You’ve probably never heard about it, but Amazon has recently started a program where companies can send free samples to consumers based on customer data on what they’re most likely to buy.

Amazon Product Sampling Shaking up the Advertising Industry

How Amazon Product Sampling Works

Brands can pay to bring their Amazon Advertising one step further than display ads and deliver small samples of their products to ideal consumers. Amazon will then leverage its expansive customer data by using machine learning to pick the customers most likely to benefit from the sample. As long as a consumer is opted into the program, that free sample will show up right at their front door.

Why Amazon Product Sampling Is Important

With the ability to offer free samples, Amazon could turn the ad industry on its head. Amazon knows that neither Google or Facebook can offer up samples like this, because they don’t have the delivery network to pull it off.  Amazon does.

And if Amazon has learned anything in its quick ascension to ecommerce king, it’s that there is one word consumers love above all else: FREE.

Amazon product sampling is a massive advantage and something that a digital ad can’t replicate. Amazon is betting that old-school samples will have higher conversion rates than the typical display ads. Being able to taste fresh coffee or sample a new perfume could quickly transform competitive verticals on Amazon, and being an early adopter in this program could be a huge boost for your brand.

“Having this huge installed base of users, or really Prime subscribers, and putting something in the box that people will have a high proclivity for liking — that seems like a brilliant Amazon strategy,” – Rich Greenfield, a managing director at BTIG

What Comes Next

For Amazon:This program has the potential to seriously disrupt Facebook and Google’s ad empires. As Amazon tests the sampling program, they aim to automate the ad campaigns to eventually enable self-service.

For brands: By combining targeted marketing with its strong delivery capabilities, Amazon is offering a huge advantage to consumer brands. Brands that invest in the sampling program will have the ability to put their product in the hands of Amazon’s huge customer base. Not taking advantage of this opportunity could result in brands falling behind their competitors.