Product sampling is the most influential in-store marketing method when it comes to influencing consumer purchase decisions, and is a reliable option for marketers looking to increase ROI.
Some 52.4% of adults 18 and older said they were either “influenced” or “greatly influenced” by in-store product sampling, compared to 43.2% who cited product labels and 39.5% for shelf coupons, according to the recent Simultaneous Media Usage Survey by BIGresearch.
“Whether you’re promotionally oriented or you want to make up your own mind, sooner or later you have to figure out if you like the taste of the pizza,” said Phil Rist, a researcher at BIGresearch. “It’s at a point where you can experience the product directly.”
Following the top three, the most influential in-store media are:
- Special Displays—35.5%
- Store Loyalty/Card—33.1%
- Coupon on Register Tape—28.4%
- In-Store Events/Contests—28.1%
- Parking Lot/Sidewalk Events—18.2%
- Floor Graphics—2.5%
- In-Store TV—10.9%
- In-Store Radio—7.5
“Even though in-store TV and radio trail, with only 10.9% and 7.5% of respondents saying they’re influenced, it is still very significant when taking that number as part of overall weekly store traffic,” said Joe Pilotta, VP research in a statement.
When analyzing the numbers using BIGresearch’s Media Consumption Clusters—consumers categorized into eight clusters based on media behavior—researchers concluded that one in-store medium does not fit all. The following are the results based on an analysis of “independents” (the largest group) and “active explorers” (the smallest group, representing about 3.5% of consumers). The clusters were developed with Don Schultz and Martin Block of the Medill School at Northwestern University.
Independents (worn out by advertising, they don’t want to be sold, they want to be informed and make informed choices):
- Product Sample—42.6%
- Read Product Labels—36.8%
- Shelf Coupons—30.4%
- Store Loyalty/Card—26.1%
- Special Displays—25.5%
- Coupon on Register Tape—22.4%
- In-Store Events/Contests—20.6%
- Parking Lot/Sidewalk Events—13.2%
- Floor Graphics—8.9%
- In-Store TV—8.2%
- In-Store Radio—5.6%
Active Explorers (very, very promotionally oriented, coupon clippers, take advantage of in-store activities, they’re looking for a good deal):
- Product Sample—66.3%
- Special Displays—50.7%
- Read Product Labels—50.3%
- Shelf Coupons—49.9%
- Store Loyalty/Card—44.9%
- In-Store Events/Contests—37.2%
- Coupon on Register Tape—36.8%
- Parking Lot/Sidewalk Events—24.2%
- In-Store TV—8.2%
- Floor Graphics—16.9%
- In-Store Radio—10.6%
BIGresearch, Columbus, OH, surveyed 15,167 consumers in June and July.