Getting your product seen can be quite an endeavour in the UK market, which is completely oversaturated with choices. The beauty niche in particular is plagued with similar products from highly competitive brands. Product sampling in the UK began as a simple way to entice a customer into making a purchase, but as it gained popularity as a sales tactic, so increased the number of brands offering free beauty samples. In today’s world, brands have to approach product sampling differently in order to be more memorable. This is where partnering with the right product sampling agency can make a difference to your sales.

Is product sampling even effective?

Data from Euromonitor indicates that beauty samples are the third largest driver behind customers buying full-sized products, surpassed only by referrals from family and friends.

Multiple studies have shown that product sampling in-store can lead to increased product recall, drive impulse purchases, and increase top-of-mind awareness for brands. Apart from the added visibility, effective product sampling can also help to build trust in your brand, and stimulate valuable-word-of-mouth, creating a long-term opportunity for sales.

Market data indicates the tremendous opportunity behind product sampling in the UK market. Beyond the traditional approach of offering free beauty samples in-store, some brands have discovered that customers are even willing to pay for samples online, leading to the growth of several subscription-based sampling services like Smashbox, Birchbox, and more.

The main battle still takes place offline though, since an approximate 81% of beauty sales still happen in-store, including purchases for which the research and discovery process begin online. Capturing share-of-voice in-store is critical to success for beauty brands, and this is where a product sampling agency can help you gain a competitive edge in marketing your brand.

What can a product sampling agency do for you?

Product sampling agencies have years of skill in setting up experiences and activities to drive in-store sales.The three main benefits of hiring a product sampling agency in the UK are :

They help deliver meaningful experiences

It’s clear that a one-size-fits-all approach will not work to help your brand stand out in the competitive arena of the retail floor.

Product sampling displays in the UK have evolved well beyond a simple table and banner setup. Free beauty samples have become so commonplace, that having a stand, even one that looks good, may not be enough to capture customer interest. In fact, far from the free beauty sample itself – it is the experience and personalisation of receiving the sample that has become the new key to capturing customer interest.

A good product sampling agency can help you by tailoring a unique in-store experiencefor your customers that is both meaningful, and effective in increasing conversions.

They help you harness the power of data

One of the major limitations of product sampling is the difficulty in measuring its effectiveness as a marketing channel. It is hard to come by data that indicates customer purchase intent after receiving a free sample, especially on the shop floor. There is also no tracking of the lifetime value of the customer after they make the purchase, which can lead to a loss of long-term opportunity for your brand.

A product sampling agency helps to create a strategy that will not only result in increased conversions, but also help you capture data, which can be extremely valuable in delivering personalised recommendations to clients even after they leave the store. This data can be a goldmine for opportunities to cross sell, delivery loyalty rewards, and drive customer referrals.

They help your business be more efficient

Product sampling, while effective, is by no means a cheap activity. The cost of producing, transporting, and marketing free beauty samples may far exceed any amount earned from actual sales following the activity. What’s more,by adopting a universal approach to sampling, you could be wasting marketing efforts on a target audience that may not even necessarily be interested in the product – instead just interested in grabbing a free sample.

Partnering with an agency can help you be more efficient with sampling – from enabling you to decide upon profitable segments to focus your marketing efforts on, to providing personalised recommendations for samples that might actually result in some loyal customers, to calculating the return on investment for your marketing efforts.

While hiring a product sampling agency might seem a little unnecessary at first, you will find that their expertise and creativity are well worth the investment, especially when you consider what they can do for you.

As one of the most innovative product sampling agencies in the UK, we’ll be pleased to show you what our innovative and interactive platform can do for you. Just drop in your details below, and we’ll be in touch to show you how our unique technology helps you approach product sampling more effectively.



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Odore is an all-in-one digital platform for product and sampling campaigns