Having free sample giveaways is a common practice among Grocery stores. That’s mainly because of the excitement it incites in shoppers, making them feel like they are in on something exclusive and special. Apart from that, free sample giveaways cost nothing and obviously shoppers love that. The companies that manufacture the products have something to gain as well. The giveaways help create brand awareness and may actually result in customer loyalty. For this reason, most companies are willing to go out of their way and pay supermarkets and warehouse clubs just to hand out these freebies.
According to the Street, big brands like Kraft, Procter and Gamble, Unilever, and General Mills normally fork out several hundreds of dollars on a daily basis, just to have a spot inside supermarkets where they can set up free sample stands. Although there’s a cost to it, a free sample giveaway will bring a company far more gains than losses.
The best way to appreciate this is to remember that getting people to buy a product for the first time is not a walk in the park. Kantar Media states that in a typical year, advertising amounts up to £64 billion dollars just for companies to try and have their product bought by new customers. By removing the price barrier, companies allow customers to try products without the risk of losing money on something they may not like.
As compared to conventional advertising, free samples reach potential customers more effectively and at a much lower cost.
Having had a sample for free, you can make a decision whether the product is worth buying or not. Sometimes, consumers feel guilty for not buying after getting a free sample. They sometimes end up spending money on a product without exactly considering the price, taste, or quality. Whether on a subconscious or conscious lever, they feel the need to repay the company.
Researchers have tried to understand the shopping mind games that go on especially during the holidays. They’ve tried to explain how a shopper who receives freebies is more likely to buy the sampled product and even become a loyal customer.
Psychologist Susan Krauss Whitbourne explains that receiving something for nothing makes you feel obligated to reciprocate by buying the item.
She goes on to say you do not have to feel obligated to buy at all. In fact, the person manning the stand should thank you just for stopping by and getting the samples. That’s because this in itself saves companies millions they would spend on other less effective forms of advertising.