In the beauty industry, sample testing is the first purchase trigger. But far from being only an effective way to discover a product and recruit new customers: it is also an extraordinary information vector.

For Valerie Jacob, founder of Samplicity, while recruitment is the key motivation for an online sampling campaign, return on investment and overall effectiveness can be maximised by accurately targeting distribution, by analysing the opinions of consumers on the product tested via the sample, and by offering targeted operations to member-consumers identified as having an affinity with the brand.

Smart data for a smart sampling

" Samplicity has disrupted this key acquisition lever for brands with cutting-edge technologies, deep learning, a real-time automated activation tool and proprietary smart data to make e-sampling particularly intelligent and powerful, from acquisition to retention," she told Premium Beauty News.

In practice, the platform provides access to a qualified community, interested in beauty, eager to discover and buy differently. Campaigns can be pre-targeted and are all geo-located. Consumer feedback is collected, analysed by Samplicity and then shared with brands, after consent.

The results are often instructive. This is how Samplicity was able to prioritise the main purchase criteria in a campaign on a foundation product. For French consumers, ease of application and the absence of demarcation thus largely prevail over the search for the right shade, even if the latter remains essential to the finalization of the purchase.

"From the outset, the platform was designed to activate effective marketing operations," Valérie Jacob emphasised. "With our few decades of experience in the beauty industry, we have identified the type of data that brands need, the sources, the aggregations and the processing required, hence the name Smart Data. We can provide our clients with analyses and leads enriched with attributes of extremely fine granularity, including emotional motivations."

The aim is to provide brands with a genuine KYCB (Know Your Customer Better) tool, with a real-time updating of their data.

Engage consumers with brands

Samplicity’s architecture is perfectly suited to the new challenges of online engagement. This is evidenced by impressive consumer feedback rates: between 60 and 70% per campaign, with an average of 67%.

Building a relationship of trust with users obviously involves absolute compliance with the RGPD regulation, but also a reasonable level of solicitation. "The demand for samples is such that we have no recruitment problem. On the other hand, if our members remain highly engaged it is because we offer them samples that are tailored to their needs and we only interact with them when necessary, mainly via their personal space. We are not intrusive and we never give out their data without their explicit prior consent," insists the founder.

And the strong commitment of participants is a major asset in a rapidly changing market. On the one hand, with the end of third-party cookies, the implementation of Apple’s App Tracking Transparency policy and the limits of programmatic advertising (which 54% of consumers find intrusive), the media ecosystem is in upheaval. "Not to mention the questionable relevance of look-alike criteria for perfumes and skincare products," pointed out Valérie Jacob. On the other hand, there is a demand for a more rational consumption in reaction to the criticised over-consumption, the ease of discovery and purchase, the desire to communicate differently with brands to put an end to the digital and energy pollution generated by it.

Samplicity monitors every step of every operation to deliver reliable metrics that are not dependent on cookies or Google Analytics. The platform was built to be a flexible and scalable data collection and processing tool, with the possibility of creating tailor-made mechanisms depending on the brand, its product and its objectives.

Valérie Jacob believes that brand e-sampling campaigns are too often limited to actions on social networks. The method is certainly quite effective in generating massive distribution, but much less effective in engaging customers and getting to know them better, measuring and optimising marketing activations. For more complete results, Samplicity can plug its mechanisms into any digital or social media campaign to accompany the mobile user all the way to purchase.

The next step for Samplicity is to expand into the Americas and Asia, adapting its model to local expectations and data protection laws. Backed by its agile and robust technology, the company has already started to look for international partners, its current strategic priority.