How to Design Strong Point of Sale Packaging

The primary function of point of sale packaging is to drive sales of a product. To do so it needs to attract attention, spark the interest of consumers and encourage them to purchase. But how do you pack all this power into the design? Here are 5 tips to help steer your ideas in the right direction…

1. Communication & Understanding

Before you begin, you need to fully understand:

  • The purpose/function of the product you’re advertising
  • The product’s Unique Selling Points
  • The product’s target audience
  • The brand’s values
  • The planned location of the POS packaging
  • The brand competitor’s POS packaging

Talk to your client and do your research to get up to speed with all of these factors. Your designs should never stray from the objectives at hand.

2. Integration Between POS Packaging & Product Packaging

POS packaging is weak without its partner in crime: product packaging. Whether you’re responsible for both parts of the design or not, you need to ensure that they complement each other seamlessly in their appearance, messaging and brand values.

If the product packaging has already been designed then take that as your direct inspiration. If not, meet up with the designer beforehand and plan your ideas together.

3. Content

Now to the juicy part: keep the following points in mind when you get down to designing:


Choose a shape that will:

  • stand out from the POS packaging of competing brands
  • stand out from the surrounding POS packaging in the store
  • generate surprise or delight from consumers
  • provide an easy shopping experience

The shape you choose will also depend on whether one or more products are being advertised. For example, if the POS packaging is for different flavours of a crisps then it will require sections to categorise. In contrast, a dump bin would be more effective for the advertisement of one large cleaning product.

To push the strength of your design even further you could also consider a shape that:

  • reflects the shape of the product
  • captures an element of the brand
  • captures one of the key messages being advertised

For example, POS packaging for Argan oil could be designed in the shape of an Argan nut or Argan tree to represent its organic source.


When appropriate, visuals that show the product in use or outside of its packaging are effective. This can help to ignite desire in consumers, speak to an aspiration and create an emotional connection.

For example:

– An image of a chocolate bar oozing with caramel can spark hunger
– An image of a woman wearing cosmetics can speak to an aspiration for beauty


In most cases, copy is supplied to designers with the brief. Yet, if you are tasked to generate this yourself then ensure you include:

  • a benefit &
  • a Call to Action

These features help to generate desire for the product and encourage engagement. Advertising a promotion or discount can also drive an impulse purchase.

Copy needs to be simple, clear and straight to the point and there should only ever be one key message to communicate – anything more complex and the packaging is set to be ignored.

Colour and Graphics

You will need to refer to the product’s brand values to assist you with these features. Yet, you are responsible for implementing the designs for the most striking effects. You should:

  • Contrast colours
  • Use large fonts
  • Choose an interesting layout
  • Vary the position of text
  • Be bold in order to improve the visibility of the advertisement

4. Boost Interaction

Improve engagement by including extra features that consumers can interact with and takeaway. These could be:

– Samples of the product on sale
– Flyers with information about the product
– Discount vouchers for the product
– A QR code for customers to discover more information using mobile devices

These ideas will also help to increase the reach of the POS advertisement: consumers have the opportunity to share the information they take away with others, outside of the store.

Go the Extra Mile

For truly powerful POS packaging, include a video screen or a touch screen.

A video screen is ideal for showing an advertisement of the product while a touch screen offers a wealth of opportunities. In return for a discount or entry into a prize draw, you could:

  • Set up a quiz about the product
  • Set up a game based on the product

Or ask consumers to vote on their favourite product within the range to spark interest in the product and build the brand’s reputation. While the information collected can be used in market research, the emails can be used in email marketing campaigns.

The power is in your hands: design point of sale packaging that sells and you’ll gain loyal clients.

Author Bio:

Daniel Jones is a senior packaging designer at one of the UK’s leading packaging and print finishing companies: While he specialises in the design of point of sale packaging, he also designs transit and postal boxes. His passion lies in creating new cardboard prototypes that maximise the ease of transport and usability.

Comments are closed.