Amazon has deployed yet another strategy designed to stay fresh in the shopper’s mind — free, targeted samples delivered to their doorstep. The samples are “like Amazon’s product recommendations, but real,” according to an Amazon FAQ page, and include grocery items as well as pet food, beauty, health and wellness products.
The e-Commerce giant will send samples based on a shopper’s purchasing history, according to Axios, which discovered that Amazon had a job opening for a “BizTech Leader, Sampling” in November 2018. In the job description, Amazon lists Targeted Product Sampling as an “advertising product that leverages Amazon’s customer data to allow brands to put their products in the hands of the right customers to drive product awareness and conversion.”
Anyone with an active Amazon.com account is eligible to receive, or opt out of, the free samples.
This isn’t the first time Amazon has experimented with offering samples. Last year, the company launched Prime Samples, which allows Prime members to buy individual samples and sample boxes and receive credit for a later purchase.
This further move into sampling, however, shows Amazon’s willingness to try new methods of converting possible one-time shoppers into repeat customers — as evidenced by the fact that users aren’t required to be Prime members to receive the samples. Amazon may be using this program to capture less-frequent shoppers by offering them popular brands they already like, such as Dunkin, KIND, Dove or Maybelline.
As many as 83% of retail execs say that converting “one-and-done” buyers into recurring customers is very important for their overall retail strategy, according to a recent Ordergroove study. Amazon has already mastered the “recurring revenue” model, with nearly 100 million people subscribed to the Prime membership service. But despite its already massive breadth, Prime still needs to find a way to continue growing; otherwise, the retailer will continue to run the already-present risk of market saturation.
With 86% of respondents indicating that their subscription customers are more satisfied than their non-subscription customers, Amazon still has plenty of reason to expand its monthly service. If Amazon wants to reach 275 million Prime members by 2029, as projected by Citigroup, then sampling will need to be one of many ways the e-Commerce giant continues on its innovation track.