A study by Statista carried out on 1,000 respondents in the UK found that while smell is the most important factor in the purchase decision for perfumes, testers and free samples were the second most widely cited reason.

Perfume samples in the UK are one of the most widely used ways of marketing a new scent. Tester sprays, perfume swatches, as well as mini-sized bottles of perfume have always been a part of fragrance brands’ marketing arsenals. However, as the UK fragrance industry evolves, brands are going to have to think beyond traditional ways of marketing new scents in order to keep up with customer behaviour.

Building customer experiences around perfume samples in the UK

The advent of digital and social media, where strong opinions regarding brands are formed, as well as the proliferation of brands themselves, which has inundated customers with choices, mean that building loyalty is harder than ever for UK fragrance retailers.

While the free samples themselves may have originally been enough to drive purchases, the number of UK brands using sampling as a tactic has also increased. Now, one can expect to receive at least 2 or 3 free sample perfumes when walking into any fragrance store, which has correspondingly made it more challenging for brands to rely on the sample alone to sell the product.

Rarely will a one-off perfume sample be enough to convert a customer in the modern age. Instead, brands need to focus on delivering sample perfumes through unique and meaningful customer experiences, which help build the customer up to purchasing the product. It is a more long-term game, and one which focuses on a personalised, relationship driven approach, rather than a product led interaction.

Experiential marketing is the new trend when it comes to dispensing perfume samples in the UK. Several fragrance brands have run successful sampling campaigns that captured the interest of customers. Lancôme, for example, installed a 36-foot tall replica of the Eiffel Tower at London St. Pancras station last year, made entirely of sample perfume bottles.

Another leading UK brand, Burberry, launched an online sampling campaign in which it invited users to participate in an interactive experience on Facebook in order to receive a free sample for its new body fragrance.

The success behind these campaigns can be attributed to the fact that each brand tried something non-conventional to increase awareness of their product. Additionally, putting the focus on personalisation and relevance, rather than on the sample perfumes themselves, was also part of what made them so successful.

Combining sampling with personalisation – a novel approach

Odore’s unique technology enables fragrance brands to harness the power of sampling in a non-conventional, personalised approach. This revolutionary approach has elevated the ordinary method of dispensing perfume samples in the UK, making it easier for brands to connect with customers.

Shoppers are invited to share their preferences through an interactive interface that allows brands to learn more about them before dispensing a personalised sample to customers, that is unique to their tastes. The interaction not only provides value to customers, in the form of a tailored experience and a personal product recommendation, but also give brands valuable insights into their customers and their purchase decisions.

This revolutionary approach can be used by UK fragrance brands to build deeper, more long-lasting relationships with customers versus a one-size-fits-all approach to sampling.