‘Try before you buy’ – why brands should use product demonstration?

6th November 2014

‘Try before you buy’, is a phrase once made famous by popular daytime TV show To Buy or Not to Buy, where prospected home buyers were given the opportunity to try out a property before buying. Whilst this is very uncommon in the property world, ‘try before you buy’ is ever present in the consumer market, with product demonstrations vitally important in retail spaces and product sampling key to influencing your customer’s decision. 

Kirsten Osolind, CEO of re:invention explains that “In-store demos offer an opportunity to connect directly with the customer…the more connections, the higher the sales”. It is this interaction that draws consumers towards a product that they may have otherwise walked past, with Virgil Klunder of Comfort Zone explaining that “passive products, those on display, put you at the mercy of people walking by”, but “demonstrating puts the demonstrator in control of the number they have contact with and the selling process itself”.

However, a great product demonstration is not just about alerting customers of your product, but is about informing and showing them how it can benefit them as an individual and how it can provide solutions to their problems. Marcia Layton Turner of Speciality Retail, informs us that if you “tell people what you want them to know, maybe they’ll understand and remember it for a while. But show them, involve them, and they’ll “get it”…“getting it” means not just understanding the message – it means buying the product”. Furthermore, as highlighted by the Business Insider, consumers are not so worried about what the company values about its own product, “but what the product can do to solve a problem for them”. They will “buy from a company that’s educated them on the issue and presented multiple solutions…a “built trust””, trying the product out in store and covering all their needs before buying.

According to a report on In-store Sampling Effectiveness, by the independent research firm Knowledge Networks PDI, a survey of 1,800 respondents found that 58 percent said they would buy a product after trying it. They also found that a product demonstration In-store significantly increased an item’s sales by 475 percent and also boosted sales from the entire product line by as much as 177 percent on the demonstration day, highlighting the power of add on sales as well. Additionally, Chris Lindsay who is the owner of Herbal Concepts, explains how a “proactive demonstration can increase sales by up to 5 times on that day and even a less proactive demonstration can increase sales by 2 times. Product Sampling also ties in nicely here, with 39% of consumers saying they would buy a product after being given a free sample of something for the first time, according to Experiences Economy.

Before wrapping up, there is now a new phenomenon that makes In-store product demonstrations even more important and is described by Tara Evans of This is Money – the ‘showroomer’. 70% of UK citizens admit to ‘showrooming’, which is where you try or view an item In-store and then buy it cheaper online. Furthermore, the UK is number one in the world for this at 68 percent compared to the Global average of 33 percent. By having a demonstrator In-store they are more likely to get the sale completed on the day through a “built trust”, but if the customer was to leave to check it online, they are still leaving to buy your product through the “built trust” once more.

At GottaBe! it is extremely evident that a ‘try before you buy’ mentality can really help to drive sales through In-store demonstrations and product sampling. By using in-store demonstrators to highlight your product in the face of the consumer we are able to create that “built trust”, by showcasing your products to increase your sales through the brilliant services we offer in this field.

Story written by Sam Lovell, Client Service Manager at GottaBe!

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