Will online sampling engage customers and drive trial at Sam’s Club?
Sam’s Club earlier this month introduced the “Taste & Tips Sampler Bag” as an incentive for online shoppers.
The collection of samples, carrying a retail value of $14.53, is free with any SamsClub.com purchase through April 30, while supplies last. It also comes with free shipping.
The package includes:
- Pretzel Crisps Original (1 bag)
- Perrier Sparkling Water (1 bottle)
- Carnation Breakfast Essentials Chocolate Nutritional Drink (1 package)
- Goodnessknows Snack Squares (1 package)
- Santa Barbara Coconut Almond Bar (1 bar)
- Honest Kids Juice (1 juice box)
- Road Crew Crunch Snack Mix (1 bag)
- Easter motif bag (1 bag)
Sam’s Club wrote on its website, “It’s like getting your own personal Easter basket filled with delicious snacks. Just order any item on SamsClub.com, add the Taste & Tips Sampler Bag to your cart, and you’ll receive this spring tote filled with tasty treats like Perrier, pretzel crisps, snack squares and more. Enjoy your free goodies…on us!”
Shoppers may substitute samples, depending on availability.
Tara Raddohl, senior director, corporate communications, Sam’s Club, told Progressive Grocer, “We’re looking forward to hearing feedback from our members on this exciting new program and will confirm its continuation based on that response.”
Retailers have mainly used free or discounted shipping as well as bundling to encourage online purchases, but others have tested the use of free samples. Both Walmart and Target used to offer free samples, but now sell $5.00 subscription boxes full of samples in the beauty and baby categories.
CPG brands such as Procter & Gamble use free samples to gain feedback as well as to encourage trial. Digital sampling, often tapping social media, promises to be more targeted than in-store sampling.
- Taste & Tips Sampler Bag – Sam’s Club
- Sam’s Club Ventures Into E-Sampling – Progressive Grocer
- P&G adjusts sampling strategy after admitting it was ‘too myopic’ – Marketing Week
- Digital Product Sampling vs. Traditional In-Store Sampling – Sampler
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are the advantages and shortcomings of online sampling versus in-store sampling? Do you see online sampling’s best use as a purchase incentive, a feedback tool or to encourage trial?