Sam's Club embraces e-commerce with online samples
- Sam’s Club is introducing online samples in its Taste & Tips Sampler Bag, which is free with any SamsClub.com purchase through April 30, according to Progressive Grocer. The promotion begins this week.
- Each bag will contain six to eight new products, including Road Crew Crunch, Honest Kids Fruit Drinks, Perrier sparkling water, Santa Barbara Bars, Pretzel Crisps and goodnessknows snack squares.
- The items arrive in an Easter-themed reusable tote bag, which also includes a voucher for a free hot dog from the Sam’s Club Café.
Sam’s Club is embracing its online customer base by rewarding shoppers who purchase products online with this special promotion. In doing so, the company hopes to make regular customers out of the millions already shopping online.
Studies show that consumers are more than willing to switch stores if they are offered superior prices, quality or grocery experiences, as brand loyalty isn't a strong motivator in the e-commerce space. Because of this, traditional grocers and e-tailers are scrambling to lure shoppers from their competitors and capture more market share in the growing online grocery space. eMarketer.com recently reported that food and beverages are projected to be the ninth largest category in e-commerce sales between 2012 to 2018, with sales coming in north of approximately $10.9 billion.
Interestingly, one of Sam’s Club’s largest competitors — Costco — seems to be shying away from going big in the e-commerce space, which accounted for about 4% of its annual revenue in the last fiscal year. This is understandable given the size and volume of some of the purchases shoppers make at the warehouse store. Still, in-store purchasing behavior is beginning to shape online grocery, and wholesale chain stores are feeling pressure to embrace e-commerce in order to compete with the likes of Amazon.
Sam's Club shares the same shipping challenges as Costco, but this novelty promotion suggests that the chain is beginning to embrace e-commerce as the future of grocery. It will be interesting to see how the retailer continues to innovate in this space — it has already added drive-thrus for online order pickup at 65 of its 660 U.S. stores, and sells 51,000 products on Samsclub.com, compared to 6,000 in-store.
- Progressive Grocer Sam’s Club Ventures Into E-Sampling
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