In Store Product Sampling benefits

The Effect of In-store Sampling on the Sale of Food Products

Do you recall the experience of tiny cupcakes or the peri-peri or hummus dips being offered as a part of in-store food sampling? 

For years, the food and beverage industries have made in-store food sampling integral to their marketing strategies. There are a few psychological reasons why the tradition lives on, despite the pandemic.

Marketers recognize the value that in-store sampling generates for new products, especially on product launches. But, in-store food sampling on the day of product launch does not consider repeat consumer purchase behavior. The absence of this metric makes it difficult to measure the benefit it extends to the brand. It becomes challenging for marketers to assess the impact of in-store sampling on the sale of food products. So, how do they then examine the effects? 

In-store promotions have the potential to increase product sales for all retail products. But this is specifically true for food products. Any event in the store lures the customer. And by having a table with a representative offering free samples, marketers garner attention for a brand and its product. Customers want to try a product before they buy it. Food sample demos provide them just that.

If they like your food product’s taste/smell/experience, they will purchase it. If they don’t like the product but like your brand, they may buy another product. When done right, in-store sampling has the potential to engage your customers, encourage free trials, and leads to a new regular purchase.

But all said and done, let us explore the nuances of in-store sampling in a detailed manner. 

Product sampling benefits

The Power of In-store Sampling

When marketing is built into your product, in-store sampling becomes a part of an exponential growth strategy. In-store sampling is quite a powerful mechanism to convert consumers into customers. Brands know this from their research and experiences. If it weren’t a workable solution, there would be no sampling stations in stores. When used as an underlying marketing strategy, in-store sampling becomes a supremely trackable tool to transform potential consumers into actual customers and brand ambassadors. These word-of-mouth ambassadors spread brand positivity through their passion for your food product.
Product Sampling: The Research Behind the Results

Food sampling is the fine line between new customer acquisition and customer retention. Evoking the taste and smell of a product to market, it is irreplaceable. In the food and beverage industry, sampling remains an essential way to reach out to consumers. In a market driven by taste/ smell/ visuals/ experience, sampling allows the consumers to try out your food product without any obligation. It will enable them to indulge in a product without investing any capital. It makes them explore the taste of products and eventually find the one that is right for them.

Why is In-Store Sampling For Food Products So Effective?

Displaying the USPs of your food product through a hands-on experience convinces customers if it is for them or not. Even if they decide not to immediately buy, they will remember how your product tasted, looked, and made them feel. If your food product passes off as a good quality product at a reasonable price, those sampled are more likely to convert into paying customers. According to the Journal of Retailing research,

  1. In-store sampling increases the total category sales and not just the sales for a specific food product.
  2. Repeated sampling events for a single food product yield a multiplicative increase in sales.
  3. The impact of in-store sampling is more intense and more sustained than a product feature.

In-Store Sampling For Food Products – How Could You Be Doing It Wrong?

When considering food samples, all marketers commit the same mistake. You get your staff member to hand out tiny portions of your food sample they know nothing about. They carry out nothing but a generic display of the products. This is not the way to get it done. When running a sample promotion, you must consider that senses are affected by all kinds of things around us. For instance, did you know that heavier cutlery makes your food taste better? That can be considered while handing out plastic forks, flimsy paper plates, or a paper cup.

How can In-store Sampling of Food Products Be Made More Effective?

Efforts put in by the sampler impacts the level of in-store sampling. If a sampler/field marketer does not begin a conversation with everyone who walks past and entices them to try out the food sample, they lose consumers. As per the Journal of Retailing, the following factors have to be considered to maximize in-store sampling for food products. As a marketer, you must –

  1. Offer discounts for multiple purchases.
  2. Set time-limited discounts.
  3. Hand out leaflets or other goodies with your food sample.
  4. Incentivize them to try out your sample.
  5. Make your sampling stand attractive and memorable.
  6. Award discounts for social media likes, followers, and subscribes.
  7. It offers more online exposure, brand loyalty, and repeat sales.
  8. Offer your food samples in the same place regularly, weekly or monthly.
  9. Even without any extra effort put into your sampling campaign, you can be reasonably sure that you will see an increase in sales directly from the choices you make for your food products.

Tips To Carry Out In-Store Sampling

  • Choose Your Location Carefully

Ideally, your potential customer must stand right next to the stock they are sampling. The visual aesthetics of the products and the way they are placed on the counter/tabletop have a lasting effect on their minds. It increases their likelihood of buying due to the ease of accessing a product then and there. Street markets, food festivals, beer festivals, and music events are significant areas to consider.

  • Keep The Work Consistent

There are multiple benefits to keeping the same staff members who would learn more about your products. They will be better brand ambassadors. Besides, the customers who sample your product more than once tend to have a long-term memory of your product. They will remember the flavor, taste, aroma, texture, and overall food product experience.

  • Experiment Sampling in Different Stores

Each supermarket has a customer base for various reasons. Some are attracted because of higher quality food, while others are attracted because of cheap staples. It is, therefore, essential to experiment with sampling in different stores to attract the right audience.

  • Maintain Friendly Relations With Supermarkets
    Being on good terms with supermarkets allows you flexibility during sampling.

Besides, they are more likely to help you find the best sampling spots inside the store.

  • Implement Online Analytics Tracking

Be it telephone analytics or Google Analytics, marketers must employ some form of analytics tracking to track traffic from their in-store sampling campaigns. Using digital analytics can enhance perspectives.

Key Takeaways

Yes, when done well enough, the right marketing mix makes any in-store sampling venture viable. But if you have to make a start, start with a solid product with a niche appeal and eventually work it up.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *