Monday, February 12, 2018

Taste the Benefits of Product Sampling

Inviting shoppers to try a small free sample of an appealing food or beverage in your store increases sales not only for that item, but also for appealing alternatives in the same product category. Moreover, the positive profitability aftereffects of a sampling promotion linger better than do those from a price promotion on the same item. Repeated sampling events for an item have a multiplicative effect, not just an additive effect, on sales.
     These are the overall findings from carefully designed research at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brigham Young University, and Singapore Management University. Sampling allows people to touch, smell, and taste the item, thereby making the shopping experience more stimulating. Consumer engagement breaks through the distractions that block sales. Products realizing the greatest sales boosts from sampling will be those with the most engaging sensory characteristics. The researchers also found that sampling produces superior results when the number of alternatives in the product category is limited rather than expansive.
     In the studies, some stores had significantly better results from sampling than did others. I suggest you experiment with what works for you and where in your store you should place the sampling station. My experience is that it’s best located in a well-lit area where a number of people can gather. We want shoppers to be attracted by seeing others sampling and then not feel crowded when doing the sampling. We also want the shoppers to hang around long enough to get their questions answered by friendly staff who are distributing the samples.
     Manning the sampling station heads off the cheating that alienates shoppers. Too often, people ravage a tray of free samples. Researchers at University of British Columbia and University of Alberta saw that other shoppers who witness this happening are tempted to punish the offender. The mental turmoil inside the heads of these shoppers preoccupies their thinking, and preoccupied consumers often buy less.
     Make it easy to buy the product by having the merchandise for purchase adjacent to the sampling station. When the item is unfamiliar to typical shoppers, another advantage of doing this is that it places the item in a second location in the store, increasing the familiarity that leads to sales. Especially with the unfamiliar product lines, combine sampling with attention-getting store displays, couponing, temporary price reductions, or rebates. Extra excitement comes when the sampling is part of a special event at your store.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Label Freebies as Samples
Impact Shoppers with Creative Repetition
Scold Misbehaving Shoppers Publicly

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