PHILADELPHIA - With more than 19,000 new beverage and food items debuting in 2009, standing out among the crowd can be tough. One solution is to offer free samples of the products, Stores.org reports.
"The most difficult aspect to marketing is getting the customer to try the product, especially if they don€™t know it," said Richard George, who chairs the department of food marketing at St. Joseph€™s University. Offering samples allows retailers to show "that they€™re current and contemporary," he said.
When a customer sampled an item, they often purchase more products beyond the sampled product, according to a study by Stephen Nowlis, marketing professor at Arizona State University. "Sampling any high-incentive item in a grocery store is likely to increase the subsequent desirability and purchase of that particular product," he said, "as well as other rewarding items."
Tips to make sampling a success include making sure the lighting is good in the sample area and the product is plentiful. Retailers often don€™t incur extra costs with sampling, too. "All selling is theatre," said George. "With all the high tech in our world, sampling can be a good old-fashioned way to differentiate."