With the rapid development of technology including the invention of the internet, coupons have also changed over time, becoming predominantly distributed through online channels. Consumers enjoy being able to easily search for deals from their favorite brands and the ease of sharing them amongst friends and family.
In 2013, RetailMeNot said, “Coupon usage is ubiquitous.” They revealed that 93% of Americans shop with coupons with 29% of Americans using mobile coupons. Consumer shopping habits have most certainly changed over the years, with many consumers becoming more price-conscious and opting to purchase one brand over another if they are offered some sort of a discount coupon. It is even reported that on average, consumers will spend 2 hours a week dedicated to hunting for deals online. Read more
A free sample or "freebie" is a portion of food or other product (for example beauty products) given to consumers in shopping malls, supermarkets, retail stores, or through other channels (such as via the Internet). Sometimes samples of non-perishable items are included in direct marketingmailings. The purpose of a free sample is to acquaint the consumer with a new product, and is similar to the concept of a test drive, in that a customer is able to try out a product before purchasing it.
Although an expensive method of targeting customers, conversions to sales can be as high as 90% making it one of the main marketing strategies for certain markets. With effective sampling, marketers can create brand loyalty and assist in the launch of a product through the word of mouth.
Many consumer product companies now offer free samples through their websites, to encourage consumers to use the products regularly, and to gather data for mailing lists of potentially interested customers. Paint chips are samples of paint colors that are sometimes offered as free samples.
The expansion of online marketing with regards to promotional giveaways has facilitated the rise of "Freebie sites" that seek to aggregate all promotional free sample offers in one place. These sites will often compile free product samples from all over the World Wide Web and categorize them by type. Some product sample offers may require consumers to complete a survey or refer a friend in order to qualify for the freebies. When all requirements are fulfilled, the product samples are shipped to the consumer. Some sample products might be digital goods, where sample might be closely related to a product trial.
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