In-store product sampling is a commonly used promotional technique designed to give prospective consumers an opportunity to experience a product prior to purchase. While prior research has documented a positive relationship between short-term sales and perceptual measures of the customer shopping experience, little is known about the long-term impact of sampling or factors that moderate its success. In this paper, we develop an empirical approach that allows us to study the short-term and long-term effects of in-store sampling on both own and competitive products. We apply our approach to six store-level scanner data sets across four different product categories and show that in-store sampling has both an immediate (short-term) and sustained (long-term) impact on sales. We also show that the impact of sampling on sales is moderated by the characteristics of the store conducting the event, and that repeated sampling for a single product leads to a multiplicative increase in its long-term sales performance. We find that, unlike many types of in-store promotion, sampling results in a category expansion effect as opposed to a pure substitution effect. We contrast the immediate and long-term sales patterns for in-store sampling to those of product displays and discuss managerially relevant differences. Finally, we demonstrate incremental profit implications and store selection scenarios for different incremental costs of conducting the in-store events using constrained optimizations.
Marketing mix modeling, In-store sampling, Retail strategy
Journal of Retailing
CHANDUKALA, Sandeep R.; DOTSON, Jeffrey P.; and LIU, Qing.
An assessment of when, where and under what conditions in-store sampling is most effective. (2017). Journal of Retailing. 1-14. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/5270
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