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09/16/2021

Outform Launches In-Store, Data-Gathering Sampling Experience

The PodDrop platform creates a digital trail for every sample and integrates shoppers’ in-store experiences with their unique data.
Jacqueline Barba
Associate Editor
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Retail innovation agency and provider of custom merchandising solutions, Outform, recently launched PodDrop, an in-store discovery experience that allows brands to dispense product samples and and gather shopper data, even after they leave the store. The platform creates a digital trail for every sample and integrates shoppers’ in-store experiences with their unique data. After consumers obtain a sample, brands can retarget ads or engage these consumers with a higher level of  “authenticity and targeted accuracy,” according to a recent media release from the agency.

PodDrop is a sleek, automated sample dispenser customizable to any type of brand and aesthetic. Shoppers simply scan a QR code depicted on the machine to share their contact information or their social media profiles. Information is verified to prevent one person from obtaining multiple sample giveaways. The machine then dispenses the product sample in a pod. Later, brands can retarget ads through the same precision as customer data acquired through online shopping.

As consumers use smartphones more frequently to check prices, research products or unlock enhanced shopping experiences, PodDrop aims to help brands build a deeper relationship with shoppers, directing them both to and from digital and physical experiences. Outform says PodDrop propels its mission to take the “digital handshake” to the next level and sets the stage for a “new era of true omnichannel marketing and communication.”

Earlier this year, Outform was acquired by Gemspring Capital, a private equity firm focused on partnering with middle market companies, which merged the agency with Rapid Displays, an existing portfolio company that also provides custom merchandising solutions. The move aimed to make the combined company a global market leader, offering a full suite of design and execution capabilities to serve marquee brands and retailers.

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