Need your new product to make an impact? The way to your customers’ hearts is through their stomachs.
A recent article on the National Retail Federation’s Stores blog highlighted how free product sampling is a low-cost and highly effective way to attract new customers. Recently, one food retailer introduced its new snack food at sampling events at grocery stores and community events. In the end, the company had a 25 to 30 percent customer conversion rate, well above the industry average of 25 percent of that number.
Free samples are a great way for manufacturers to get their product out there. Just like you wouldn’t buy a car without driving it first, you aren’t likely to buy a product without sampling it first. Sampling absolutely does increase sales.
All grocers should be doing more with sampling because it also increases customer satisfaction. Stores just need to keep track of their food costs associated with sampling and consider it a marketing cost.
One marketing expert offered several tips for product sampling:
- The sampling station must have a comfortable atmosphere.
- The product presentation should be exciting and designed to draw people in.
- The person manning the station should be approachable without being pushy and also able to answer customers’ questions about the product.
But just like food, effective product sampling also has a shelf life. Free product sampling is most effective for new brands and less effective with established products.
Source: NRF Stores, April 2012