Is In-Store Sampling Dead?

1st October 2020

For many years, in-store sampling by a product sampling agency such as GottaBe! has played a large part in the marketing of products and the conversion of leads into sales. Whether it was the latest trending snack, an exciting new drink or the best lipsticks out there, in-store sampling has long been something that both marketers and customers have taken for granted.

In-Store Sampling During The COVID-19 Pandemic

It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the world, that in-store sampling became a hot topic again. What would brands do now that the high street had closed? How would brands provide customers with samples of their products? How would shoppers trial the latest product on the market?

All of these questions filled the minds of agencies and brands for Spring and Summer. When the restrictions of lockdown began to ease, life as we knew it had disappeared and in its place a dystopian world that we now had to adjust to.

We said goodbye to hugs and handshakes and acclimated to limited numbers in a store, queueing until there is appropriate space in a retail space, booking for any and every café and not moving from tables in a bar unless you using the lavatory. While yes, these are first world problems, these simply scratch the surface. The social exodus and rising uncertainty saw anxiety and declining mental health cases soar. Jobs were lost and the economy saw its worst crash ever.

The Re-Introduction Of In-Store Sampling

Despite the restrictions easing up, strict measures remain in place for the retail and hospitality sectors. Up until recently, in-store sampling was still completely banned. This is still the case for food and drinks sampling, however for beauty products, the gradual re-introduction of sampling has been long awaited and aided in the recovery of profits for many brands. New products are able to press on with their launches and with store staff wearing full PPE and customers having measures in place to keep them and the staff safe, are able to try these products in a safer way, that is designed to minimise the contact between the two parties and keep the risk of transmission down.

E-Sampling, The In-Store Sampling Alternative

These safer practices are being adopted by brands across different sectors and while food and drinks brands ensure they are prepared for the return of these sampling activities, many brands are working out ways around not being able to execute their sampling activities. One of these methods is e-sampling. This is where product samples are distributed to customers when they make a purchase from an online retailer. This is typically done with products that do not have a short shelf life, do not have specific storage requirements or are not fragile. This method of product sampling is the newest of our services, here at GottaBe! and we have already been hard at work to get our client’s products and materials out there.

We Can Help Your Brand With E-Sampling

We are proud to say that we have strong relationships with leading e-tailers including ASOS and boohoo. This allows us to get your product to large audiences, across the country. We can of course tailor this to more specific groups of customers, should you prefer. If you would like to learn more about this, please feel free to head over to our E-Sampling page, or alternatively, please get in touch on .

Photo by Ryan Plomp on Unsplash