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Sample this!

Sampling is one of the most effective sales tactics that can be done in your store. But to do it right, go beyond simply serving crackers and cheese

Looking for a quick sales lift?
Try offering more samples. According to a U.S.-based study called “Report on In-store Sampling Effectiveness,” sampling can spike sales of an item by about 475% on the day of the event.

“On average, one in four samples handed to consumers results in a purchase,” says John Baird, president of InStore Focus, a company that manages sampling events in hundreds of stores across Canada. To get the most out of sampling, Baird offers the following advice:

  • Use sampling to promote new brand innovations, line extensions, as well as to call attention to new packaging. And don’t forget nonfoods, such as cleaning products.
  • Frozen food in particular makes a great sampler. Shoppers may be reluctant to spend $8 for an unfamiliar frozen entree. But once they try it, they’ll be more inclined to buy.
  • Staff need training so they can tell a good story about the product, its features, benefits and price.
  • Since food safety is always paramount, sampling staff should have food safety certification.
  • Quality control is essential to successful product sampling. Ensure all necessary equipment and supplies are in place.
  • When outsourcing a sampling event, double-check that the hired company has insurance to cover health and safety liabilities.
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