5 Ways Product Trial (Sampling) Keeps CPG Brands On Shelves

Monday, December 18, 2023

One of your worst fears as a CPG brand is getting dropped by your key retailer due to low sales. Yikes! But in reality, we both know it has happened to many consumer brands who were doing so great in the beginning, but then fell flat. 

There could be several reasons why retailers are kicking their product suppliers to the curb. Due to the recent economic environment, inflation has caused a major push and pull between retailers and suppliers. Most CPG brands have increased the prices of their products, while retailers are taking the hit, causing consumers to shop at discount stores instead.  

Retailers are now being vocal about their attempts to lower prices for their customers to the public. So if they have to part ways with suppliers who have too much pushback and or low sales, then they are out of their retail doors. 

One way to help prevent your products from being dropped is by doing a product trial campaign. A product trial campaign is a CPG marketing tactic to allow consumers to try your product for free, in an attempt to increase sales and bring more attention to your brand. 

Remember when in-store sampling was a big thing before COVID-19? Think of this as a fun, digital way for new customers to try your product risk-free without the hassle of hiring staff to distribute your samples.

Here are ways a free product trial campaign will help keep your products on the shelves and your retailers happy. 

Increase Sales Velocity

Sales velocity is one of the top metrics your brand can measure to see the overall success of your products. It shows your sales rate weekly and how well your product measures up next to your competitors.

With digital product trials, your customers are ringing up your products in your retailer’s system triggering a sale. Even though you are giving your consumers a digital free coupon, your retailer still counts it as a sale. 

Running this campaign will help move your products off the shelves, increase your sales velocity, and keep your retailers happy. Retailers love it when products are quickly moved on and off the shelves. Not only does that help your brand’s sales quota, but it also helps the retailer’s bottom line as well. With digital product trials, you can move products off the shelves faster than your competitors. 

Have an Advantage Edge Over Competitors

Chances are, your competitors aren’t using a free product trial campaign to help push sales of their products. Here is where you will have the advantage over your shelf neighbor competitors. Even if the next product is considered better than your product, consumers will pick yours due to offering a free trial. 

You know that people love free things and will jump at the opportunity to do a great deal. So when your competitors aren’t offering a similar deal, the consumer will choose your product to try all because it was considered free. This takes away the risk factor of trying a new product, potentially hating it, and a loss of money. 

Allowing consumers to experience the unique features and benefits of a product firsthand can create a lasting impression and increase the likelihood of repeat business. This will help build brand awareness and a lasting relationship with your customers. 

Increase Brand Awareness

One reason why you are seeing low sales is because no one knows about your brand. No matter if you are a newcomer in the CPG industry or a seasoned brand, you know that brand awareness is important. Other than utilizing social media to promote your brand, you can also use product trials as a way to introduce your product to a targeted customer base. 

Even if no one knows about your brand yet, if you shout the words, “FREE SAMPLES” on your social media, people will become intrigued on how to obtain such items. Not only is this a great way to spread the word about your products, but it's also a great way to build a loyal customer base. 

This will lead to word-of-mouth marketing where a customer will tell a friend, who will also tell a friend and will share their experience on their social media. 

When customers have positive trial experiences and find the product lives up to its promises, they are more likely to trust the brand, leading to long-term relationships and repeat business.

Build a Loyal Customer Base

Speaking of customer base, you can build a loyal fan base solely off of free product trials. How so? Think about this. 

Remember when we talked about word-of-mouth marketing? Here is how it will work. One person tries your product for the first time, using the free sample trial you offered. They love it. They love it so much that they are excited to tell their loved ones, friends, coworkers, and the stranger standing in line next to them at the supermarket about it. 

Then, they will tell their friends, who will tell their friends, and the next thing you know, you will see people on social media raving about your product.

Do you see the pattern? In return, you will create a loyal customer base who will be excited to try other products from your brand. If you continue to nurture your consumers with great engagement, learn more about them with data, and review their feedback, you will build a community of long-term shoppers for your business. 

Create a Sense of Urgency

You know that you have a great product and you believe that doing a product trial will help keep you in business. But how else will you get people to take swift action to buy your product? By creating a sense of urgency. 

Using trigger words like, “Act now will supplies last”, “Take advantage of this one-time offer”, or “Try it while it’s free” will create urgency for consumers to try your product while it is free, convenient, and local.

Customers naturally have FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome. They don’t want to feel like they missed out on a great deal because the next time they see it, the offer will expire. The feeling of regret is powerful, and that’s why this marketing tactic works.

You can take advantage of this to help move your products off the shelves to increase your sales rate. It’s not about tricking your customers. It’s about giving them a great product risk-free that will help satisfy their wants and needs. Creating a sense of urgency will help your retailers stay happy and keep your product on the shelves. 

Why Choose Sampoll

Here at Sampoll, we offer several programs that will help keep your products on the shelves and your retailers happy. One program that has the most success is our product trial program, which helps CPG brands like yours increase brand awareness, sales velocity, and customer loyalty

We do this by partnering with your brand to create a digital rebate offer for your customers to buy first and receive a cash-back rebate later. Here they can buy your product knowing that they will receive their money back, risk-free. 

We also help expand your audience by using our multi-channel consumer targeting capabilities, to target consumers based on their interests and location to introduce your product to them. 

Our AI-powered Chat Ambassador, “Sam”, then builds customer relationships by keeping them engaged, and educating them on your product, while collecting customer feedback. 

So instead of wasting your marketing dollars on obtaining any customer, Sampoll will use our multi-channels to target your ideal consumer, who will likely buy or try your product. 

If you are ready to see what Sampoll has to offer your CPG brand, book a 15-minute demo with one of their sales reps.