Bringing customers in-store

In busy streets with plenty of stores, passersby do not have the time to stop at every store on their way to their destination. Besides window displays, some stores have started giving out samples to entice potential customers even before they have entered the store. This perfume shop around the Place des Voges offers pre-spray perfume samples to passersby. This is a clever and low-effort method to convince potential customers to enter the store and explore.

While small stores have the advantage of a cozy atmosphere where you can talk with the store associate, they are also places that can make people very uncomfortable with all of the attention. These types of small, upscale stores are typically empty. As a result, as soon as you walk in, there is a store associate who acknowledges your presence and tries to start a discussion with you. If you are unsure whether you will like the store or whether you will want to buy anything, the potential customer might shy away from entering and exploring an unknown location. By providing the sample outside of the store, the store is making the first baby step and allowing the potential customer to enter only if they liked the product. In a way, this is a soft introduction to the store, letting the potential customer start to form a relationship of trust before any sort of commitment is taken.

In any case, I thought that this type of samples and marketing touchpoint was rather interesting. Have you seen a similar marketing promotion? Would you be more likely to go into a store if you could try a sample beforehand? For what other types of stores could this marketing strategy work for?

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