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How to Turn Millennials into Repeat Shoppers? Give Them Free Stuff.

Stickers, samples or even a coupon can spur future purchases

What's one way to get consumers to make future purchases? Just give them some free stuff. 

According to a May 2018 survey from Dotcom Distribution, an ecommerce fulfillment company, something as small as a free sticker can leave an impression—and not only make consumers more likely to make future purchases, but to also recommend that brand to others.

Younger millennial digital buyers in the US, the study found, were more likely to buy again from a retailer if their online order included an extra something that they weren't anticipating. Three-quarters of the 18- to 21-year-olds surveyed said they would buy something again from that very retailer, while in contrast, 60% of 22- to 37-year-olds polled agreed. And overall, older millennials in the US were more likely to say that they have no preference (27.4%) for freebies or simply wouldn't make any future purchases (12.6%) just because they got a free magnet or a few samples.

Free things don't just spur repeat purchases. They can make consumers into brand advocates. More than one-third of the US millennials surveyed said that they would recommend a brand to others after receiving a small token in their order. 

It should come as no surprise that consumers are drawn to discounts and free products. When asked about the types of loyalty program rewards they find most appealing, 67% of US internet users polled in a June 2018 survey from CrowdTwist named free products above things like experiences (22%), partnership perks, such as free Uber rides, (21%) and memorabilia or signed merchandise (13%).

A similar study conducted by Blackhawk Network earlier this year also found that many internet users in the US would be more inclined to join a loyalty program if they got free stuff.