What happened to sample marketing?

THE SHORT OF IT: Amazon.com, with its millions of shoppers, knows a lot about us, as do other e-commerce sites. Why aren’t these sites using this information to recommend product samples to brands when over 70% of consumers say they are likely to buy a product after first trying it. Less than 25% say the same thing after seeing a commercial on TV?

Product sampling helps consumers better understand a company’s product or service and thus increases the likelihood of a purchase. 81% of passersby who engage in a company’s display or pop-up activation mention that they visited because they wanted a product sample.

In the food and beverage industry, evoking your products taste and smell as a means of marketing is irreplaceable. Sampling remains the most important way of reaching consumers in a taste-driven market. After all, sampling allows consumers to trial a product without obligation — future or current. While product sampling is a key ingredient in any balanced business marketing strategy, it also remains important for consumers. It allows consumers to indulge in a product without capital. For many consumers, this means that they can explore if the taste of a product is right for them. Food sampling toes a fine line between customer acquisition (via reaching new customers) and customer retention (via increasing brand value and awareness).

Today online retailers know a lot about you via your browser and shopping history. It seems a perfect match for products sampling yet it’s estimated that less than 10% of online retailers use product sampling.

The effects of short-term purchase behavior in relation to sampling has been shown consistently in research. When consumers are offered free samples, their short-term purchasing behavior (i.e. the day of the sampling promotion) is significantly increased. So, remember, sampling doesn’t only spread a product to consumers quickly, it also urges consumers to make purchases the day of the product sampling. In a way, product sampling is like getting paid to market a product. Beyond short-term purchasing behavior, having a consistent sampling program as part of your marketing strategy has boosted the sales of some grocers as much as 2,000%.

  • Researchers found that free samples increased consumers purchasing behavior towards the brand for as long as 12-months post-sampling.
  • Researchers found that including sampling increased sales towards a brand significantly as opposed to coupons, which had no effect.
  • Belch & Belch showed that product sampling had a significant effect on consumer purchasing behavior towards the sampled brand.
  • In 2011 the British Food Journal reported a study showing that free sampling significantly increased the likelihood of purchased products.

Of course, product sampling could slow down Amazon deliveries but with the money, Amazon devotes to R&D one wonders why they haven’t figured out that product sampling could be a win-win for both consumers and their Amazon.

If I have a new product to launch, product sampling will be in my mix, whether via e-commerce sites or included with Sunday paper deliveries. There is a reason why Costco charges brands for sampling on weekends. It works, and it’s effective.

Originally published at https://www.newmediaandmarketing.com on November 1, 2020.




Marketing leader with over 20 years of online and offline award winning experience valued by clients

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Why You Should Take Advantage of Facebook Chatbots

How To 5X Your LinkedIn Account In 3 Steps

From TikTok to Video SEO, here are 9 dynamic video marketing trends to watch in 2022.

Utilize The Power Of Surveys: Collect Valuable Feedback To Grow Your Food Business

How To Get More Leads 2019

“The Widest Net”- Pamela Slim- Note

Hook: The line that makes you stop and read…

How to manage unhappy customers

a person yelling in a phone receiver

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Richard A Meyer

Richard A Meyer

Marketing leader with over 20 years of online and offline award winning experience valued by clients

More from Medium

Easter in Spain— pointy hats and big floats

I Made it Through My First Month!

We Joined the Etsy Sellers Strike — This Is What Happened

Dove Enterprise: Now Accepting Clients