Product sampling reaches 70 million consumers every quarter, and
one-third of customers who try a sample will buy the sampled product in
the same shopping trip, according to the “Product Sampling Study” by Arbitron and Edison Media Research, reports MediaBuyerPlanner.

According to Arbitron, sampling also drives huge gains in brand awareness
and loyalty. In fact, 58% of those
surveyed report that they would buy the product again.

Consumers were grouped into three categories:

  1. Acquisitions, or those
    who were new to the sampled product;
  2. Conversions, or those who had
    heard of the product but had never bought it;
  3. Retentions, or those
    who had previously purchased the product.

Fully 85% of the Retentions and 60% of the Conversions said they
would in the future purchase the sampled product; samples encouraged
nearly half (47%) of the Acquisitions to purchase the product in the

“This is exciting news for marketers and advertisers who are looking
for alternative ways to make an immediate as well as long-reaching
impact on consumers with a high return-on-investment,” said Carol
Edwards, SVP of sales, Out-of-Home Media for Arbitron.

“This study enforced that the sampling approach is both effective in
making new customers aware of products, while also establishing a
firmer identity with those consumers who have considered the product

The study also found as follows:

  • 28% reported that they have been offered product samples within the past three months.
  • 64% claimed that they had accepted product samples: 66% of
    Acquisitions accepted samples, as did 63% of Conversions and 63% of
  • 35% claimed they purchased the sampled product on the same day: 26%
    of Acquisitions bought the product right away, as did 19% of
    Conversions and 31% of Retentions.
  • 24% of those surveyed claimed that a sampled product had
    specifically replaced an item that they had planned to buy: 20% of
    Acquisitions were planning to make the switch, as were 33% of
    Conversions and 18% of Retentions.

About the study:
Arbitron and Edison Media Research conducted a national telephone
survey from January 18 to February 15, 2008. 1,857 respondents, ages 12
and older, were selected at random from Arbitron’s 2007 fall
diarykeepers. In geographic areas where Arbitron diarykeepers were not
available (representing 8% of the population), a supplemental sample
was interviewed through random selection.

P.S.: This chart from eMarketer shows that College Students thinks Product Sampling rocks their world!

Sampling for College Students