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81% of consumers say they typically try a new product after receiving a free sample. That said, there is nothing quite as impactful as product sampling events at the point of purchase. In-store sampling leverages everything great about the impulse buy – something new and different + something low risk to try. The result is a new purchasing household primed to become a repeat buyer – the holy grail for most brands.

But when the economic climate gets tricky, it’s no longer as straightforward as getting a customer to try to buy. The risk still might be low for them, but other purchasing decision factors carry more weight. New products that make it into the cart must have more perceived value than a simple “I like it.” 

And hiring a high-quality product sampling team can make all the difference. Product samplers have ample opportunity to speak directly with consumers about your product’s benefits which also opens the door for questions and conversation. These engaging interactions make an impression on people and make them more inclined to buy. Below we look at three ways in-store sampling teams can maximize a product’s value for shoppers. 

In-Store Sampling



1. Suggest other ways to save

At the foundation of any sampling strategy is sample + save. It’s a surefire strategy, but sometimes a few cents off is not enough to sway a budget-conscious shopper. Here’s where your product samplers can add value by giving customers advice or insight on how to find more savings. As a result, the customer gets more value from the product, and the brand gets more value from the customer. For example:

  • “You can go to our website to download more coupons.”
  • “We’re running a promotion right now to win prizes + free product!”
  • Or “Here’s the next time the product will be on sale.” 

By giving sampling teams a playbook with other ways customers can find savings or product incentives, two important objectives are accomplished: 1) customer engagement and loyalty deepen, and 2) the brand potentially gains first-party customer data. 

2. Explore product extensions and variations 

Another way to deepen engagement at the sampling table is for customers to hear about the product’s benefits, how it differs from competitors’ products or other uses for the product. For example, if you’re a food brand, start with easy conversations about an unexpected way to serve a particular food product or how to use it as an ingredient in different recipes. Not only does this strategy keep customers at the sampling table longer, but it also allows them to think about how they can benefit from the product. Plus, the sampling team brings their personality and personal preferences to the table, making the interaction more organic and authentic. Their in-person endorsement can add immediate value to the customer’s shopping experience. 

3. Show innovation and interactivity 

Interactive elements – whether it’s games, activities, or a full-on product demonstration – pave the way for your samplers and customers to interact together. Shoppers love simplicity, ease, and convenience, so when a brand offers something unexpected with a side of surprise and delight, the likelihood of adding your product to their carts increases. 

Your product samplers add much more value to the sampling experience than simply handing out products.

  • They add their personal preferences, experiences, and endorsements
  • They offer suggestions on new ways to enjoy, extend or save
  • They solicit feedback and first-party data to optimize the customer experience

When planning a sampling campaign, think strategically about how to leverage the team you hire. How can they enhance the experience for the customers and create genuine brand engagement?

 ATN Event Staffing delivers top-tier talent to generate brand engagement among your target customers. Our expertise makes the hiring process of product samplers or brand ambassadors a seamless part of your planning process. Our partners look to us for regional and national campaigns, where we’ve provided experiential professionals for nearly two decades. 

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