The Science of Free Samples

By Nimesh Patel 10 min Read

Table of Contents

    Shopping is an essential component of every person’s life. Each of us has to conduct multiple transactions throughout the day regardless of if we like shopping. For a long time, supermarkets and stores have ensured that you buy new products from them by offering free samples on every aisle. WooCommerce stores have also started offering free product samples.

    With physical stores, it may be cut-up fruit to promote a new kitchen knife collection, complimentary chicken wings to showcase a unique hot sauce flavor, or a head massage to display the advanced functions of the newly launched head massager. In one way or other, these stores provided you with free samples so you could try and test out the products before buying them.

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    Free Sample

    Now the appeal of physical stores has reduced somewhat, and the spotlight has shifted towards online shopping. These eCommerce stores have also recently started implementing this effective marketing strategy. With the help of plugins, they can now offer free and paid product samples to their customers!

    Read the article if you want to know more about how free samples can benefit your eCommerce store and the consumer psychology behind free samples.

    What is Product Sampling?

    Before we delve into how product samples can benefit your WooCommerce store, let us understand what product sampling means and how it works in an online store.

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    Introduction to product sampling

    Product sampling is one of the most effective marketing strategies used by stores and companies to market their products. It entails giving free samples of the product to the customers to use the product and understand the idea behind it. If they have a satisfactory experience with the free sample, they will pay full price to buy the same item for its utility.

    While giving away free products may sound like an expensive and risky option, product sampling has several upsides. For starters, it introduces your product to customers in a fashionable manner, and it helps you create awareness about your brand and product. According to a report, 73% of customers said they would likely buy a product after trying it. Only 25% of people said that they would buy a product from a television commercial.

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    Benefits of Free Product Samples for WooCommerce

    Before you start conducting free giveaways on your WooCommerce store, you need to understand the science of free samples. It also includes understanding how product sampling can be beneficial for your business. Product sampling can do the following things –

    Creates Brand Awareness

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    Brand awareness with product samples

    You may be a relatively new store trying to solidify your presence online. Customers are usually wary of new products and brands as they are uncertain about your reliability and the effectiveness of your products. However, if you start offering free product samples on your WooCommerce, you can successfully introduce your brand and its unique features to your customers. It will help you create brand awareness.

    It is also said that once you offer something for free to the customers, they gain confidence in your product and are more inclined to purchase your product recurringly. Therefore, offering product samples is an excellent way to ensure that people know about your brand.

    Builds Customer Loyalty

    Sampling develops a sense of trust and allegiance towards the brand and its products in the customer’s heart. Rather than pressurize and persuade the customers to buy our products, we let them decide for themselves. Once the clients realize that they have the power to make a rational purchasing decision, they can objectively evaluate the pros and cons of your product.

    They already have a product sample, so they have more reasons to opt for a second purchase and follow recurring transactions. It will also result in your products getting positive reviews and ratings from the customers, increasing customer loyalty and sales.

    Increases Sales

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    Increase Sales with samples

    The reviews and ratings for your products on your WooCommerce store will determine how well the specific product is doing. Online reviews have started drastically impacting the purchase decisions and patterns of customers. Of 93% of customers, 53% of the 18–29-year-old said they consider feedback, online reviews, and ratings to arrive at a purchasing decision.

    People need to know if the products you are offering are worth the money they are spending. If you provide samples for most of your products, your customers are more likely to give the product a positive review. After all, who doesn’t want a freebie?

    Eliminates Buyer Regret

    There are several shopaholics who consistently browse through sites and buy newly launched products. However, many people regret what they have bought on impulse and later return it or are unimpressed with the product. However, if your product is useful, and you have given it as a free sample to a customer, there is a greater chance that they may use it.

    Once they know its value and functionality, they may consciously purchase another product at full price, thus avoiding regret.

    Increase Traffic

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    Generate more visitors

    Offering free samples may also significantly increase the number of people visiting your WooCommerce store website. It is an effective way to know if your product sampling strategy was effective among your audience, as online traffic is an indicator of attracting customers.

    Leads to Higher Conversion Rates

    Once you generate enough exposure for your product, people may regularly check out your store. A good portion of these visitors may also start purchasing your products. This is known as a conversion in marketing.

    The conversion rate after product sampling was between 25% and 30% for many established companies. A good quarter of the people who tried the samples decided to buy the product. This number would have been relatively low if this marketing tactic was not implemented.

