How effective is product sampling? Stats for 2018

By January 2, 2018General

There’s nothing quite like getting something for free.

When you want to earn the attention of your target audience, draw focus towards a new product, or simply generate loyalty among your existing customers, one of the best things you can do is simply give your target market a taste of what makes you so special.

Plenty of companies have heard of product sampling before today, yet a surprising number of brands still aren’t investing in this strategy for their own business. Now that 2018 is finally here, we thought we’d examine the numbers that prove product sampling is worth a second-look.

How product samples prompt purchases

Customers today want to try a product before they buy it. This process helps them to bypass the potential “risk” of sampling something new because they can instantly see the benefit of the item.

According to the EventTrack Survey from EMI, 65% of customers will purchase a product or service promoted at an event. When asked why they made the purchase, 78% responded that they were happy they had the chance to try it first.

Additionally, a “Product Sampling Study” conducted by Arbitron and Edison found that 35% of customers who try a sample will buy that same sample on their shopping trip. Additionally, 24% of people will replace existing items on their shopping list with the sampled product.

How product samples augment awareness

The benefits of product sampling aren’t exclusively linked to direct sales either. One of the biggest things that modern companies want to achieve when it comes to building their brand, is stronger brand awareness.

According to respondents in a study, 81% of customers will approach a branded display if they think they’re going to get something for free. This means that you’re instantly more likely to capture the attention of your customers if they think they can get something from you.

Opportunities for exposure don’t stop with events and conferencing too. Product sampling and word of mouth marketing work together hand-in-hand. Nielsen found that around 59% of customers are more likely to tell their friends about a product after they’ve received a free sample.

Once you’ve nabbed your customers, they’re also more likely to stick with your brand, with reports showing that 85% of customers who sample a product agree that they would buy it again in the future.

If you’re looking for a way to attract and retain customers, while increasing sales at the same time, then product sampling could be the answer.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442, or email us on