The Future of In-Store Sampling Staff

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

In store sampling has always been the gold standard when it comes to immersive experiences to create awareness and drive initial sales in brick and mortar stores. This type of instore advertising allows potential customers the chance to engage one-on-one with promotional events staff aka brand ambassadors to create more personable and memorable experiences. Brand ambassadors are not only creating that initial impression of the brand but also serve as an extension of the sales team to ultimately drive a purchase. Brands often see a lift in sales in the days after an event takes place but the impact is most often short lived and isn’t a sustainable solution for long-term store level sales growth.

Which brings us to the several drawbacks that come with using in store sampling for CPG product promotion. To do this at scale it becomes cost prohibitive and time consuming when you factor in hourly wage expenses, training, staff reliability, and any data or reporting to assess in store sampling effectiveness. 

Therefore, it is imperative that CPG brands also incorporate more scalable engagement programs such as contactless digital product sampling campaigns. Here are a few other limitations of the in store sampling model:

  • In person product demonstration events are limited to retail store hours and instore staff availability.
  • An inconsistent representation of your brand. You only get one shot at a first impression.
  • Hassle of coordinating promotion events with local retailers and staff availability.
  • Your audience is extremely limited in that the only exposure your brand receives is with the shoppers that happen to be in the store, at a specific time, and near the sampling booth.
  • Limited customer data gathered during and after conducting these sampling events which leaves you with little to no transparency to the performance.

New Form of Sampling Marketing

An alternative and innovative way of sampling product is to enact an online based product sampling strategy. This strategy involves the use of a powerful virtual chat ambassador that would replace in store sampling staff, and allow customers to engage whenever and wherever they are. 

Not only is this online solution truly scalable but you are guaranteed to collect valuable customer data like e-mail, first name, and interests to build upon and create new customer personas and audiences. This information is critical to achieve success in an online and mobile first world.

Digital product sampling campaigns are more efficient and have a few significant benefits when compared to the traditional in store model:

  • A consistent and optimized message that will properly represent your brand and lead to an engaged audience.
  • Convenience of sampling products the same day in a local store or via an online grocery delivery service right to your doorstep the same or next day
  • A more efficient use of marketing dollars based on data driven analytics.
  • Chat ambassadors that guide customers through delightful and unique branded chat experiences instead of static one-dimensional surveys or forms. 
  • A single contactless and staffless product sampling campaign can run continuously for days, weeks, or months.
  • Reach thousands of hyper targeted audiences so you are getting samples into the most qualified customers' hands.
  • Leverage of multiple online platforms to promote and entice consumers to trial products.
  • Gather critical first party and zero party data to further optimize campaigns and increase ROI.

For more information on digital product trial, check out Sampoll and speak to a rep today!