How Is Purchase Intention of Indian Consumers Affected by Product Sampling and Trials in FMCG Sector
The consumer preferences are changing continuously and the business environment in the FMCG sector is becoming competitive each day. It becomes of pertinent importance that the marketers should look out for new and innovative ways to pitch their products to the consumers. When it comes to introducing new brands especially in the FMCG sector, product trials and in store sampling have acquired an integral part. They affect the consumer decision making process in the consideration and the evaluation phases. Let’s take an example of the FMCG major HUL’s brand DOVE, which heavily uses the product trials and user experiences from those trials to generate interest and pitch their products to the consumers. Also, the major telecom service provider Reliance Jio’s marketing strategy was majorly based on product trials.
However, consumer behavior and their characteristics are changing with a rapid pace in this post internet era. In store sampling can lure in consumers for impulse buying, creating a pull for the non-brand conscious consumers and the consumers who are in the consideration stage. The marketing techniques of product sampling and trials are means to create awareness, increase word-of-mouth and product adoption rates in the fast moving consumer goods category. These techniques also provides the consumers with an opportunity to test the products against their expectations. This paper aims to understand the effectiveness of these techniques on the purchase intention of Indian consumers especially in the FMCG sector.
Sampling is more prevalent in lower ticket items and high consumer buying tendency. With the increasing amount of disposable income and limited consumer time, consumers engage in hasty / habitual purchasing. Retailers also use these strategies to improve their shop footfall along with successful FMCG product selection.
This paper explores the effect of FMCG's product sampling and trial on the consumer's final purchase intent. This will help retailers and brand managers map the impact of free specimens on the overall intention of buying and pave the way for further research on the topic mentioned.