What is sampling? Explanations and examples

To evaluate a particular product, you first need to familiarize yourself with it. Suppose we divide consumers into several groups and highlight the "acceptance" of new products as the main characteristic. In that case, statistics will show: a maximum of 2.5% of buyers are ready to take risks and take an unfamiliar product from the shelf. 16% are so-called conservatives. They rarely buy what they have not tried yet, and when choosing, they are guided by the popularity of a product or brand and reviews about them.


When a company launches a new product, it's essential to do something more than talk about it. The best results are brought by events in which a potential client can evaluate his advantages through his own experience. To do this, you can arrange a sampling campaign - one of the most effective advertising tools. Let's take a closer look at what this concept means.

What does sampling mean?

In sales, sampling is the distribution of product samples. In simple words, this is a distribution of probes.

In part, this method can be compared to tasting. However, there is a significant difference. The tasting events are exclusively about food and drinks. Sampling can be used to promote products from different categories. Among other things, it can be successfully used to advertise household chemicals, cosmetics, and perfumes.

Sampling varieties

Sampling shares are conventionally divided into 2 large groups:
  • spot-sampling – includes promotions, during which the visitor tries the product on the spot;
  • home sampling – this category includes the distribution of product samples so that a potential buyer can try them at home.
Let's consider what types of promotion are included in each group.


This category includes the following types of actions:
  1. Wet-sampling. This is a more extensive analogue of tastings, during which the visitor gets the opportunity to taste the food, drink or test cosmetics. The soda maker is launching a new flavour lemonade. Not far from the shelves where the goods are placed, a stand is set up, so everyone can taste a drink. Another situation - a cosmetic brand has released a new anti-ageing cream. Thanks to sampling, the visitor can evaluate its effect already on the trading floor.
  2. Horeca-sampling. It implies the promotion of drinks, mainly alcoholic ones, in restaurants, cafes and other establishments. The client comes to the bar, where the bartender invites him to try a new cocktail for free. The visitor agrees, tries, remains satisfied, orders it again and, with a high degree of probability, will advise friends and acquaintances.
Spot sampling is a group of methods that increase sales through spontaneous purchases. Gifts on the spot stimulate shoppers to take spontaneous action. Research shows that the most impulsive consumers are millennials, who are of working age and constitute the bulk of the consumer population. Of these, 52% are ready to take goods off the shelf with minimal stimulation from the manufacturer.


This category also includes 2 ways of promotion:
  1. Dry-sampling. The most common example of such advertising is the sample distribution, which is familiar to many people. For the organization, you can hire a promoter who will distribute samples. Unlike other types of sampling, in this case, you can do without personnel - for example, send the product to the target or put them in a package. The manufacturer sells shampoo and glues a small sample with a new conditioner to each container.
  2. Pack swap. A less common tool - this is the name of a promotion in which you can exchange a half-empty pack of a product for a new product in a sealed package. This approach works with salty nuts, chips and other snacks.
Whereas in the case of spot sampling, the goal is to stimulate impulse buying, then home sampling implies increasing brand or product loyalty. The consumer first learns the benefits, and only then purchases the product, increasing the likelihood that the buyer will become a regular customer.

How effective are sampling promotions?

Sampling is one of the most effective BTL tools, and the point here is in human psychology. We are always more willing to buy what we are already sure will benefit us.

This is especially true for expensive goods. If a person buys a new super-effective dishwashing detergent at a high price in a two-litre container, he does it at random - he has to take the manufacturer's word for it. It is because of the cost and lack of personal experience that buyers often refuse to purchase. Another situation is that the consumer first tries how the tool works. If it turns out to be more effective than the rest, then further it will replace the usual cheap household chemicals with more expensive but effective ones.

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