Digital Product Sampling: The Future of Experiential Marketing

Written by Mollie Cross 17 October 2023

Digital product sampling is becoming an increasingly important part of a brand’s marketing strategy, and its popularity is likely to continue to grow in the future. With the ever-growing presence of e-commerce and the continued rise in the use of mobile devices, more and more consumers are turning to online channels to research and purchase products.

While product sampling works for some brands, the convenience, cost-effectiveness, and data-driven nature of digital sampling make it a promising option for many businesses looking to connect with customers and boost sales in the future. 

In this blog we deep-dive into digital product sampling; what it is, what the benefits are and how brands are currently using this marketing strategy.

What is digital product sampling?

Digital product sampling is an omnichannel marketing technique that allows brands to offer free samples or trial versions of their products to potential customers through digital channels such as websites, social media, email, and mobile apps. It enables customers to experience a product before making a purchase. It can take various forms, such as providing access to limited-time product demos, virtual try-ons, sending out product sample offers via email, or as a reward for participating in a loyalty program.

This approach can be particularly effective for brands that operate in industries where physical product sampling is challenging, such as the software, entertainment, or digital content industries. Digital product sampling can also provide brands with valuable customer data, which can be used to improve their marketing strategies and customer experience.

What are the benefits of digital product sampling?

There are several benefits of digital product sampling:

1. Cost-effective

Compared to traditional product sampling methods, such as in-store or direct mail, this approach is often less expensive since it does not require physical production or distribution of the product samples. This can be particularly beneficial for small businesses with limited budgets.

2. Wide reach

Brands can reach a wider audience beyond their physical location. By leveraging digital channels such as social media, email, and mobile apps, brands can engage potential customers globally.

3. Convenience

Digital product sampling provides customers with the convenience of trying out a product from the comfort of their own homes or while on the go. This convenience can increase the likelihood of customers trying out a product and purchasing.

4. Data-driven

Digital sampling can provide brands with valuable data and insights on customer preferences and behaviour, such as which products customers are interested in, how they interact with the product samples, and how likely they are to make a purchase.

5. Increased brand awareness

Digital product sampling can increase brand awareness by allowing potential customers to experience the product before making a purchase and spread the word using their social media channels. Read further down to see how KIND Snacks offered free samples to customers sharing a photo with the hashtag #kindawesome.

6. Improved customer engagement

Digital product sampling can help brands engage with and target consumers in a more personalised and interactive way, leading to increased customer engagement and brand loyalty.

How are brands using digital product sampling?

There are a wide range of options to offer customers an interactive and convenient way to try products before making a purchase. Here are some examples of how brands are tapping into this channel:

1. Virtual Try-On

It is becoming increasingly popular with brands in the beauty and fashion industries to use augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies to allow customers to digitally try on products such as makeup, clothing, and accessories before making a purchase. Check out how L’Oreal Paris and Mister Spex both use a virtual try-on feature to allow consumers to digitally sample their products before buying.

2. Mobile Apps

Brands can offer digital product samples through mobile apps, such as Costa Coffee and McDonald’s UK, which enable members to earn rewards through past purchases and access exclusive offers, including occasional free drink samples.

3. Social Media

Brands can leverage social media to offer digital product samples, such as running a promotion where users can receive a free sample by sharing a post or using a specific hashtag. For example, KIND Snacks used Instagram to offer free samples to users who shared a photo of their #kindawesome snack.

4. E-Commerce

Brands can offer digital product samples as a part of their e-commerce experience, such as offering free samples with online purchases or allowing customers to add a sample to their cart for a small fee. For example, Sephora offers three free samples with every online purchase.

5. Influencer Marketing

Brands can partner with influencers to offer digital product samples, such as sending them a product to try and share with their audience on social media. This can help increase brand awareness and drive sales through word-of-mouth.Read about how Relish partnered Proper Corn with Missguided and Very, working with TV personality Holly Hagan to build awareness and encourage trials.

Get creative and stand out

Overall, digital product sampling campaigns are an effective way for brands to increase brand awareness, engage with potential customers, and drive sales in a cost-effective and data-driven way.

If you would like to hear about how Relish can help you with your product sampling strategy, or other channels to suit your business, drop us a message or give us a call on 01173751160. Alternatively, send us an email at


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