Shop ‘Til You Drop… But Not Literally! Retailers Offer Freebies to Reduce Returns

Close-up of the Business owner hand holding an open sign for service.

Freebies… YEAH!!! When households are stretched for budget, and inflation is on the rise, it becomes more likely that customers would resort to returning goods that don’t meet their expectations. To combat the issue of returns, retailers actively seek out ways to minimize them—one cost-effective measure being product sampling. This strategy gives consumers the opportunity to get an up-close and personal experience with the product before committing to a purchase, giving them a better understanding of its features, quality, and look, effectively reducing the probability of returns.

This is particularly useful in the fashion industry, where size discrepancies often lead to returns; samples make it easier for customers to find the right fit. In the beauty and food sectors, providing samples also instills confidence in the products’ quality, thereby mitigating returns caused by defective or subpar items. All in all, product sampling promises to be a game-changer for both consumers and retailers alike.

Sampling Works! 

The tactical implementation of product sampling holds immense benefits for retailers. Not only does it provide cost savings in terms of return rates, restocking fees, and shipping costs, but it also strengthens customer loyalty through positive experiences—resulting in recurring customers who rave about their brand to others. This invaluable feedback gives them an edge in the fiercely competitive retail market, as they get insights to tweak products and stay ahead. Moreover, samples are helpful when fighting price inflation, serving as an economical promotional tool that provides increased value without raising prices. Each advantage contributes to a shrewd business strategy; one that helps retailers thrive in this bustling economy.

At Walmart, the weekend just got a whole lot better. With complimentary samples and demonstration stations now live in over 120 stores and growing to 1,000 by February, shoppers can explore a delicious selection of food products as well as advertisers’ wares up close and personal. From the comfort and convenience of the store, Walmart Connect’s comprehensive advertising strategy lets customers find inspiration, shop virtually, and choose seasonally tailored recommendations. Furthermore, they’ll be privy to vivid audio ads featured on Walmart Radio, booming through the PA system, highlighted on the TV wall, or displayed on self-checkout screens – a true delight for those in-store shopping. 

In August, Estée Lauder made a truly revolutionary announcement: the renowned brand would be partnering with leading dermatologists and academic experts to embed their tried-and-tested, allergy-safe formulations into their products. To add an extra layer of engagement, they are also re-introducing their iconic ‘gift-with-purchase’ initiative. This marks a momentous return to their 1950s roots when Estée Lauder revolutionized retail by rewarding customers with luxurious cosmetic bags filled with product samples when purchasing select fragrances. Their vision quickly became the gold standard for consumer incentives, prompting industry-wide adoption of this game-changing strategy and catalyzing an era of retail innovation.

Contact Volt Merchant Solutions today to find out how we can help you stay ahead of the game when it comes to efficiently and effectively handling your payment processing needs.
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