Study: In-Store Sampling Inspires Repeat Purchases

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It's no secret that sampling programs can get people to try and occasionally purchase an item. However, new research shows that such free giveaways can also help drive long-term sales and increase purchases of other items from the product line.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Whether it is a new product launch, line extension or established brand, households that participated in sampling programs drove a 475 percent sales lift the day of the event compared to non-sampled households, per the "Report on In-store Sampling Effectiveness" conducted by Knowledge Networks-PDI on behalf of the marketing services company PromoWorks.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Those who sampled an item were 11 percent more likely to purchase it again during the 20-week period that followed. They were also 6 percent more likely to buy another item from the brand franchise.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> "It's always been understood to a certain degree that there is a lift during the event. The big 'a-ha' is the long-term impact and the effect a sampling event has on the franchise overall," said Neal Heffernan, svp/GM for Knowledge Networks-PDI.<br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> Participants were 9 times more likely to purchase a line extension, the day of the sampling event. The sales lift continued&#x2014;up 107 percent after a 20-week period. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> For older, established brands, the sales lift the day of the event was 177 percent greater than the control group, which received no samples. It remained up 57 percent after a 20-week period. <br clear="none" /> <br clear="none" /> The sampling event also casts a halo over the entire brand portfolio, said Heffernan. The parent brand of the product sampled received a 107 percent sales lift the day of the event and 21 percent sales increase after a 20-week period.