Creative Marketing Strategies for Skincare Samples in the UK

Unlike a lot of products in the UK beauty category, skincare products command a high degree of customer loyalty. In fact, a recent study by Euromonitor showed that 50% of customers across 16 countries, including the UK, would remain loyal to a single trusted brand for facial care products, whereas in contrast, 55% of customers switch brands on a regular basis for nail polish.

It is clear that capturing and retaining customers for skincare products is not only more challenging, but also more rewarding in the long term. Personalisation and micro-marketing tactics are more effective in this niche versus broad, mass marketing approaches. One of the best ways in which to increase awareness of your product is by offering free skincare samples.

 

How effective are skincare samples in the UK beauty industry?

Multiple studies have shown that free samples are the third biggest driver behind customer purchases in the beauty category, only behind recommendations from family and friends, and price. However, traditional sampling is often considered “old school”, with the number of brands offering free samples having increased to the point where it has somewhat desensitised customers to the novelty.

The UK skincare industry has still managed to hang on to the power of beauty sampling through innovative means, such as beauty boxes that offer subscriptions to some of the best skincare samples offered by leading brands, interactive online campaigns, try-on apps, and more.

This being said, there are definitely ways in which in-store sampling can still be used effectively as a marketing tactic, especially when overlaid with tools and channels that offer a greater degree of personalisation. Here are some tips on coming up with an effective sampling strategy for your skincare brand.

Tip 1 : Consider a cross-channel approach

Many argue about the benefits of in-store vs. online sampling. However, the best way to ensure your brand captures the maximum value is by offering an omnichannel approach that encompasses the best of both worlds. This is especially important in the UK beauty category where 80% of sales still take place in-store. Online sampling can be done through channels like social media, websites, and interactive advertising. Creative ways of in-store sampling can complement the activities on your digital channels, ensuring that your free skincare samples reach the hands of every customer who stops to interact with your brand, irrespective of the channel!

Tip 2 : Personalisation is key

As mentioned earlier, the skincare category in general is already oversaturated with choices. The only way to ensure that someone considers yours as one of the best skincare samples is to make sure it is delivered via a personalised experience, which delivers greater value to customers. For example – rather than just handing out samples at a retail kiosk, why not consider running an online sampling campaign that lets customers learn more about their skin type in the process? The greater interest you show in your customer, the more interest they will show in your brand.

Tip 3 : Make it a fun and user-friendly experience

The window of opportunity for capturing interest in your product is small in stores and even smaller online. Unless you manage to intrigue the customer within a few minutes (often, seconds!), it is unlikely that they will show any real interest in your brand. This is especially important since sampling tends to attract a lot of frivolous shoppers who are just interested in the free skincare samples and nothing more. In order to convert them, you need to ensure that the method of delivering the sample is simple to use, engaging and interactive, and offers a unique experience.

A new method of marketing skincare samples in the UK

A new method of skincare sampling that encompasses all of the above must-haves has been making waves in the UK. We’re talking about Odore’s e-sampling platform and in-store sampling device, both of which offer an engaging and personalised approach to product sampling. Both of these methods allow skincare brands to deliver a customised and hyper-targeted sampling experience for beauty users, while learning more about them in the process. What’s more, these methods have been proven to increase the likelihood of a purchase, as well as drive long-term repeat purchase behaviour among customers.