Saturday, April 14, 2012

Label Freebies as Samples

Used properly, free samples build future sales of a product. Here are four shopper psychology tips based on academic research and in-store experiences:
  • Sampling is especially useful when the product is a new way of satisfying a routine need and the experience of using the product is difficult to describe or demonstrate. An example is Pretzel Crisps, a flat pretzel cracker.
  • Make the sampling itself a special event. Put the sampling station in a well-lit, interesting area of your store where a number of people can gather at the same time. We want shoppers to be attracted by seeing others sampling and then not feel crowded when doing the sampling. We want the shoppers to hang around long enough to get their questions answered by friendly staff who are handing out the samples.
  • Make it easy to buy the product by having the merchandise for purchase adjacent to the sampling station.
  • Sampling a satisfying product at no cost builds the sort of gratitude which can result in the consumer buying not only more of the sampled product at the full price, but also other products from the merchant.
     At the same time, other research findings underline the importance of presenting the free product clearly as a sample. In consumer behavior studies conducted at University of California-Berkeley, University of Southern California, Stony Book University, and Indiana University, researchers found that if a product is offered for free, the shopper becomes less likely to buy the product at full price afterwards. What happens is that when getting it at no charge, consumers conclude consciously or subconsciously that the product must be low quality. This is a terrible first impression to leave with the consumer about a new product. It also makes you look bad for giving what appears to be a low-quality gift.
     The way to avoid this problem, some of the researchers discovered, was to tell the shopper in signage, advertising, and salesperson-customer conversation that the free item is being offered as a sample because you believe the shopper will enjoy the product and want to buy it in the future.
     The free product should be prominently labeled as a sample, and it's best if the free item is in a size smaller than any of the standard sizes offered for sale.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Give Free Samples of New Products
Ask Customers Where They Get Pre-Purchase Info
Stage Special Events to Build Sales

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