Introducing New Customers to your Brand with Samples and Sustainable Packaging

The business world is continually shifting further towards the digital arena, which presents new opportunities and obstacles for companies across all sectors. For brands in the cosmetics and skincare industry, however, there is immense pressure to find ways of getting products in front of their customers – especially when they are not stepping into a physical store anywhere near as frequently.

Skincare and beauty products are personal purchases where consumers need to feel 100% confident about their choices. The constraints of e-commerce make it impossible for individuals to test out the different formulas and colours. Through a combination of samples and sustainable packaging, though, it will be possible to introduce new customers to your brand in style.

The growing trend of ‘try before you buy’

The concept of sampling has been a firm feature of the cosmetics industry for many years. Brick-and-mortar stores use sample bottles of fragrances while many offer tester sessions where the salesperson or beautician makes makeup suggestions based on the user’s skin tone and condition.

In short, seeing is believing. Consumers won’t know whether a cosmetics product is right for them until they’ve tried it. Sadly, this is a hurdle that e-commerce brands need to clear. As per Forbes, a Brandshare campaign with Walmart saw sales of four scents grow by 300%. From a consumer’s perspective, the opportunity to try the range of products enabled them to find their best solution. For a company, the high conversion rates make it one of the most cost-effective marketing models available.

The UK market is just as open to sampling as the US market. Eventeem reports that 70% of recipients will enquire more about the product while 59% of consumers tell friends and family about new products they’ve tried. People love to receive free gifts and samples, resulting in an almost 100% open rate when sending samples out to people on your customer list. Moreover, the natural response to being treated nicely is to reciprocate. For a consumer, this means repaying the brand’s kindness by buying the product – especially if it’s a good product.

Of course, anyone that has ordered the sample will try it too. At a time where a lot of people are extra cautious about wasting money, the growing popularity of try before you buy samples for cosmetics products is a very logical outcome.

Functional packaging vs. decorative packaging

When buying products, consumers don’t just want a product. They crave an experience, which is shown by the fact that over 80% will happily pay more to brands that provide it. While online beauty brands cannot provide some of the features that they would during face-to-face interactions, great packaging can have an immensely positive impact.

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but Ipsos reports that 72% of consumers admit that their decisions are influenced by packaging. UK audiences show similar preferences. The harsh reality is that when a sample package fails, the chances of a consumer buying full-size products are very slim. First and foremost, any sustainable packaging choices should protect the goods from impact damage or problems caused by temperature changes.

For brands in the cosmetics industry, it’s important to acknowledge the daily function too. A good product will probably be used daily. Even if the sample only has enough for one application, consumers are subconsciously thinking about the prospect of regular usage. So, if using the product feels inconvenient, it will hinder the experience. In turn, those negative reactions will reduce any interest that they have in the product itself. Conversely, a well-presented sample can actively boost the hopes of conversion.

Sample cosmetics packaging could be presented as mini pots and jars, sachets, vials, or ampoules. Whatever type of container is used to transport your samples, it must enable the user to get a clear insight into the product and what it can achieve in relation to their personal beauty and skincare routines. On a side note, compact beauty samples can provide consumers with a suitable solution when travelling. When you add value to their vacations, their natural reciprocation could boost your full-size product sales.

The function will have a huge influence on the user’s experience of the product, which can have a direct correlation with your hopes of gaining a sale. However, if you want to make the best possible first impression, design details are just as crucial as the practicalities. Zero waste packaging is the answer. 

Does sustainable packaging boost brand image?

Packaging choices are important for all businesses. In the cosmetics and skincare industry, attractive packaging can make products stand out on the shelf of brick-and-mortar stores. For e-commerce brands, the right packaging can build anticipation and excitement as soon as the recipient picks up the package. Therefore, choosing colour schemes and using your logos and branding features to celebrate the USPs of your cosmetics business while strengthening the bond with members of your target market.

As with any aspect of branding and marketing, it is essential to view the situation from a consumer’s perspective. People are more eager than ever to align with companies that share similar views as them. As such, over 80% prefer to use companies that are focused on recycling and helping the environment by working towards zero waste.

Sustainable packaging makes a clear statement that you are committed to helping the environment. This fits in perfectly if your cosmetics and skincare brand focuses on cruelty-free products. The desire to promote positivity in this way doesn’t only influence customers, and can also improve the happiness of your employees. Nonetheless, your potential leads are the biggest incentive for embracing ethical and sustainable packaging choices for your samples and full-size products alike. 

Cosmetics and skincare products are presented to solve problems and improve clients’ quality of life! After all, some studies have shown that beauty can make you 10% happier. When samples can do this while simultaneously making people feel better about their carbon footprint and impact on the environment, any associations with your brand will become even more positive.

The final word

If you are a cosmetics brand working in the digital arena or hoping to upgrade your e-commerce endeavours as a result of the pandemic, sending out samples (and allowing users to order them directly) is proving an essential part of successful business models today. In the process of trying product itself, users interact with the packaging. Make a great first and lasting impression with smarter choices today, and the brand’s future will look brighter than ever.

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