Does product sampling increase online sales?

Consumers love to try out new products, especially from brands they already know and trust. Product sampling puts those new products into consumers’ hands, allowing them to ‘try before they buy’. In turn, this builds a greater sense of trust and loyalty between your brand and your customers.

With 85% of consumers saying that if they like a sampled product, it would prompt them to purchase it again in the future, the potential to increase sales through product sampling is clear.

But how is product sampling done in eCommerce retailing?

Types of product sampling

 1 – Free product trials – sending vouchers for a free product sample, either via a direct mail campaign, digital email campaign, social media promotion or as part of existing online orders.

2 – Order sampling – including smaller, physical products within existing online orders. Some brands do this particularly well, taking it one step further by offering consumers a choice between different available samples, so they select the ones they’re most likely to use and purchase in the future.

3 – Partner sampling – distributing samples of your products, or vouchers to redeem samples, in orders placed with another brand. By selecting a brand that reaches your target consumers, you can increase your awareness and exposure amongst a new pool of prospects who are likely to engage with your brand.

eCommerce sampling

A key benefit of digital product sampling or ecommerce sampling vs instore sampling, is that the products offered can be much more tailored using available data to encourage onward purchases. For example, consumers are much more likely to want to sample products they’ve viewed multiple times but not added to the basket for checkout, or products based on their previous purchasing decisions or search behaviours.

Ecommerce sampling can offer a much more personalised marketing approach to your consumers, which prompts greater buy in to your brand.

Pairing ecommerce sampling with logistics

When looking to offer product samples – physically or digitally – it’s vital you’re including your logistics partner in the process.

For example, if you’re offering tailored physical mini product samples within existing online orders, they’ll need to be prepared and stocked to ensure the orders can be fulfilled seamlessly, with no disruption to the usual delivery expectations. Or, if you’re launching a direct marketing campaign where consumers can come online to claim their free samples, your logistics partner must be ready to fulfil the anticipated peak in demand to maintain trust.

Your logistics service is a crucial part of ecommerce sampling success. Whether consumers are visiting your brand for the first time in response to an offer, or receiving samples as part of their existing order with you, a seamless experience will prompt loyalty and repeat purchases.

However you decide to go about product sampling, it’s vital you’re including your logistics partner in the process to ensure sampling enhances rather than disrupts the customer experience. When it’s done well, sampling can help to build brand loyalty and referrals.

For more information on how product sampling can drive your business’ online sales, get in touch.