An understanding of human nature explains why driving around a car park waiting for the perfect spot, and walking into busy malls and standing in queues to pay, has for years trumped online shopping — despite the convenience it offers.

However, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the shopping experience as avoiding crowds, and remaining socially distanced, and at home for the most part, has become paramount.

Humans are sensory beings — we like to touch, feel, smell and hear. We like to turn products round in our hands, feel their weight and texture and interrogate them from all angles. We like to experience first-hand the products we’re going to spend our hard-earned money on. We like to try before we buy.

Surprisingly, consumer demand to experience new products has not waned during lockdown. In fact, appetites have increased, creating a dilemma for marketers: how do we reach consumers and provide physical touchpoints for products when there is less footfall in stores and we need to keep everyone safe?

Indeed, experiential marketing has been hard hit during the pandemic as consumers switch to buying online. While digital technology has infiltrated virtually every aspect of business as we adapt to a new way of life, it cannot replace the thrill of the physical shopping experience.

The convenience of ordering products with a click or a swipe is unquestioned, particularly when it relates to products that consumers are already familiar with and have been using in their homes for years. The challenge lies in getting them to buy something new when they don’t yet have a reason to believe.

Giving consumers that first reason to believe is what at-home product sampling is all about, and it’s becoming an essential tool for brands at a time when they’re being held to new standards of safety and hygiene — when they have to put the health of consumers up front, without compromising the commercial needs of their business.

Just as in-store product sampling provided a high impact sensory touchpoint for consumers, in-home sampling is a creative and effective way for new products to reach consumers — where brands can start fostering relationships, earn brand attention, expand shopper knowledge, drive consideration, inspire loyalty and ultimately realise sales.

Join Siya Sangweni as he hosts the next episode in the Future of Media webinar series, in partnership with Introducing!SA. They’ll explore the exciting in-home sampling environment and share crucial insights on the evolving wants and needs of consumers inthe Covid-19 era.

Introducing!SA provides brands with an omnichannel platform to deliver in-home sampling opportunities, events and promotional campaigns to engaged online and social media audiences.

Panel members in the discussion, moderated by Sangweni, include:

  • Aqsa Qureshi, digital channel strategy manager;
  • Jacqui Hansen, research strategist; and
  • Dejane Poil, head of retail, marketing and innovation.

The details:

  • Date: October 27 2021
  • Time: 10am-11am

Click here to register>>>