Mary Rae Floresca | Negosentro.com
Have you ever splurged more than enough just to try numerous beauty brands? I bet you did, and I believe it didn’t work well. The Philippines’ beauty sampling service, Sample Room continues to empower consumers through an interactive online community to try products and the power of knowledge. One of the owners, Katherine Sy tells their success story.
The Philippine’s first ever beauty and lifestyle sampling website was established by Katherine Sy, Nathalie Toh, Diana Ong and Sophie Uy. Sample Room has been helping consumers to find their perfect match when it comes to skincare, cosmetics, and other beauty and wellness domains by trying the product before buying. It started when the block mates-turned-business partners wanted to have a start-up business that they love. “Like typical ladies, we were into beauty products. And at that time, we saw how sampling was a big hit in USA and thought of why not have a localized sampling website as well in the Philippines? Localized content and activity are a scarce here in the Philippines”, Katherine Sy explained.
Now, how does Sample Room works? Sy said, “We wanted to give the Filipino consumer the ultimate power to give value to their purchases as we all work hard for our money; and we are hoping that with Sampleroom.ph, you will get to try samples for free!” Yup, you read that correctly, free. In a few subscription boxes being sold in the beauty market,they surprise you with products you don’t really like or don’t get to use which is quite a waste of money sometimes. In Sample Room, it’s not a subscription box like others but you get a package filled with the contents or samples you personally handpicked from the site. All you have to pay for is a minimal amount for shipping & handling fee, and you’ll get the comfort of having your beauty loot delivered at your doorstep.
Like any other businesses, success cannot be fulfilled overnight. One of the greatest challenges that they encountered was building the credibility of the website and their credibility as business partners with their brand partners. “Of course, during the first few legs, we were presenting to brands without a website that is up and working, since we want to launch and have the website live already with available products right away. We are really blessed that the brands actually took a leap of faith in us, and really supported us with samples. We just kept on going and presented to the brands we wanted in our website. We encouraged each other that we’ll manage to be able to launch with a great roster of brands and products, and I believe that what kept us going was that we really wanted to make this happen – a sampling & review website in the Philippines.”
The best thing with Sampleroom.ph is that you don’t only get to pick your samples, the website has created an online community that provides real and honest details about the product and customer reviews. This gives consumers enough information to help them make an informed decision before buying a product. Sample Room quoted this as “Tryvertsing”. The site lets you “tryverse” easily and anchoring on the Zero Moment Of Truth, where every woman gets everything she needs to learn about a beauty product before making the purchase decision. The samples come in deluxe or full-sizes such as lipsticks, BB creams and more. The online site also brings together members to attend beauty events like summer getaways and makeup sessions to spa parties, beauty blogger get-togethers, and other lifestyle activities and events that help in making every woman knowledgeable and empowered in every beauty aspect.
Sample Room also has a point system, or what the call “Plus points”. It works by using earned points as its currency. As a new member, you instantly get 100 points upon registration, which allows you to get as much as 3 sample products in your shopping cart. Points required for acquiring items range from 15 points to 1,000 points, depending on the brand and the item itself. Consumers may also become a VIP member and purchase 1,000 points for Php649, which subscribers may use to avail of more premium products for two months. The VIP membership also gives exclusive invites to events, earlier notifications for new product uploads, as well as occasional bonus gifts from its brand partners.
The owners have been committed since day one of the launch of their online site, with now over 46,000 members, 400 featured products, and over 115 partner brands, they are building an online community that makes a difference to Pinoy customers. Sy added, “It is our strong goal to ultimately change the purchasing habits of the Filipino people. We believe that we spend most of our waking hours working, and all our money is truly hard-earned! So we really want to give value to our hard-earned money, that is why we are offering sampling, as step one in making decisions on what to purchase.”
For more information of the site, log on to www.sampleroom.ph or follow @SampleRoomPH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat.