A freebie is an item that is given away at no cost in order to advertise a product or service. These items can either be physical, such as a branded pen or keychain, or digital, such as a coupon code or downloadable content.

In the world of marketing and retail, freebies have become a popular strategy to attract customers and boost sales. From the customer’s perspective, a freebie is a complimentary item, voucher, coupon or service offered by a store without any cost.

On the other hand, from a store’s perspective, freebies are a powerful tool to engage customers, build brand loyalty, and increase sales. Let’s delve deeper into the concept of freebies from both perspectives.

Customer Perspective

For customers, freebies are like small gifts that add value to their shopping experience. Here are a few reasons why customers appreciate freebies:

Sampling Products

Freebies often allow customers to try out new products or services without having to commit to a purchase. This gives them an opportunity to evaluate the quality, functionality, or taste of a product before deciding to buy it. By offering samples or trial versions, stores aim to convert potential customers into loyal ones.

Enhancing Perceived Value

Receiving a freebie creates a sense of goodwill and satisfaction among customers. It makes them feel valued and appreciated by the store, leading to a positive perception of the brand. The perceived value of a product or service increases when customers receive something extra for free, even if it is a small token.

Building Trust and Loyalty

Stores often offer freebies as a way to build trust and loyalty among their customers. By providing complimentary items or services, stores demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction and establish themselves as reliable and customer-centric brands. This can lead to repeat purchases and long-term loyalty.

Word-of-Mouth Promotion

Customers who receive freebies are more likely to share their positive experiences with friends, family, and colleagues. This word-of-mouth promotion can significantly impact the store’s reputation and attract new customers. Freebies serve as conversation starters and generate buzz around the brand.

Store Perspective

From a store’s perspective, offering freebies is a strategic marketing tactic that yields several benefits.

Attracting New Customers

Freebies act as a powerful magnet for attracting new customers. When stores offer something for free, it grabs people’s attention and entices them to visit the store or website. Freebies create curiosity and draw potential customers in, giving the store an opportunity to showcase its products or services.

Increasing Sales

While it may seem counterintuitive to give away products or services for free, freebies can actually lead to increased sales. When customers receive a complimentary item, they often feel more inclined to make additional purchases. Freebies serve as incentives that encourage customers to explore other offerings in the store and make impulse buys.

Building Brand Awareness

Freebies play a crucial role in building brand awareness. By distributing branded freebies, stores put their name, logo, or slogan directly into the hands of customers. This constant reminder of the brand increases its visibility and helps create a lasting impression. When customers use or display the freebies, it serves as free advertising for the store.

Clearing Inventory or Introducing New Products

Freebies can be used strategically to clear out excess inventory or introduce new products to the market. By offering free samples or limited-time giveaways, stores can create excitement and generate interest in products that may not be selling well initially. This helps reduce inventory costs and drives sales for new offerings.

In conclusion, freebies are a win-win situation for both customers and stores. Customers get the opportunity to try new products, enhance their shopping experience, and feel valued by the store. On the other hand, stores benefit from increased customer engagement, loyalty, sales, and brand visibility. Freebies have become an integral part of marketing strategies, proving to be an effective tool in attracting and retaining customers in today’s competitive market.

The Psychology Behind Freebies

To further understand the impact of freebies, it’s important to explore the psychology behind this marketing strategy. Freebies tap into various psychological principles, influencing customers’ behavior and decision-making processes.


The principle of reciprocity suggests that when someone receives something for free, they feel obligated to reciprocate the gesture. By offering a freebie, stores create a sense of indebtedness in customers, which often leads to increased sales. Customers may feel more inclined to make a purchase as a way of reciprocating the perceived value they received.

Loss Aversion

Humans are naturally averse to losses. When customers are given the opportunity to receive something for free, they fear missing out on the offer and losing out on potential benefits. This fear of loss can trigger a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to take advantage of the freebie and potentially make additional purchases.

Anchoring Effect

Freebies can also serve as an anchor that influences customers’ perception of value. When customers receive a free item alongside a purchase, it establishes a reference point for what they perceive as valuable. This reference point can shape their willingness to pay for similar products or services in the future.

Social Proof

Human beings are inherently social creatures who seek validation from others. When customers receive a freebie, they often share their positive experiences with others, both online and offline. This creates social proof and adds credibility to the store and its offerings. Potential customers are more likely to trust recommendations from friends or acquaintances who have benefited from freebies.

Types of Freebies

Freebies come in various forms, catering to different customer preferences and marketing objectives. Here are some common types of freebies offered by stores:

  • Samples:Stores frequently distribute samples of their products to allow customers to experience them firsthand. These samples can be small portions of food, beauty products, or even trial versions of software. Sampling helps customers make informed decisions about whether they want to purchase the full-size product.
  • Gifts with Purchase:business often offer complimentary gifts or add-ons when customers make a qualifying purchase. These gifts can range from small items like keychains or branded merchandise to more substantial products. This strategy incentivizes customers to spend more in order to receive the free gift.
  • Loyalty Programs: Many stores have loyalty programs that reward customers for their continued patronage. These programs often include freebies such as exclusive discounts, birthday gifts, or points that can be redeemed for products or services. Loyalty programs not only encourage repeat business but also foster a sense of belonging and appreciation among customers.
  • Free Services or Consultations: Some stores offer free services or consultations as a way to showcase their expertise and build trust with customers. For example, a beauty store might offer complimentary makeovers or skincare consultations, while a software company might provide free training sessions. These services allow customers to experience the store’s offerings firsthand and increase the likelihood of future purchases.

Freebies are a powerful marketing tool that benefits both customers and stores. Customers enjoy the perks of receiving something for free, whether it’s trying out new products, enhancing their shopping experience, or feeling valued by the store. Stores, on the other hand, leverage freebies to attract new customers, increase sales, build brand awareness, and create long-term loyalty. By understanding the psychology behind freebies and employing effective strategies, stores can effectively leverage this marketing technique to drive growth and success in a competitive marketplace.