Amazon’s Sampling Program

Amazon’s Sampling Program

Is Amazon’s Sampling Program A Hint Of What It Will Do In Physical Retail Environments?

February 4, 2019

It was only a matter of time before Amazon focused on a sampling program. The company has one of the world’s most comprehensive customer-targeting ability on the planet through its customer data profiles, as well as one of the most comprehensive effective fulfillment network capabilities.

Rami Odeh

Digital Commerce Vice President

Rami helps brands grow their business in a complicated e-commerce landscape and better understand the intricacies of an ever-evolving ecosystem. 

Throughout his career, he’s led product manufacturers and brands like OfficeMax/Office Depot and Sears todevelop and execute strategies to create significant,measurable returns. He specializes in e-commerce content, fulfilment, negotiation, and merchandising initiatives, helping clients to optimize their short and long-term planning. 

When combining the two, Amazon Sampling just makes sense for the company.

 What is Amazon Sampling?

Amazon is now offering product samples through its existing customer network.  Amazon is using its data insights to help companies reach new customers that are likely to engage with their brand. Through a “surprise and delight” strategy, brands are able to drive trial and awareness by having customers receive products that fit their profiles.

Is it worth it? If you’re expecting a yes/no answer, sorry; the answer is “Maybe.” or “It depends.” When comparing to other sampling programs, Amazon is one of the strongest in terms of audience reach, and is very painless to execute. A brand would work with Amazon to establish what the per unit price will be for fulfillment of each sample. The fulfillment price is dependent on a few criteria including the size of the product ($1.44 & up).

Next, a campaign objective would be determined so Amazon could implement the optimal targeting.  Some of the more common objectives we have seen at VELOCITY are New To Brand ExposureShare of Wallet Increase, Activity-Lapsed Customers (for those customers who a brand wishes to re-engage) and New Product Launch. Depending on which objective(s) are chosen, Amazon will help a brand focus upon the most receptive target.

As long as the products are eligible (i.e., they comply with state commerce and shipping regulations) and have an expiration date of at least 6 months from the purchase date, a product is good to go!

If you are thinking in terms of immediate ROI, hang tight—sampling can get costly really quick. When you factor in the cost of each product, the cost of fulfillment, and the minimum quantity starting in the ten’s of thousands, it really starts to add up.

The Bottom Line

So, the bottom line, IS IT WORTH IT?

Yes, IF:

  • Your brand and you are seeking long-term growth;
  • Your product is actually good enough;
  • Your product is differentiated enough from competitors to ensure that supplementary purchases are not considered; and
  • Your Product HealthScoreTM on Amazon is above a 3.5 to ensure positive impact of the Amazon Algorithm to continue growth.

Wait a minute, you don’t KNOW what a Product HealthScoreTM is?  We need to talk. It is one of the ways that VELOCITY hangs its hat, and it is how brands across our network are learning about how to improve their reach and efficiency on Amazon. Ask me about how you can get your own “HealthScore.”

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