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How To Use Sample Products For Reciprocity In Sales (WooCommerce)

How To Use Sample Products For Reciprocity In Sales (WooCommerce)

Reciprocity in sales is a powerful psychological technique that marketers use to boost sales and foster better relationships with customers. It’s all about giving something valuable to your customers. This, in turn, creates a sense of obligation in them to give something back.

In WooCommerce, you can take advantage of the reciprocity principle by offering sample products to your audience. By doing this, you show your customers that you value them and appreciate their business. And guess what? This triggers their innate desire to reciprocate your kindness!

In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of using sample products in sales. We’ll also give you three easy steps on how to seamlessly integrate samples into your WooCommerce store using the right plugin. So, let’s dive right in and discover how you can make the most of this powerful technique!

The Psychology Of Reciprocity In The Context Of Sales

Have you ever experienced those moments at a grocery store where they offer free samples of food? You take a few bites, and suddenly, you feel this sense of obligation to make a purchase. Even if you hadn’t planned on buying that particular product, you find yourself walking away with a new snack.

That’s precisely how reciprocity operates in the world of sales!

When businesses give you a small taste of their product, it’s not just about generosity. They’re actually trying to create a feeling of indebtedness within you.

In other words, they want you to feel more inclined to buy their food or become a customer.

Free Sample Example
Free sample example (click to zoom)

The reciprocity principle is deeply rooted in our social psychology. It stems from our innate tendency to respond to acts of kindness with more kindness. In simple terms, when someone does something nice or beneficial for us, we naturally feel the need to return the favor.

Reciprocity can take various forms in our daily lives. It could mean:

  • returning a favor to someone,
  • helping someone who has helped us in the past,
  • or engaging in cooperative behavior with others.

However, when it comes to sales and marketing, the most direct way to activate reciprocity is by providing a gratifying experience that fosters a sense of indebtedness.

Auto-applied free samples (click to zoom)

When your customers feel genuinely grateful, as if they owe you for the incredible savings or the unexpected free product, it significantly increases the chances of them reciprocating this gesture by making additional purchases.

This not only enhances their overall experience with you but also sets you apart from other retailers. Now, your customers not only walk away with a positive impression but also an extra item, giving you a competitive edge in the market.

How To Trigger Reciprocity In Sales

According to Dr. Robert’s 7 Principles of Persuasion, offering a small gift or favor before making a sales request can significantly increase the likelihood of a positive response. This is mainly because reciprocity creates a sense of obligation, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates in sales interactions.

However, it’s important to note that leveraging reciprocity goes beyond this specific approach.

As a store owner, it is essential for you to tap into the psychology of selling in order to achieve tangible results in your sales performance. So, let’s explore some practical ways to activate reciprocity in your WooCommerce sales strategy:

  1. Seasonal or personalized gift cards
  2. Exclusive rewards or loyalty programs
  3. Monthly or annual giveaways
  4. Unexpected discounts
  5. Freebies or sample products
  6. Providing exceptional customer service

As you can see, there are a lot of approaches to consider when it comes to activating reciprocity in WooCommerce. However, one of the simplest ways to initiate reciprocity is by offering sample products.

How To Use Sample Products For Reciprocity In Sales

Earlier, we talked about the different ways you can trigger reciprocity in your business. We discussed the power of offering:

  • gift cards,
  • setting up loyalty programs,
  • providing enticing discounts,
  • and even giving away free products.

These strategies can work wonders for building customer loyalty and boosting sales.

But here’s the exciting part: we have a fantastic all-in-one marketing solution that can help you implement all of these tactics effortlessly. It’s called Advanced Coupons!

#1-rated coupon plugin in WooCommerce
#1-rated coupon plugin in WooCommerce

This premium plugin takes your regular WooCommerce coupon features to a whole new level. Specifically, it allows you to run flexible and effective promotions that will leave your customers delighted.

If you’re looking for a quick and hassle-free way to offer reciprocity in your business, we highly recommend installing Advanced Coupons right away. And to make things even better, in this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the process of using this plugin to give out free samples:

Step 1: Create a new coupon

If you’ve already got Advanced Coupons up and running, go to Coupons > Add New:

Create a new coupon
Create a new coupon (click to zoom)

Now, just like creating any other coupon, you’ll be prompted to configure the Coupon Data section.

It’s essential to provide a meaningful coupon name or generate one so that your customers can easily identify and redeem the offer. Don’t forget this crucial step to ensure a seamless user experience.

Step 2: Configure the “Add Products” tab

Let’s move on to the next step since our goal is to provide product samples.

Head over to the “Add Products” tab within the Advanced Coupons settings. Here, you’ll find a convenient “Products” field that displays a comprehensive list of all the products available in your store:

"Add Products" tab in Advanced Coupons
“Add Products” tab in Advanced Coupons (click to zoom)

To offer a sample, simply select the specific product you’d like to give out for free. Then, adjust the quantity to specify how many samples you intend to distribute. Lastly, enter the discount amount.

In the case where you want to override the original price and set it to free, you can choose the “Override Price” option and enter “0.00” in the corresponding box. This ensures that the sample is priced at zero:

Configure quantity and price/discount of the product added
Configure quantity and price/discount of the product added (click to zoom)

If a customer already has this item in their cart, the system will automatically add another line item indicating the overridden price or discount, with the quantity fixed according to the amount you’ve set:

Sample preview during checkout
Sample preview during checkout (click to zoom)

This way, you can easily manage and track the distribution of your product samples.

BONUS STEP: Automatically apply the sample product

Enabling automatic coupon applications is a fantastic way to trigger reciprocity. After all, who doesn’t love getting something for FREE, especially when it’s unexpected?

To get started, configure the Cart Condition settings of the coupon. You have two rules to choose from:

  • Product Quantity In The Cart
  • Product Category Exists In Cart

These category rules allow you to offer free samples automatically when customers have specific products in their carts. For instance, let’s say you want to give a complimentary cleaning solution when someone purchases a pair of sunglasses.

If you opt for the first one, you can select the “Product Quantity In The Cart” condition and specify “Sunglasses” in the product field:

"Product Quantity In The Cart" cart condition
“Product Quantity In The Cart” cart condition (click to zoom)

On the other hand, you can also choose the “Product Category Exists In Cart” condition and select “Accessories” in the category field:

"Product Category Exists In Cart" cart condition
“Product Category Exists In Cart” cart condition (click to zoom)

Once you’ve set that up, head to the “Add Products” tab and indicate the product you want to give out for free. Then, select the “Override Price” option and enter 0.00 in the corresponding box:

Add sample product
Add sample product (click to zoom)

Finally, simply enable the “Enable auto apply” option located on the right side of your screen:

Enable auto apply
Enable auto apply (click to zoom)

And voila! This is how it will appear in your customers’ carts—a delightful surprise that will surely enhance their shopping experience:

Coupon applied during checkout
Coupon applied during checkout (click to zoom)


Reciprocity plays a vital role in sales, as it uses the power of psychology to boost your revenue. One strategy to do this is by offering sample products. This way, you not only give them a taste of what your products or services can offer but also tap into their natural inclination to give back.

Thankfully, Advanced Coupons makes it easier to incorporate sample products into your sales strategy for reciprocity. In this article, we will delve into the three steps to do so with this plugin:

  1. Create a new coupon
  2. Configure the “Add Products” tab
  3. Automatically apply the sample product

Do you have any questions about how to take advantage of reciprocity in sales? Let us know in the comments below!

author avatar
Belle Berber Writer, Content Manager

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