Brick-and-mortar shops are enjoying brisk business, and Forrester predicts that by 2024, 72% of retail sales in the U.S. will occur in physical stores (with similar trends in Canada). The reason? Customers want to test products before purchasing.
A recent Marketing Brew article notes that while in-store shopping (and sampling) was unthinkable not too long ago, many direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have been moving into physical locations, pop-ups, or entered partnerships with larger retailers in order to meet their customers’ need to assess products before they buy. This also gives the proprietor a chance to speak directly with the customer about the product in question, answer questions and, as per the article, “really walk them through” the product.
For brands not ready (or unable) to move into a brick-and-mortar store it’s still possible to meet clients via the virtual realm, either by having them download an app for a sample, or by requesting one through a company’s website (and thereby getting customer data).
Free samples can well turn into sales. As per the Marketing Brew article:
While Burget said Three Ships loses money on its [mail] sample orders, the long-term value surpasses that of those from Meta ads, with results showing that customers who sign up for samples spend more money over time. “We’re just kind of playing a long game,” she said.
Linchpin SEO lists the benefits of sample marketing, which may include:
- Creating brand awareness,
- Fostering customer loyalty,
- Introducing new products, and
- increasing conversions to sales.
Both Linchpin and More Business offer good tips for using samples as a product promotion strategy. Read both articles to see if the sample strategy is right for your DTC business.