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What does COVID-19 mean for in-store sampling?

The emergence of a worldwide pandemic has forced brands to re-imagine and conjure new ways to market their products to consumers.

Traditional in-store product sampling is threatened due to social distancing requirements and health and safety regulations issued by governments worldwide. The risk of exposure, contamination and spread is far too great. Bacteria and viruses such as COVID-19 can be spread by both person-to-person contact and surface contact, which makes it particularly dangerous to practice communal sampling (especially for food & beverage and fragrance products).

Sales Planning, Trade Marketing & Category Activation Manager, Sandeep Sreedharan discusses this in his latest LinkedIn article, ‘Is In-store sampling dead?’. He highlights how “the current cancellation of in-store demos sent tremors through marketing teams across the industry”, as they were left (and remain) searching for alternative ways to support new product launches that consumers can still participate in and engage with.

“There is no doubt that sampling can significantly boost sales, especially for a new product. It reduces the risk of trial. It increases awareness of new brands and products. It allows brands to have one-on-one conversations with prospective consumers, even generate quick feedback on product quality. It can trigger purchase decisions by generating feelings of reciprocity. It can help expand consumer databases” – Sandeep Sreedharan [read it here].

Despite new AI technologies and cutting-edge digitised sampling activations, the benefits of traditional product sampling are unquestionable as described above. As such, it is now essential that brands adapt their strategy in order to survive in a post COVID-19 world and enter into a new era of product sampling.

At The Workplace Present, we have long been challenging conventional in-store sampling techniques. Our alternative sampling solutions ensure that brands can still reach and impact their target consumers – all within the workplace, and to hundreds of thousands of employees at a time. Safely, securely, and with new safety measures to ensure minimal person-to-person contact.

Our workplace sampling activations are free for companies to sign up to and allow brands to demo their products in an environment that is free from marketing clutter, and to a selected demographic. We can even geotarget offices that are in close proximity to POS and retail partners to ensure the path to purchase is made as easy as possible post trial (learn more at

Given that in-store sampling is known to increase sales by as much as 2,000 percent, it’s clear that brands must now explore alternative sampling strategies to continue to reap these benefits.

To get in touch with us and find out more, you can drop us an email at

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