POS stand for point of sale. It used to mean in-store displays. Today it covers a lot more. It covers ecommerce and some online advertising — certainly online ads that put a customer one click from purchase.
Not too long ago the vast majority of advertising reached customers while nowhere near shopping. TV and radio hit consumers with ads that molded opinion and attitude for a future purchase. Then 800 numbers on TV ads allowed custies to dial-up a sale from the couch, as so did shopping networks like QVC. But the real breakthrough in POS was the web, where people actually go to shop.
POS advertising online and POS advertising in-store are too similar for my taste. The online version should be richer. In-store you can experience the product through touch and feel — through sampling. Online all you have is video. I’m thinking virtual reality will alter this in the next couple of years and I can’t wait. Buckle the seatbelts of your self-driving cars.