When consumers get the opportunity to try a product, they also get a chance to intimately interact with it by tasting, smelling, and experiencing. This creates a sentimental bond that is more powerful than any other media exposure
We all are very familiar with the sight of a product sampling kiosk, manned by a cheerful promoter holding a tray of free samples in a supermarket. The reason some brands do this over and over is that there is enough research across the globe that has proven to sample to be the biggest driving factor of consumer purchase intent for a product. But in India thousands of brands choose, either knowingly or unknowingly, to avoid sampling as a part of their core marketing plan. One of the possible reasons for this could be that they simply haven’t seen the data yet or they haven’t found the answer to a common question, “how effective is product sampling?”
Now let’s try to answer this question both from the demand (consumers) and supply (brands) side.
The Demand Side: Growing need to try something first
With the exponentially growing online purchase adoption by the upper-middle class in India, consumers are now making their complete purchase decision in a virtual world, even for a lot of new things they are adding to their consumption basket for the first time. This poses a very unique challenge to the consumers to make their final purchase decision in two ways:
1. The Paradox of Choice: Created by the availability of many options and an abundance of information online.
2. The Trust Deficit: Created by the many false claims and too good to be true stories told by not-so-ethical brands, amplified by our years of conditioning in a low-trust society like India.
So how does the consumer solve for these today; by digging into more information - reviews, influencers,
blogs, articles, videos, etc., and many a time dropping off the funnel frustrated. What if brands could
address this by delivering a product sample at home on demand?
When consumers get the opportunity to try a product, they also get a chance to intimately interact with it by tasting, smelling, and experiencing. This creates a sentimental bond that is more powerful than any other media exposure. By the means of sampling, brands can create a stronger first impression with a high-quality branded experience uniquely and memorably.
The Supply Side: Digital sampling for the win
The relevance of digital sampling has not only increased drastically amid the new stay-at-home culture,
but also it is emerging to be one of the most efficient ways for brands to directly reach out to their most
relevant consumers leveraging the digital data & insights. By taking a direct-to-home approach, brands
are reducing their sampling pilferage and operational challenges to a great extent. For many upcoming
and growing D2C brands with zero or limited store presence, digital sampling has become the most
powerful medium to deliver their product experience memorably and more safely to their potential
consumers. Here are a few things to expect:
1. Reach the highest-valued targeted audience: The targeting possibilities are quite significant, with a plethora of audience segments.
2. Capturing post-trial feedback: Wonder what the customer thinks of your products? The post sampling surveys & feedback provide a great wealth of knowledge about the consumer’s perspective, which brands can leverage to improve product development, customer experience and marketing efforts
3. Conversions post sampling: By delivering a sample tailored to the consumer’s unique needs
directly to their doorstep, brands can capture their undivided attention and also give them an idea
of how well the product works. The consumer gets to experience the value of the product first
hand and builds an affinity towards it
*The author is Swagat Sarangi
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