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The effect of sampling on the consumer

Sampling is a good way to promote a (new) product. It has a certain influence on the consumer, which makes the product more attractive. But how does this work exactly? In this blog we will tell you more about the effect of sampling on the consumer. Curious? Read on!

The push strategy

What is it that makes sampling such a good way to sell a product? One of the explanations for this is the push strategy. This strategy is also often used in a sampling campaign. Most samples are distributed in stores, on the street or added to magazines or webshop orders. The sample is thus offered, or pushed to the consumer.

The threshold to become acquainted with a product is therefore low. Consumers do not have to make any effort for the product. Offering a sample to a consumer therefore has a positive effect. Where consumers usually seek and pay for products, the consumer is now offered and free of charge.

The foot-in-the-door effect

Another explanation for the success of sampling is the foot-in-the-door effect. The foot-in-the-door effect is that consumers are more inclined to buy the product after receiving a free sample. This is because after taking a sample, they experience a kind of guilt when they do not buy the product. The company that offers the sample already has a foot inside the consumer’s home and is therefore more difficult to reject.

The foot-in-the-door effect has even more influence on the consumer when the sample is offered by an employee of the company. This occurs, for example, when the sample is handed out in a supermarket or during an event. The consumer is then more inclined to buy the product. When the employee also offers arguments for buying the product, the chance of a purchase is even greater.

The reciprocity principle

In line with the foot-in-the-door effect, an explanation for the success of sampling is the reciprocity principle. The reciprocity principle is an influencing technique and works as follows: I prove you a service and I hope that you later reward me with a reciprocal service. This happens in daily life, both on a personal and business level.

When a company offers a sample to the customer, the company naturally gives away something for free. The company proves the consumer, as it were, a service and hopes that the consumer will later reward them by buying the product. The company can also be rewarded when the consumer names or promotes the product.

Opposite effect

However, the sample you give must be unexpected and meaningful. If this is not the case, then the sample can have the opposite effect. When people get used to the sample or get it multiple times or can request it, they may abuse it here. The sample then no longer has the right effect, since the chance of a purchase is reduced.

It is therefore wise to think carefully about the type of sample and the target group of the product. Ask yourself questions such as: “Do I run the risk of calling on bargain hunters who fall outside the target group?”, “Does sampling this product provide enough to cover the costs of the campaign?”. If the answer to these questions is negative, then it is good to think again about the sampling of the product.

Sampling campaign at Lime Factory

The effect of sampling on the consumer can therefore be quite large and can be explained on the basis of different theories. As a company it is good to offer an experience of the product in addition to sending a message. At Lime Factory we can help you. Do you want more information about our approach or do you have a question? Please contact us!

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