    Other than the above benefits, the most significant upside of offering free samples is that it improves the confidence of your consumers. Since your customers will pay a substantial amount in exchange for a product or service, they need reassurance that your products are worth it. Product sampling offers that much-needed boost to encourage your customers to complete a purchase.

    Does Product Sampling Really Increase Sales?

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    Product Sampling and an increase in sales

    Yes. Offering free samples on your WooCommerce store does improve your sales and conversion rates. Even though it might sound unrealistic, offering free samples can often yield positive results. Considering the current demand, conducting a product sampling campaign for your WooCommerce store can cost anywhere from $10,000 to several thousand dollars. It all depends on your budget. However, the results of offering free product samples are primarily positive if applied effectively for the sales of your products.

    The reason for this is the psychology behind giving free samples. If your brand or store provides something free to the customer, they feel a strong sense of reciprocity. It makes them feel obligated to return for more and order other similar products from your brand. Thus, it is unusual for product sampling strategies to fail if executed properly.

    Product Sample for WooCommerce

    Leverage the power of free product samples to increase product awareness & boost sales.

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    Who Benefits from Free Samples?

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    Benefits or offering free samples

    This process is mutually beneficial and yields good results for both the store owner and your customers. As the store owner, you can test new products, promote services, increase sales, and publicize your brand and WooCommerce store.

    On the other hand, the customers get a good deal, their confidence about a product increase significantly, they receive product samples and build a positive relationship with your store.

    Additionally, the overall performance of your store, brand, and individual products may improve because your customers have benefited from using your free products. Free samples may initially cost you money, but the resulting profit will eventually outweigh the initial cost.

    Get Started with Free Product Samples on WooCommerce

    Now that you have observed the positive effects of product sampling in detail, you may want to start offering free samples at your WooCommerce store. However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

    A product sampling strategy that is not effective can ruin your campaign. It can also result in ambiguous results like massive expenses, lack of exposure, little to no customer response, or people may misuse your free samples.

    How To Create Free product sample In WooCommerce?

    Therefore, here are five useful tips to get you started with product sampling –

    Define Target Audience

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    Know your target audience

    Conduct thorough research and know the type of audience you want to target. It will help you get a closer perspective on what your audience wants and then later deliver on it.

    For example, if you are offering a beauty product as a free sample on your store purchases, ensure that you offer it to people interested in beauty and wellness. It doesn’t make sense to target someone looking for household appliances and offer them beauty product samples.

    Establish Long-Term Goals

    The success of any campaign is determined by its goals in the long run. Therefore, it is essential to know why you want to offer free samples on your WooCommerce store. Is it because you want more customers? Or Is it because you want to draw focus to a specific product? Maybe it is because you want to expand into previously untapped audience sections? Determine why you want to offer free samples and outline a strategy accordingly.

    Offer Limited Samples

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    Limit the number of samples on your store

    Not all customers on your websites are going to have good intentions. Some of them may even try to cash in because you are offering free samples. They may use this opportunity to order multiple samples from different accounts rather than paying full price and ordering the product.

    Therefore, you have to beware of such people. There are several Product Sample plugins for WooCommerce that enable you to limit the number of free sample products you provide. It also allows specific customers to order samples from your WooCommerce store.

    How to Limit Product Samples in WooCommerce?

    Ask for Feedback

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    Ask customers for feedback and reviews

    To develop a bond of mutual trust between your brand and the customer, you can ask them for feedback. Loyal customers will surely share their experience with your product samples. You can make upgrades to your samples accordingly to show your customers that you care about their opinions.

    Leverage Digital Platforms

    Additionally, your free product sampling strategy will work only if it is noticeable to a huge chunk of people who interact online. Therefore, ensure that you leverage the power of social media and other digital platforms and promote your WooCommerce store along with its offers like free sample products.

    Offer Product Samples Now!

    Now that you know why you should offer free sample products to your customers, you can effectively launch your WooCommerce store. Also, ensure that your product sample inventory is stocked and that you don’t run out of samples!

    Product Sample for WooCommerce

    Leverage the power of free product samples to increase product awareness & boost sales.

    Product Sample For WooCommerce Banner
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    Nimesh Patel

    Nimesh Patel is the Product Manager and Growth Hacker at Dotstore. For the past 10 years, Nimesh has been a prolific marketer and product builder in the WordPress and e-commerce industry.

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    Written by Nimesh Patel

    I am a Product Marketer and Growth hacker with expertise in Digital marketing, Search engine optimization (SEO), Email Marketing, Paid Campaigns on Facebook and Twitter, Content development strategies, and Competitive Research & Analysis. Nimesh is Product Manager at