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Markets & trends

Samples, the first purchase triggers for make-up products

The sample is the element of the promotional mix that encourages the most to buy a make-up product. Such are the findings of an online survey conducted among French female consumers by Invescomm.

Stanislas Feminier, Invescomm

Stanislas Feminier, Invescomm


The sample is just before the promotional box with free products, the most efficient element of the promotional mix, the one that encourages the most to buy a make-up product, according to a survey conducted by Invescomm, a market research and consulting firm, in partnership with the online site FemmesPlus. Beyond questions in connection with the purchase trigger and the conditions of choice of a new make-up product, the survey also addresses preferences and expectations in terms of sampling and, more generally, make-up habits.

The survey was conducted on a panel of 1,071 women who answered an online questionnaire from the website FemmesPlus. The panel was adjusted using the socio-demographics of the French population as published by the Insee. It was complemented with a B to B supplement consisting of interviews of professionals operating in the marketing of colour cosmetics.

First purchase vector

When asked about the choice conditions of a new make-up product, consumers say they need to try it and use it for at least a day (54.4%) or quickly (29.5%), but they do not believe that simply enquiring on the product is enough (9.4%) just as seeing it on someone else (0.9%).

No wonder then that samples are acclaimed before promotional boxes and even before testers in the ranking of purchase incentives for make-up products.

Samples are particularly appreciated by women aged 25-44 and those whose annual income is over EUR 100 000. The survey also reveals that the older consumers are, the more they need to try a make-up product on themselves for a long period. This is also what claim 90% of consumers with very large incomes, who want to test them for at least a day.

Sampling via the Internet

Concerning the dispatch mode of samples, Invescomm’s survey focuses in particular on the internet channel. It appears, and this is no great surprise, that the younger the consumers, the more they are familiar with ordering samples via the Internet. But the survey also reveals that high-income consumers are more likely to order samples online.

The survey also noted strong differences in terms of awareness, depending on whether consumers are interviewed about the websites where they had the opportunity to order make-up samples or on brands from which they have already received samples. Except that in both cases, Yves Rocher is ranked far ahead of its competitors.

The results of this survey show that consumers want to test thoroughly a make-up product before buying it. This makes the sample an unavoidable tool since it has the most competitive unit cost of all testing tools available in the promotional mix of make-up brands”, explains Stanislas Feminier, Associate Director of Invescomm.

Vincent Gallon

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