Freeosk’s Shopper Research Reveals Key Drivers Behind Spike in New Product Trials and Shoppers’ Sampling Preferences in a COVID-altered Landscape

CHICAGO – October 20, 2020 – With face-to-face, in-store supermarket sampling on hold for the foreseeable future, Freeosk, the nation’s leading omni-channel shopper engagement platform, today released the results of new research that unlocks insights into the behaviors, motivations, and priorities for sample-starved shoppers.

Based on an August survey of more than 4,000 U.S. shoppers, Freeosk’s proprietary research is aimed at helping both stores and brands deploy contactless marketing strategies that align with shoppers’ most current, COVID-era perceptions and expectations.

When it comes to shopper behaviors, the pandemic is pushing people to turn to new products they have never tried before. In fact, according to the research, three in four shoppers are doing just that. Not only are a majority of shoppers stretching their arms out to give new brands a go, but they are doing it more frequently with nearly 60 percent of shoppers trying new items each and every month.

“As consumers ourselves, we know that shopper habits are changing – especially right now amidst the pandemic. We leveraged our direct connection with shoppers to conduct research that goes one step further and answers the ‘Why?’ behind those new shopping and sampling behaviors,” said Matt Eichorn, CEO of Freeosk.

According to the findings, the top three motivations for consumers to buy and try new products right now include:

  • #1 – Savings – One in three respondents voiced that trying and buying new products stems from their budget consciousness and need to score deals.
  • #2 – Availability – With constrained supply chains and spikes in demand, nearly a quarter of shoppers have found themselves without their old standbys, also pushing them to try new items.
  • #3 – Surprise – Consumers want to be surprised and delighted. And with many people spending more time at home, another fourth of shoppers stated they were on the hunt for new items to spice things up and simply indulge their curiosities.

“For years now, we’ve been able to deliver the joy of ‘free’ to millions of shoppers,” comments Todd Van Fleet, Chief Strategy Officer for Freeosk. “It was quite powerful and validating when the research revealed that nine out of 10 shoppers prefer to try something before they buy.

“What’s even more insightful from the results, however, is finding that today’s current environment is pushing consumers, brands and grocers collectively to go beyond face-to-face sampling to satiate this demand and drive sales,” added Van Fleet.

When asked how they prefer to sample new products currently, 76 percent of respondents indicated they were more likely to turn to a touchless in-store kiosk compared to traditional, person-to-person demo sampling. Shoppers surveyed said they were also more open to receiving samples via mail or grocery pick-up orders than traditional sampling methods, with those two options ranking second and third respectively.

So what does the future hold for getting samples into the hands of shoppers? The Freeosk research illuminates the fact that fear and uncertainty continue to linger on for many people. Fifty-six percent of respondents stated they weren’t sure when, if ever, they would be interested in returning to samples provided by a person. The other 44 percent said it would be at least six months, if not a year, before they felt comfortable returning to face-to-face sampling. Receiving samples in a sanitary and hygienic manner topped shoppers’ priorities when discovering new products.

With so many grocers and brands stuck between a rock and a hard place – a high demand for samples from curious shoppers and shortage of low-touch innovations, companies are partnering with Freeosk to launch contactless, interactive kiosks. With the ability to share not only samples but video messages right along the path to purchase, Freeosk’s platform ensures shoppers experience products and offers that line up with consumers’ current needs.

To learn more about Freeosk’s shopper insights and the solutions available to grocers and brands to meet shopper demand, visit 

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About Freeosk

As the number-one omni-channel shopper engagement platform, found in more than 1,300 grocery store locations across the country, Freeosk transforms in-store experiences into omni-channel relationships. The no-touch, interactive kiosks delight shoppers by creating on-demand, free sampling experiences in-store that generate measurable results. Freeosk helps both Fortune 500 and emerging brands grow by reaching the most curious shoppers beyond the aisles through one-to-one targeting across email, digital, social and even TV. Follow Freeosk on LinkedIn or visit the company’s business partner site at

Media Contact:
Maddie Wojtalewicz, The Motion Agency
[email protected]
(312) 565-0044, ext. 1138

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