What is contactless product sampling for CPG Brands?

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

It goes without saying that conventional in-store sampling has been practiced by a variety of CPG brands throughout history because it works. Studies show that 73% of consumers are more likely to buy an item if they get to try it first.

However, these traditional practices come with limitations for brands. For example, there is a lack of first-party customer data that can be used for retargeting customers. In addition, any in-person product sampling model must follow sanitary guidelines and maintain social distancing in this post-pandemic world. Other limitations are:

  • Inefficient use of time for CPG owners and managers when compared to digital contactless product sampling
  • Costly due to the need for in-person staff and in-store demo fees
  • Requires CPG brands to manually schedule and pay for time slots with their retailer partners to set up in-person activation events

Benefits of contactless product sampling for CPG brands

This is where contactless product sampling comes into play. Contactless is one of the newest and most seamless types of product sampling ideas being leveraged by innovative brands and CPG marketers. There are different types of contactless product sampling companies. For example, some use contactless delivery, and some companies drive consumers directly into retail stores to pick up their free products like they do with Sampoll. No longer will you as a brand have to deal with poorly trained staff at product tasting events and keeping tabs to make sure they even show up for their shifts!

Consumers are simply instructed to go find their product at a specific retail location like Whole Foods, ACME Stores, or Walmart. They can even go pick up their products the same day! This is a stark contrast to other virtual product sampling companies which make users wait up to 4-6 weeks for their product sample bags or boxes due to a shipping-based product delivery business model. And to make matters worse most consumers do not qualify for the free products they sign up for so they give away their personal information and receive nothing in exchange. This does not make a lot of sense if you ask a lot of consumers, and It's quite frustrating, to say the least.

Some other key benefits of contactless product sampling include:

  • Inspiring user-generated content - extremely valuable for CPG brands
  • Helps increase brand loyalty through direct-to-consumer engagement
  • Increase ROI due to higher reach and impressions
  • CRM opt-in capabilities
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Progressive marketing model with higher conversion rates
  • Accurately target interested audiences and gather key insights

Limits of traditional in-store product sampling

Traditional in-store product sampling can be frustrating for some CPG brands. Sampoll has talked directly with hundreds of brands all who mention it can be very time-consuming, inefficient, and costly to run in-store demos.

As a matter of fact, it costs some national brands as much as $165 to hire staff and set up in-store demos for 4 hours at Whole Foods. In addition, this type of product sampling does not guarantee to target the appropriate audience for CPG brands. Oftentimes consumers will sample products and don’t purchase or leave any type of feedback or valuable data.

If this sounds familiar it can feel like your CPG brand is literally wasting precious inventory and marketing dollars and you have nothing to show for it. Training and scheduling outside temporary in-store demo staff take time away from you running your business! Most of them do not represent your brand in an accurate way and half of the time they do not show up to store events! It never feels like your marketing dollars are spent well with in-store demos.

Moreover, traditional in-store product sampling simply is not as efficient as its contactless counterpart. The two can not be compared when it comes to scalability and data-driven targeting. You might only get 100-200 unqualified shoppers to walk by your in-store booth at the grocery store but with tools like Sampoll you can target thousands of qualified shoppers in a single month that live near your retailer partners!

Become an industry leader by using contactless product sampling

Contactless product sampling is the future of product sampling marketing and product testing. Through the use of artificial intelligence, you can gather critical information about your consumers before and after the digital sampling process. Important data such as sample product reviews can be used for improving the consumer experience and building brand value.

With contactless product sampling, you do not have to waste your precious time and dollars training staff, or manually scheduling in-store demos with retailers. In addition, by leveraging the power of online advertising, your campaigns will reach interested audiences at scale. Your ad placements will be shown to literally thousands of potential customers within a 15-mile radius of your retail partners. Lastly, your campaigns can run for an entire month versus traditional demo events which are much more limited to just a few days.

Fun fact: 63 Percent of Shopping Journeys Start Online (Think with Google)

The future of digital sampling

It's simply a no-brainer that food and beverage companies should start to experiment with contactless product sampling. Especially in these uncertain times, where we simply can not rely on the traditional ways of interacting with shoppers. That means moving forward and leading the way by adopting new and improved marketing strategies.

As a CPG brand, it is critical to generate sales velocity and get people to try your product. You are competing with well-established brands that have a very loyal customer base and massive marketing budgets to stay “top-of-mind”. By using contactless product sampling, you can quickly build brand awareness, loyalty and target specific audiences to try your products in a more intelligent and cost-effective way! Not to mention, it’s COVID-safe.  

Online campaigns are highly efficient and convert more customers than traditional in-store product sampling. Contactless product sampling will help drive more revenue which is vital for CPG brands. It also helps brands build great relationships with their retailers by increasing foot traffic in their stores through click-to-brick product sampling tools like Sampoll.  

Want to explore new ways of getting your CPG product in more qualified customers' hands to try out for free? Contact a Sampoll rep today!