3 Ways to fuel sales whilst on trial using digital channels

It’s vital that the goals or targets you’ve been set are met when on a probationary ‘trial period starts in a supermarket, otherwise you’re looking at the end of the road. Fear not, we’ve got a few methods for sustaining and growing sales during this important period, so read on.

Radius Targeting

Radius targeting is an increasingly useful digital marketing method with constantly improving functionality. You can run campaigns using it on Facebook, YouTube (AdWords) as well as in a slightly different sense on applications such as Snapchat.

Let’s return to the example of a trial period with a supermarket. Let’s say that our product is being trialled at 100 of their larger branches. Radius targeting can be used to target specific audiences local to that branch, all that is required is a creative to use in the ads you are going to run. Video works best. Video content can be used to advertise on YouTube through AdWords.

We can set up a campaign where we set up targeting for a 1km radius around each of the 100 branches. We can then focus in on our target audience by adding in (or removing) interest-based or demographic-based (age, gender, etc.) targeting options. Ex. If we are promoting a meat-based product, we can rule out people who have an expressed interest in Vegetarianism or Veganism. Both Facebook and AdWords offer this functionality. The creative will then be shown to people within that radius – to further solidify this, you can include a message in your creative, something along the lines of: ‘Now available at your local _________ (Less than 1km away)!’.

A slightly different option, and one not suitable for every brand, is Snapchat’s Geofencing functionality. Dubbed ‘Geofilters’, Snapchat offers location based overlays that users can add to their snaps. Currently, Snapchat doesn’t offer the functionality to geofence around a business. However, you can still draw up a geofence around a public place, neighbourhood or landmark – so still several possibilities, especially if on trial period in a built-up, city-based retailer.

Free Product Giveaway

Running free product giveaways is a great way of growing awareness whilst also encouraging people to get into store and buy/try your product. This is an extremely cost-effective method that combines sampling with the generation of sales.

Sampling is often a poor exercise in terms of cost-effective, nor does it help with regards to meeting stock-based targets whilst on trial at a retailer. Free product giveaways contrastingly do help. Users can be offered either a downloadable/printable voucher, or they can be sent a voucher out in the post. Vouchers can be won in many ways, ranging from weekly social media competitions (a fantastic way of growing your social following) to on-site giveaways (we’d recommend thinking big: 100, 500, 1000 giveaways).

This method doesn’t involve any financial transaction between, yet it does grow awareness and loyalty to the brand whilst being far more cost-effective than traditional sampling exercises. Furthermore, it can be used in tandem with vouchers…


Vouchers are another route to consider when looking to fuel sales during a probationary period with a retailer. As mentioned above, vouchers can be used both as a standalone method and in tandem with free product giveaways.

Once you’ve given away a few hundred products (or more), you can progress on to offer money off vouchers. You can start off with 50% and then move down to 25%. This method is great for developing brand loyalty with consumers whilst transitioning from free products to transactions with a retailer. Individual retailers will have different guidelines on voucher-based transactions during a trial period, however as they are (in-part) financial transactions they will count towards any goals or targets you’ve been set.

An alternative to traditional vouchers can be found in Checkout Smart, a reward-based cashback app for UK supermarket shoppers. The same pattern as above applies: First few hundred products given away a free, before moving to 50% off vouchers for people using the app (at the 100 locations you’re trialling at) and then finally 25% off. The beauty of Checkout Smart comes from the fact that the user directly receives the money/saving back from Checkout Smart, as opposed to at the retailer’s till – this means that 100% of the transactions count towards the trial goals/targets you’ve been set. Not bad.

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