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Sample this!

Sampling is one of the most effective sales tactics that can be done in your store.

Looking for a quick sales lift?
Try offering more samples. According to a U.S.-based study called "Report on In-store Sampling Effectiveness," sampling can spike sales of an item by about 475% on the day of the event.

"On average, one in four samples handed to consumers results in a purchase," says John Baird, president of InStore Focus, a company that manages sampling events in hundreds of stores across Canada. To get the most out of sampling, Baird offers the following advice:

  • Use sampling to promote new brand innovations, line extensions, as well as to call attention to new packaging. And don't forget nonfoods, such as cleaning products.

  • Frozen food in particular makes a great sampler. Shoppers may be reluctant to spend $8 for an unfamiliar frozen entree. But once they try it, they'll be more inclined to buy.
  • Staff need training so they can tell a good story about the product, its features, benefits and price.

  • Since food safety is always paramount, sampling staff should have food safety certification.

  • Quality control is essential to successful product sampling. Ensure all necessary equipment and supplies are in place.

  • When outsourcing a sampling event, double-check that the hired company has insurance to cover health and safety liabilities.

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