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5 Reasons to consider digital product sampling as soon as it is possible to ship the non-essentials

These are unprecedented times that none of us has lived through before.

In all likelihood, we are now heading for a global recession, or at the very least a prolonged period of economic uncertainty, stalled transactions and lower revenues. High unemployment and crushed consumer confidence will translate into lower consumer spending and delayed purchases.

There is no playbook for how to build consumer brands in the middle and after a global pandemic. So, what can you do?

We are all familiar with the famous quote, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. In other words, the strategies that marketers have used until now to build their brands may not be applicable now.

Even though there is a lot of business uncertainty you also don’t have the time and opportunity to completely redraft your entire marketing strategy.

Product sampling has been part of the majority of consumer brands’ marketing toolkit for decades.

We have put together a few ideas on how you can leverage digital product sampling to drive consumer awareness, adoption & advocacy for your brands in our current economic climate.

1. Traditional media may not be the best investment right now

Traditional media is totally inundated with news flow on coronavirus.

Consumers are preoccupied with the COVID-19 impact on their personal & professional lives and turn to traditional media to get an update on the situation and any indication on when it can come to an end. It is very hard to compete for their attention.

At the same time, everyone has much more time, very few options of how to spend it and spends a lot of time on social media.

Digital product sampling can be advertised on Facebook or Instagram and can create a product experience in the safety and comfort of consumers’ own homes. Consumers can touch, taste & smell the product which creates a much deeper connection than any other marketing stimulus.

2. In-store sampling is impossible at the moment

Traditional media is totally inundated with news flow on coronavirus.

Consumers are preoccupied with the COVID-19 impact on their personal & professional lives and turn to traditional media to get an update on the situation and any indication on when it can come to an end. It is very hard to compete for their attention.

At the same time, everyone has much more time, very few options of how to spend it and spends a lot of time on social media.

Digital product sampling can be advertised on Facebook or Instagram and can create a product experience in the safety and comfort of consumers’ own homes. Consumers can touch, taste & smell the product which creates a much deeper connection than any other marketing stimulus.

3. An accelerated shift from offline to online

Coronavirus and the lockdown have accelerated the ongoing shift from physical to online.

Although many consumers still love the in-store shopping experience, people are rapidly shifting online given the new reality of social distancing and imposed isolation. Even those that weren’t fans of online shopping, had to learn how to order online. Much to their surprise, they saw how easy and convenient it is.

Even after the lockdown is finished, many people will stick to online shopping, either because they will still be afraid of going to crowded places or simply because they got used to the convenience of online shopping.

In an online retail environment where shoppers can’t touch, smell or taste your brand, many consumers rely heavily on the so-called social proof; ratings & reviews. 

Using a free product sample as an incentive allows brands to capture many new ratings & reviews and therefore establish the credibility and social proof needed to encourage consumers to buy the products

4. Small pleasures as a coping mechanism

Consumer confidence is already low, and the looming economic recession is likely to reduce consumer earning and spending power.

As many consumers are looking to cut discretionary spending (just as during the previous recessions) they will be interested in “small pleasures” they can enjoy in the comfort of their own home.

Digital product sampling can help brands drive awareness and trial for these types of products. Once the situation comes back to normal, brands would have got the attention of new consumers, built up their CRM database and have the opportunity to build further engagement via emails, phone or social media.

5. Build and maintain lasting consumer relationships.

At some point in the future, our lives will return to some version of “normal”. How do you maintain any consumer relationships that you built before, during and after the COVID-19 situation?

Free product sample allows brands to build a list of consumers who have tried their product so that they can create personalized marketing messages to retain that consumer well into the future.

Key Takeaways

In the next few months, we hope to return to some kind of normal life.  But we already know that it won’t be the same. It will be the new normal. We saw huge changes in the way consumers shop & consume after each crisis.

Product sampling has been employed by many successful brands for decades because it works. Digital product sampling is much more efficient. It allows you to create a physical product experience in a targeted and measurable way and can help you build your brand today, tomorrow and well into the future.