.

What I've Learned- 1 Year at Ripple
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