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UX @ POP

Name a profession more prone to acronyms than advertising. OK, OK, name one not associated with the government (e.g., TARP, FOMC, SSN) or the military (e.g., DefCon 1, CINCPAC, IED). Part coyness, part quickwittedness, we love to develop new shorthand ways of conveying information and showing off a special lingo. We’re in the know, you know.

One of the latest in the digital arena is UX: user experience. According to Wikipedia, it’s often used to describe “interactions with a particular product or service, its delivery, and related artifacts, according to their design.” We’re talking iPods, Kindles, Droid phones and website navigation. UX warms the cockles of digitarians everywhere like UV rays have warmed George Hamilton’s skin for decades. Mmmm, toasty!

Truth be told, however, the folks who create in-store merchandising are the kings and queens of UX. The point of purchase is the only place where the product, potential purchaser and the pelf (that’s an alliterative stretch but work with me here) share the same space. The POP is the last three feet of any marketing plan – but you wouldn’t know it by all the hue and cry arising from the advertising world.

Sure, lots of buying happens online and it continues to grow. But, as Michael Tsiros, chair of the marketing department at the University of Miami School of Business Administration reports in CNNMoney.com, online shopping accounts for less than 5% of all retail purchases, excluding gas and food.

Want a bigger share of that five percent or the 95%? Hmmm, let me think… Concentrating less on reaching people on their handheld devices and more on reaching people handling products in stores seems a more sensible way to generate sales. To do anything else would be FUBAR.