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Product Sampling Boosts Awareness, Propensity to Purchase, and Sales

Product sampling reaches 70 million American and 9 million Canadian consumers every quarter. According to a “Product Sampling Study” conducted by Arbitron and Edison Media Research, one-third of customers who sample a product, will buy the sampled product in the same shopping trip. In addition, 58% of those surveyed reported they would buy the product again.

In the study, consumers sampling the product were grouped into three categories: Acquisitions (those new to the sampled product); Conversions (those who had heard of the product but had never bought it); and Retentions (those who had previously purchased the product). The results revealed that 85% of Retentions and 60% of Conversations said they would purchase the sampled product in the future. Importantly, 47% of Acquisitions said they would purchase the product in the future.

Other findings:
• 35% claimed they purchased the sampled product on the same day: 26% of Acquisitions bought the product right away, as did 19% of Conversions and 31% of Retentions.
• 24% of those surveyed claimed that a sampled product had specifically replaced an item that they had planned to buy: 20% of Acquisitions were planning to make the switch, as were 33% of Conversions and 18% of Retentions.

This translates into an immediate and long-reaching impact on consumers with a high return-on-investment for the marketing and sales budget. The study shows that a sampling approach is both effective in making new customers aware of products, while establishing a better position with those consumers who have considered the product before.

MetroActive, a business organization based out of Toronto, Canada with over 13,500 members is fully aware of the power of sampling. The organization allows companies to sample their products and services to its members, mostly corporate executives, business owners, entrepreneurs and other business professionals through its “Member Offer Program”. These highly sought after consumers have the highest disposable incomes and an appetite to spend their money. For only $20 a month companies can offer samples and discounts on their products and services to the MetroActive members as part of the membership package.

About the study: Arbitron and Edison Media Research conducted a national telephone survey from January 18 to February 15, 2008. 1,857 respondents, ages 12 and older, were selected at random from Arbitron’s 2007 fall diarykeepers. In geographic areas where Arbitron diarykeepers were not available (representing 8% of the population), a supplemental sample was interviewed through random selection.

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