Free Samples Are Back, But With Safety In Mind

By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO AP Retail Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — With vaccinations rolling out and the threat of COVID-19 easing in the U.S., stores are feeling confident enough to revive the longstanding tradition of offering free samples. For customers, sampling makes it fun to shop and discover new items, not to mention getting all the freebies. For retailers, they’re critical tools to keep shoppers coming back and battle against online retailers like Amazon. The NPD Group says food sampling converts browsers into buyers at a 20% higher rate than if customers weren’t allowed to test. The conversion rate is 30% higher when beauty products are sampled. But while sampling is back, it’s not clear if everyone is ready to bite. With that in mind, some retailers are putting various safety protocols in place to ease concerns.

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