Now you can launch a product with freebies: Amazon brings Sampling program to Europe

Jérôme de Guigné
Jan 9 · 2 min read

An exciting change for brands looking to launch new products, particularly those that customers want to try before they buy: After initial launch in the US, Amazon is bringing its new sampling program to Europe.

Why a sampling program?

Many brands are struggling to launch new products, particularly products for which the customer usually wants a test first, for example to see the real colour — think of home and furniture brands, such as carpets and flooring. Amazon has been looking for a way to support these businesses, as well as compete against physical stores where you can touch and feel the products.

What is the sampling program?

Amazon is offering brands the ability to provide free samples to end users. The brands have to offer at least 50,000 units free of charge for this program, and pay a fee of around €1.50 per unit (depending on size/weight). For now, the program is limited to FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) products.

Why is it a great idea?

Free samples can be seen as a form of advertising, but with a much higher conversion rate — consumers love them. Obviously the entrance fee is quite high (around €75K), and mostly oriented for bigger brands. But for brands with plenty of marketing budget, it is certainly a good way to launch a new product.

Case studies

In a survey of consumers who had received samples, 91% of respondents for a cereal brand sampling said they would rate the product four or five stars on Amazon. 98% of them hadn’t bought the product on Amazon before — so the sampling was effective in targeting new customers.

For a baked goods sampling, 94% of respondents said they had tried the sample, and 88% said they were likely to buy the product in the next six months — a pretty impressive conversion rate.

How do I sign up?

The program today is on an invite-only basis — and for vendors only. If you want to opt in, you need to contact your vendor manager or account manager.

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