Innovation That Matters

Sampling salons for cosmetics

Fashion & Beauty

With an overwhelming number of cosmetics in the marketplace and the high price tags on many department store offerings, it’s no wonder customers are wary of plunking down their hard-earned dollars without first trying a product. Department store make-up counters have long offered samples and testers, but not without a sales pitch. Cosmetics shoppers in Tokyo now have an alluring alternative—sampling salons like Club-C. Customers at sampling salons are invited to take their time and try as many make-up and skin care products as they like without any pressure to buy. They can test-drive different brands and varieties side by side and make their purchases later on at traditional sales counters or over the internet. While some salons employ a staff of knowledgeable consultants, there are no salespeople onsite. The concept—a perfect interpretation of tryvertising—offers a relaxed shopping experience for consumers and expanded product exposure and market research for manufacturers. Salons get revenue from manufacturers who pay for their products to be displayed, market research organizations and sometimes from the customers themselves, who pay modest membership fees. Already quite the rage in Japan, this is a concept we can expect to see more of in other parts of the world—and one that could be applied to other product categories as well.



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