3 Times You Should Consider Product Sampling

child taking cookies from the cookie jar featured image

This blog post is the second in our series of key takeaways from the keynotes and breakout sessions from the 2017 PowerReviews Digital Commerce Summit.

Last month at the inaugural PowerReviews Digital Commerce Summit, Jessica Teji, Manager of Client Success, and I teamed up to present a session on product sampling. If you know me, you know that product sampling is a channel I’m passionate about, and I enjoyed having the opportunity to discuss how sampling can help brands increase reach.

When you think of product sampling, you probably think of small, one-time use products — like a travel size tube of toothpaste or makeup samples. But we challenged folks in the audience to think bigger. PowerReviews has executed successful campaigns for much larger products — including luggage and even mattresses!

We’ve found that product sampling is especially effective for the following three types of products.

1. New Products

It’s a simple fact that shoppers are much less likely to purchase products that don’t have reviews….and we’ve got the research to back it up. A recent PowerReviews study found that 45% of shoppers will turn to a search engine if there aren’t reviews (or aren’t enough reviews) for a product on a brand or retailer site.

How can you generate those critical first reviews for a brand new product? Through product sampling, obviously! Then, the reviews you generate through sampling will help convert more shoppers. At PowerReviews, we’ve found that when a product without reviews adds one or more reviews, the conversion rate for that product increases by an average of 65%.

As an added bonus, reviews for new products are likely full of insights that can help you improve future iterations of your products. For example, if you’re releasing a new piece of luggage and several of your samplers mention a faulty zipper in their reviews, you can work with your manufacturer to fix the zipper — and watch your star ratings soar.

Hint: If you’re launching a new product in time for the 2017 holiday season (but not necessarily a seasonal item), it’s not too late to launch a sampling program. Do it now, and you’ll generate plenty of reviews so when holiday shopping season is in full swing, consumers will find plenty of review content to build their confidence in this new product.

2. Seasonal Products

The window for purchasing seasonal products — such as holiday-themed merchandise — is generally quite short. For example, parents are probably only in the market for this holiday doll a couple months out of the year — at most.

Product Sampling Example

That’s why it’s important to generate reviews for these seasonal products as quickly as possible. How can you generate these reviews? With a sampling campaign, of course. If you have a holiday product, consider a pre-season sampling program now. Then, your seasonal product will have plenty of reviews available when consumers start actively shopping for it.

3. Targeted Products

Use our dashboard to isolate key products on your website that have a low volume of reviews — or no reviews at all, and high traffic. Then, run a sampling campaign to generate reviews for these products so more of your traffic converts as they see a high number of reviews.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about how product sampling can help you generate valuable user-generated content? If you’re an existing PowerReviews customer, contact your Client Success Director. If you’re not a current PowerReviews customer, contact us today.