Fragrance brands increased their sampling efforts just in time for the holiday season, according to L2’s latest research on Beauty sampling practices. Fragrance made up 32% of all beauty samples distributed in the last quarter of 2016, and that number dropped to 23% after the holidays (Q1 2017).

Some brands used innovative ways to encourage data capture and sample interest in the last quarter to incentive gift purchases. For example, YSL Beauty promoted Instagram posts using an image of hero fragrance Black Opium and offering a sample for those who shared their email address.

Tom Ford offered samples in exchange for email signups as well. The brand promoted Black Orchid on Snapchat soliciting email and address information and newsletter opt-in.

However, brands that deviated from the norm in sampling strategy yielded results – in the form of reviews. For example, Maison Martin Margiela distributed 18x as many samples for its At the Barber fragrance in Q1 2017 – and multiplied reviews for the fragrance by 13x as a result. Sixty-nine percent of the reviewers mentioned receiving a sample.


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