The Science Behind Giving Freebies: Do They Work?

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Going out, you might find several kiosks giving samples of their products. And usually, they belong to the food industry. Even if you’ve already eaten, you can’t deny you have gone for those free samples yourself. And, in most cases, you’d want more after taking a free bite. And so, there they have it—potentially turning these new cravings into a sales conversion. Now you have an insight into the basics of free samplings.

Take note that it’s not just the food industry that benefits from giving off in-store samplings; it might go well for other brands, too, with some exceptions. If your business is all about manufacturing yachts, then it’s understandable you can’t do some product sampling. But others like the beauty industry, giving people freebies can effectively skyrocket sales.

According to the “Product Sampling Study” by Arbitron and Edison Media Research, giving freebies allows brands to reach 70 million consumers every quarter. And one-third among them will certainly buy the product they sampled. In their survey,  58% would claim they’d want to buy such a product again.

Here’s the Science Behind Giving Freebies

So, what is it with customers and free samplings? Before you give away some stuff, make sure you know what attracts customers to freebies and the power it holds over increasing sales:

The rule of reciprocity

When another person does a good thing to you, you’re likely to treat them back in a good way too. This is called the reciprocity phenomenon. The same way goes for businesses, particularly when you offer freebies to customers. Customers would then feel compelled to do something good in return for having been given a sample.

Joe Pinsker said on his blog for The Atlantic, “Samplers with a heightened awareness of the presence of others at the sampling station may feel a level of social ‘pressure’ to make a post-sample purchase.” This means social pressure becomes a huge motivator for them to purchase after having the free samples.

The buyer decision process

Every time buyers decide to buy something, they go through a buyer decision process. This means realizing they have a need, problem, or desire, and so they seek information about possible solutions and their alternatives. Their decision would be influenced by the product’s availability, price, and personal preferences. Offering them a freebie can help sway them to decide that your product is a good choice.

The customer loyalty

Consumers fall into one of these three categories: “acquisitions,” people who are new to the product; “conversions,” those who have heard about the product before but have never tried purchasing one; “retentions,” people who have bought the product previously.

When you’re giving free samples, you aren’t just trying to reach a wider audience and potentially gaining more buyers, but you’re also making “retentions” as well. Giving samples is a great way to ensure your customer’s loyalty to your brand.

How Giving-Off Samplings Can Increase Your Sale

Now that you know about the psychology that backs the power of free samplings, here are how they can boost your sales:

Raises brand awareness

Free samples can promote brands that consumers are less aware of. For instance, you might be a new personalized gift franchise situation alongside other well-known food stores or gift shops. When people buy gifts, they are more likely to pick up other well-known brands and not even look at yours.

Freebies can instantly put your brand in front of customers. They also allow you to make others aware of your campaign or promotion.

Builds customer excitement

Once you give away something for free, you create an immediate stir around. Who doesn’t love free chocolate drinks or gift samples? Everyone loves free things, so if you want to make a buzz about your products, give some for free.

Builds trust in your brand

When your brand is new or you’re introducing new products (for well-established brands), you are still in the process of building trust among your customers. This will entail many elements and a long-term process. Building trust can be through word of mouth, social media engagement, or the quickest way—free samples. It’s the best way to convince your customers that your product is worth it before they can commit to buying it.

Drives more website traffic and sign-ups

Giving sample products is also the best time to collect the contact details of prospective buyers. You can give your customers a free sample in exchange for giving their email address, liking a page on a social network, or signing up for a newsletter. These sign-ups can greatly scale up your marketing base.

Increases the chance of conversion

And finally, conversion, your ultimate goal. This is when you turn your “acquisitions” into “conversions.” Free samples, in the end, win at making people feel compelled to buy the product.

This isn’t the time to skimp on giving free samples of your products. Boost your sales up by following this strategy the right way.

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