The Proven Benefits of Product Sampling
In today’s digital age, it’s increasingly hard to cut through the noise. Consumers are bombarded with advertisements on the daily, almost every minute of the day that they spend interacting with the world.
As a result, consumers have become overwhelmed and fatigued, making getting your brand noticed or growing your business uniquely challenging.
In such a landscape, product sampling stands out as a unique marketing channel allowing a consumer to try a product on their own terms and without obligation to purchase.
In this blog post, we take a look at five of the proven benefits of product sampling in the world of e-commerce and why smart marketers should use it to reach more customers.
Marketers are increasingly turning to product sampling in order to drive brand awareness, increase sales, and build customer loyalty.
But these aren’t the only benefits of product sampling.
Let’s delve into some others:
1. Increasing sales
Research found that free samples increased consumers purchasing behavior towards the brand for as long as 12-months post-sampling.
Research found that including sampling increased sales towards a brand significantly as opposed to coupons, which had no effect.
Furthermore, product sampling has been shown to help consumers switch from a planned to a promoted brand of a product when offered a sample.
It’s hard to capture the attention of a modern consumer and get them to purchase products they’re not familiar with.
Product sampling gets consumers thinking about your product. When consumers can experience a product, use their senses, and try it without risk and obligation -- you can get them to notice you.
Furthermore, most consumers feel more closely connected to a brand after they’ve tried a sample product.
In this case, customers’ purchasing decision is also impacted by the law of reciprocity (which states that we are propelled to do a kind thing for someone after they’ve been kind to us).
2. Giving customers a taste of your product
You can tell your customers your product will make their hair shinier, their mind sharper, their digestion better, their clothes softer. You can show them how your product looks and tell them what makes it so good. You can even share testimonials and endorsements.
Yet, nothing beats personal experience.
Product sampling gets a customer to try your product for the first time.
Essentially, through product sampling, you eliminate the reluctance and fear that come with trying new products and investing money in them and allow customers to test the product without obligation and risk. Building consumer confidence in your product is the first step to building brand loyalty further down the line.
Furthermore, when a customer likes the product sample, she is inclined to purchase the full-sized version of the product and to tell her friends and family about it.
3. Getting helpful feedback on products from real customers
By targeting relevant demographic and interest parameters for each of your products, you can ensure that only your target audience receives your samples.
That feedback then becomes an invaluable resource used to inform potential product changes or marketing messaging.
In addition to feedback, positive product sampling experiences will lead consumers to want to verbally transmit positive opinions to others. Word-of-mouth advertising is very difficult to build. Although it’s an incredibly powerful marketing channel, it remains one of the most underutilised and forgotten forms of marketing
“According to The Journal of Advertising Research over 75% of all word-of-mouth marketing was driven offline, with only 10% happening through social media-driven platforms. Product sampling is a great way to drive offline word-of-mouth advertising in a consistent way.”
Pro tip: Product sampling can provide you with an effective way to engage with and reward your best brand advocates and most loyal customers.
4. Building excitement and demand for a product launch
Word-of-mouth is also often the critical component of a successful product launch.
The first months after a new product is launched are critical. If you hit the ground running with authentic and enthusiastic ratings and reviews, you give consumers the confidence they need to purchase your products on day one.
Once your product is ready to launch, send it out to your target customers.
By doing this, you not only receive critical product feedback but also create buzz around your new product.
5. Generating ratings and reviews and other key user-generated content
According to Pew Research, online reviews and other user-generated content are crucial in buying decisions.
Humans look to others in their social groups when they make decisions. This is a phenomenon usually referred to as social proof. We want to make the right choices, so we look to “others” in society to help us do so.
Essentially, consumers rely on advice and recommendations from others before making purchasing decisions.
“82% of U.S. adults say they at least sometimes read online customer ratings or reviews before purchasing items for the first time, including 40% who say they always or almost always do so.”
Product sampling provides for a quick way to generate and amplify more user-generated content, especially if your company is new and/or doesn’t boast many reviews online.
Ultimately, product sampling boasts something no other channel does – getting the physical product in the hands of the customer, where they can touch it, smell it, eat it, feel it.
The benefits of integrating product sampling into your marketing strategy are plenty and profitable.
Offering product samples to target customers gives them a taste of what your brand is about, creates excitement, and generates buzz – among other things.
And all numbers and facts aside… Who doesn’t love freebies?
Are you hoping to begin a product sampling campaign? Do you want to make your existing product sampling campaign more relevant and engaging for your target audience?
Quantum can help.
We are your one-stop marketplace to acquire new customers.
We take the stress out of running product sampling campaigns so that you can focus on the more strategic elements of your marketing efforts. Our AI-powered algorithm does the heavy lifting by matching your products with your target audience and managing the logistics of shipping & distribution.