Herengracht 562, 1017CH Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The development of sampling in the cosmetics industry


Sampling has changed considerably in recent years, including cosmetics sampling. Research from Euromonitor International shows that a free sample is the fourth largest influencer in the purchasing process. Only previous experiences of the consumer, recommendations from friends and the level of the price turn out to be just a little more important for the consumer. In this blog we give you insight into the latest developments in sampling in the cosmetics industry.

1. Traditional sampling

The cosmetics industry has also started sampling, as we all know. In the offline store the consumer received a free sample when buying a product. This is the simplest form of sampling, but still works extremely effectively. In the blog about the effects of sampling campaigns, research by Arbitron and Edison Media Research showed that no less than 35% of consumers who try a sample buy the product in the same store trip. More than 81% of consumers even come to a store for a sample.

2. Webshop sampling

A few years ago, webshop sampling was introduced in addition to offline sampling. The principle works the same as in a physical store. When purchasing a product, the consumer receives a free sample to try at home. Whereas in the past only cosmetic samples were sent with cosmetic products, now also cosmetic samples are sent with other products.

3. Beautybox with subscription form

Of course, the cosmetics industry also saw the opportunities of the online world. A box that is entirely focused on cosmetics is a so-called beauty box that you receive as a consumer for a certain amount each month. The beauty box contains samples from the largest cosmetic brands. What we are seeing now is that this market is enormously saturated. Because of this saturation, the beauty box websites have turned into real e-commerce web shops.

4. Advent calendars

In recent years, the major cosmetics companies have started making so-called advent calendars. The calendar has a number of boxes with different samples. One box may be opened per day. An advent calendar is a smart way of sampling, because you give the consumer a gift not once, but for a whole month. These calendars are especially popular in the festive months.

An advent calendar does not give the consumer one gift, but several gifts throughout the month!

5. The emergence of sample Apps

The latest development in the cosmetics industry is the emergence of so-called sample apps. With these applications you can let the consumer try samples, without actually sending a sample. The consumer only needs to take a selfie and afterwards use the application to see what the products look like. A sample app also filters the products that best suit the skin of the consumer.

The biggest advantage of these apps is that they need to make much fewer physical samples. This has particular advantages in terms of costs and the environment.

6. Newest developments

The latest development in the field of cosmetics sampling is that billion-dollar company Amazon has started a technical trial with sending samples based on their own data. With this test, cosmetic brands can send a sample to American customers of Amazon for a fee. The samples are sent based on the Amazon data, making the sample more relevant and effective. There are no e-commerce companies of this size that work with this.

In the Netherlands, does not (yet) see the added value of this form of sampling. Zalando, on the other hand, has started an investigation into the possibilities for sampling via their webshop.

More sampling insights?

At Lime Factory we have the latest insights and information about sampling. Curious about how we can use that information to make your sampling campaign successful? Then contact us for the possibilities.

Leave a comment