Re-imagining In-store Product Sampling & Demos

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Consumer shopping behaviors are changing faster than ever before! The global pandemic has pushed consumers onto the internet to get their dopamine rush from online shopping. In fact, over 4 trillion dollars was spent buying goods online in 2020, which is almost 30% more than the year prior. 

The truth is that the pandemic has accelerated consumer behavior online by 5 years and we are now living in a truly omni-channel world where consumers can click a button on their phone and groceries can get delivered right to their doorsteps. Yes it is indeed convenient, but it comes with a cost.

A major hurdle that a lot of food and beverage brands are facing in this “new normal” is getting new customers or existing customers to try out their products. The current COVID variant has many grocery retailers uncertain about instore sampling which was a vital part for food and beverage brands driving new product trial and new lifetime customers.

In the past, instore demo events were not able to get the most value out of customers. Traditionally, consumers would redeem their free sample at the demo booth, and leave without giving any type of feedback or contact information. A word from the wise, if food and beverage companies do not adopt a new sampling marketing strategy they will get left behind. 

Fast forward to 2021, and now CPG companies are experimenting with a new approach known as contactless product sampling, where innovative sampling companies like Sampoll use conversational AI technology to collect crucial first-party and zero party consumer data in near real-time rather than waiting several months for an overpriced store level report that 

Maximize Your Instore Promotions

Let’s face it, we don’t live in the same world. Covid-19 has forced companies to change rapidly and in some aspects permanently. During the pandemic it was impossible to set up an instore demonstration. Essentially half of the Instore demo companies in the US went out of business due to the sudden halt in wet sampling! This forced companies to innovate ways to organize product demonstrations. This has given birth to new and creative ways to get products in consumer’s hands.  Retail technology companies like Sampoll  facilitate rebate programs (50-100% off), promoted and distributed via artificially intelligent branded chat experiences and it does all the redemption and fulfillment of the rebates for you!

Digital consumer sampling programs garner invaluable information both before and after they claim their offer. For example,  indispensable data points such as product reviews, customer persona details, email info, etc. This data can be used to enhance your product, improve customer relationship with a personalized touch, and in return level up the customer experience. To add to that Sampoll has created a way to retarget customers and encourage them to buy again while simultaneously capturing additional product insights.

The Future of Product Demos

To survive and thrive in the CPG industry means adapting and making necessary changes. In this day and age that means companies must have some type of online presence coupled with social media. Companies can now build brand awareness, get thousands of impressions, and gather key data to provide a more personalized customer experience but it cant stop there.

Unlike traditional in store demonstrations, the future of product sampling begins online and drives the consumer to make an instore purchase. This is carried out by capturing the consumer while they surf the net on their mobile or other devices, similar to the way traditional instore sampling captured the folks perusing the aisles of grocery stores, but in a digital fashion, and with the ability to reach tens of thousands of potential hyper targeted customers ! 

It is important to note that both an online and offline presence are essential for CPG brands to thrive. Companies should strategically provide traditional retail outlets, as well as the opportunity for consumers to shop online. Furthermore by incorporating a “Click to Brick'' marketing strategy, CPG companies can leverage the power of the internet and the brick and mortar experience from their retail partners. 

One advantage with the “Click to Brick'' strategy is the ability to hyper target qualified shoppers to click your offer, and entice them to visit local retail brick and mortar locations that sell your product. While instore demos provide a physical touchpoint which still serves its purpose, it lacks the scalability, actionable insights, and is cost prohibitive.

Here are some of the benefits of utilizing this omni-channel business model:

  • Brick and mortar physical locations allow consumers to experience your product firsthand 
  • Allowing customers to pick up full size products in store allows for in home sampling, and sharing amongst others within the household
  • Build brand loyalty faster by running online ad campaigns and inspiring customers to pick up your product locally at a nearby store
  • Reach more potential customers by targeting responsive audiences
  • Boost sales by running more efficient product sampling campaigns
  • Gather imperative data that can be used for retargeting customers and building audience personas
  • Guide the consumer along each facet of the purchasing journey

CPG Brands - Step up your product sampling strategy for your retail accounts in a scalable and intelligent way. Try Sampoll's new contactless + staffless product sampling solutions to drive more product trial and collect valuable first-party customer data!

Contact a Sampoll rep today!