Gone are the days when samples in the health and beauty industry were limited to those administered for free by a store employee, or to samples of perfume on paper strips.
Today, discerning customers are responding to a growing market of diverse health and beauty products by demanding greater freedom to sample different products in the comfort of their own homes before committing to purchasing a full size of the product.
Single Use Retail Samples
Similar to traditional sample packets that contained enough product for a single use and were handed out in retail locations, many companies today are selling their products in single-use sizes alongside their full-size counterparts.
This trend is particularly popular with facemasks, under eye patches and has expanded to other types of products as well. As customers are now paying to try a product, these retail samples typically contain more product than a free sample, and allow the customer to try the product once before committing to the full-size option.
Cross-Sampling a Complementary Product
Another way to introduce samples to consumers is by including a sample with the purchase of a related product, especially those that were developed to be used together. This strategy allows the manufacturer to target the consumer at a key moment, when they are excited and feeling positively toward the brand, to commit to buying a full-size product.
It also targets the specific population of customers who already have an established relationship with the brand, at least through a single purchase. The most common area of cross-sampling is including a scented lotion sample with the purchase of a fragrance, as the two are intended to be used together and pair well.
Multi-Product Test Kits
Many health and beauty brands offer lines of products that are intended for use as a set, particularly in the realms of skin and hair care. Purchasing a set of three or four separate products to be used as part of a daily skincare regimen is a significant commitment, and manufacturers are now offering sample packages that include sample or travel sized containers with multiple elements, along with instructions on use of the product.
For promotional shampoo and conditioner samples, a kit can be as simple as two labeled packets attached to an instruction card. This approach allows prospective customers to experience the full regimen before deciding to buy the product.
The Role of Packaging in Beauty Samples
A new approach to sample and travel sized health and beauty products also means creating a new packaging strategy. In addition to the packaging of the samples themselves, point-of-sale displays can also play a vital role in getting samples noticed and purchased.
A popular option for small sample packets is the cardboard dispenser, which can easily stand on the checkout counter or be positioned near the full-size products. For cross-sampling, packaging must be developed that allows for the incorporation of the added sample without compromising the integrity of the original product’s packaging design.
Michael Di Franco is an experienced professional working in the packaging sector. He is VP of Johnsbyrne.