How many times in the last year were you offered a sample of a product? If you are like the majority of Americans, your answer is “not nearly enough.”
According to a 2015 survey of more than 1,000 adult Americans commissioned by marketing promotions firm YA:
- More than half (53 percent) said they ended up buying a product that they sampled.
- Forty-two percent said they have actually switched from a brand they normally buy to a new brand as a result of trying a sample.
- More than three quarters (77 percent) of respondents said receiving a sample of a product would incentivize them to try another product from that brand.
However, despite the results that show sampling builds brand and product affinity, the study also shows that most consumers are not being offered samples. Sixty percent said they did not receive any trial-size samples in the past year, and 75 percent said they did not receive any full-size samples in the past 12 months.
So why aren’t marketers at CPG companies jumping on the sampling bandwagon as often as they could or should? Perhaps it’s because they are thinking of the old way of sampling and feel it’s not worth the hassle. Creating sample-size products requires an entirely different production workflow stream.
Then there’s the issue of packaging and mailing the samples or handing samples out at events. Of course another challenge is that some products are less feasible to sample due to perishability or weight concerns. And, most importantly, how do companies even measure who opened, used or continued to purchase the item?
Re-inventing product sampling
That’s where a new type of sampling comes in. A growing trend with product sampling is to offer ways for consumers to try products, but minimize the packaging and mailing costs that are associated with traditional sampling programs, by leveraging an already available delivery channel—the retail partner.
YA’s patent-pending sampling technology enables brands to dispense with the cumbersome process of shipping physical samples, and allows them to send a trackable digital card which can be used by the consumer to receive a full-size sample of the product at a designated retailer. Because consumers must register and activate the card before use, marketers will know who redeemed the card for a sample, at what retailer, and what else they purchased during that trip. Cards can be configured for additional promotion types to meet the marketers’ objectives, such as buy one, get one. And because the consumer who has sampled has shared contact information, the brand is able to re-engage with those consumers to share additional communications, news and special offers.
Beyond being a boon for CPG brands, the survey found that sampling also benefits retailers, as 57 percent of respondents said they would likely go to a retailer they normally don’t visit to sample a full-sized product.
Sampling makes it easy for CPG companies and retailers to work together to drive store traffic and increase sales In addition, this approach proves to be a cost-effective way for brands to get their products in the hands of consumer and capture valuable consumer data. It provides a solid return on marketing investment.
If you’d like to learn more about how YA can help with your sampling programs, contact me.