Product Sampling Safe Haven: Contactless Product Sampling

Product Sampling Safe Haven: Contactless Product Sampling

In-person product sampling has long been an essential marketing tactic for consumer packaged goods companies. Still, the practice in its traditional forms came to an abrupt halt when the COVID-19 pandemic began. 

Some of the impacts of the pandemics are here to stay, and companies looking to digitize their whole product sampling experience can attest to this fact. Let's take a closer look at the impact of this pandemic on customers' behaviour that makes contactless product sampling the most viable option for brands.

Shifts in customers' behaviour 

In the Corona pandemic and quarantine period, customers felt the need to buy or try new things more than ever. Yet, they could not try a sample before buying due to health issues. Therefore, their need to sample products was unmet for a long time. Smart brands saw this time as an opportunity to innovate their product sampling methods. All of these reasons made some permanent changes to customers' behaviour.

Being more health-conscious

Before the pandemic, people were more likely to try out shared samples in public places. Now trying out a shared lipstick in a crowded store sounds like madness! Caring about health and avoiding germs is a new habit that many customers have developed during this time, and it seems that this habit is here to stay. This issue expands beyond health and beauty products, as people avoid touching or testing other physical products that have been handled before receiving them. 

Read more: Is In-store Product Sampling Really Over for Beauty & Cosmetic Retailers?

Expecting privacy

Since people bought items or received and used them in the privacy of their homes during the pandemic, they are now accustomed to using the product with the same amount of privacy and are reluctant to try new things in public. 

Expecting comfort

Much like privacy, receiving items at home provided a sense of comfort that no public place can match. Customers are now expecting to try their new goods in their pyjamas or perhaps in their beds.

Being more time-conscious

When quarantine started, people were bored and looked for ways to fill their free time. However, as time passed and they adapted to the new normal, and new practices such as working from home became mainstream, people became more conscious about their time. Now people like to control their schedule, and they expect to try any new products whenever they want! National holidays, 2 A.M. Wednesday, Sunday mornings, or Friday night, everybody has a different schedule, and they all want to be able to try their samples within their accepted time frame.

Expecting a personal touch

Many small online businesses during the pandemic took off. These new entrepreneurs started their business online with little capital and a lot of effort, and to stand out in the crowd, many tried to deliver their packages with a personal touch. People expect an emotional connection with the brand. From including handwritten poems or thankyou cards in packages to personalized orders of scented candles that match their *vibe* or energy, these were the practices people got accustomed to.

Change in giving feedback

Before the pandemic, people received freebies in public places and were expected to try them out and give feedback on the spot. That led to lots of polite smiles and nods as testers didn't want to hurt the feelings of the marketer. However, online deliveries taking off during the pandemic more than ever, people are getting used to sharing their honest opinions online, as it doesn't feel like a personal attack on anybody. Now samplers leave long comments, share experiences with pictures and give out feedback more honestly and without fear of judgement.

Most of these shifts in customers' behaviour are understandable and even relatable. But how can you as a brand cater to these new needs? How can you as a brand run a product sampling campaign?

Contactless product sampling is the new solution!

When they want to test out explosives in the military, they can't ask any person or even animal to go and detonate a bomb. They do this by shooting lasers at the explosive from a safe distance to make sure they work! This is what contactless sampling is!

To understand what contactless product sampling is, remove all the explosive material from this example and imagine that you need the users' feedback! A lot less cool? Nah?

Contactless product sampling is the process of giving out your samples to samplers and receiving their feedback, all without direct physical contact.

Well cool or not cool, that's what the customers want right now, and research suggests that this method is here to stay, so let's see how you can benefit from it.

Benefits of contactless product sampling for brands

Brands that choose to try contactless product sampling have a number of small but significant delights coming their way.

Knowing the customers better

Believe it or not, when you give out freebies to people in their homes and don't see their faces, you're actually getting to know the REAL version of them. While you lose a face-to-face experience with the samplers, you gain their uncensored opinion that you can take to the bank!

Targeting customers better

In the face of limited resources (which is always the case), you HAVE TO choose who you send your samples to instead of aimlessly offering it to everyone who passes your pop-up stand. This means you will study or look for databases that might include your target persona. 


You will save money since you will not be sending your freebies to random people and those who don't show any interest in it. 

In comparison with traditional methods of product sampling, contactless product sampling is more cost-effective. There is less waste, as brands offer smaller individual samples and send them to those interested or likely to be interested in their product. 

Better sales funnel

Since brands will be targetting smarter (and not harder!) and offer a seamless, enjoyable experience to users, their chance of making sales increases and results in better user activation and, finally, better sales funnels.

Better ROI

With all said and done, brands are more likely to have a better return of investment with their product sampling campaign if they execute it contactless. And if that's not a win-win situation, we don't know what is!

How can Peekage help you to execute your next product sampling campaign?

Peekage is an online product sampling platform that helps CPG companies to increase brand awareness, boost sales, fetch early market feedback, and build brand loyalty.

Peekage App is a digital contactless product sampling service that allows brands to connect with their target audience and gain insightful feedback. Our app works with four simple steps:

1- Create a digital catalogue with product/voucher details

2- Reach your target market

3- Build your very own customer survey

4- Send your product samples to our distribution center. 

Peekage ensures that your consumer has a beyond satisfactory experience while allowing you to brand and rebrand to ensure that those actually interested are the ones receiving the samples- no bogus samplers.

We make it easy for you and your consumers. So, considering going the contactless product sampling route? Choose Peekage!


- Guthrie, C., Fosso-Wamba, S., & Arnaud, J. B. (2021). Online consumer resilience during a pandemic: An exploratory study of e-commerce behavior before, during and after a COVID-19 lockdown. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 61, 102570.

- Majercakova, M., & Rostasova, M. (2021). Customer behaviour and sentiment due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. In SHS Web of Conferences (Vol. 92). EDP Sciences.

- Zwanka, R. J., & Buff, C. (2021). COVID-19 generation: A conceptual framework of the consumer behavioral shifts to be caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 33(1), 58-67.

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